Many of the people who enter our offices seeking low vision care do so with a mixture of anxiety and trepidation. By the time we see them they will have already tried over-the-counter reading glasses, a variety of routine eyeglass prescriptions, hand-held magnifiers, and probably retinal treatments and AREDS vitamins — often to no avail.
Not only has their vision not improved, but they have been repeatedly told by their physician that "nothing more can be done," at least from a medical perspective.
Eager for solutions, they reach out to The Low Vision Center at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry to give it one more try, often accompanied by a friend or loved one.
We recognize how important it is for many patients to have a "3rd person in the exam room." Having a support person can be invaluable for the patient, in a variety of ways, by providing emotional support and guidance during and after visits to the practice. This support person can be a significant other, spouse, partner, adult child, aide, or caregiver.
Reasons to Have a Support Person Present at the Low Vision Evaluation
There are many reasons for having that third person in the room. One of them is the familiarity that helps calm the patient's anxieties. Furthermore, even if a patient’s memory is intact, they rarely remember all the suggestions and recommendations discussed during the doctor’s visit — something a support person can help with.
The support person may be able to fill in any missing information regarding the patient’s visual needs and medical history if the patient isn’t able to do so.
Accompanying the patient to exams can give the support person a deeper understanding of the patient’s visual capabilities and limitations. They may be dismayed at the patient's poor vision during the eye chart testing or elated to discover that the patient has usable vision that can be enhanced with the use of low vision aids and devices.
The “3rd person” can act as a cheerleader, encouraging the patient to try activities they thought were beyond their visual abilities. They can encourage the patient to try telescope glasses or read small print using a microscopic lens.
The support person can also help and remind the patient to correctly follow the instructions when using the low vision aids by, for example, ensuring the patient is holding the reading material at the correct reading distance and situating the desk lamp for maximum benefit and brightness.
Bring a Support Person to Your Next Low Vision Consultation
To ensure the best outcome, we highly recommend that patients invite a support person to join them for their vision evaluations and consultations with Dr. Harold Ashcraft.
To learn more about how The Low Vision Center at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry can help low vision patients make the most of their vision, please contact Dr. Harold Ashcraft today.
We serve low vision patients from Los Angeles, Westchester, El Segundo,Playa Del Rey, all throughout California.