Our Low Vision Optometrist Helps Glaucoma Patients in Los Angeles and from the State of California Regain Visual Activity
How Does Glaucoma Affect Driving? Here is How We Can Help
Visual skills are critical when driving. Both central and peripheral vision are necessary abilities to have as a driver. You need to be able to see things that are straight ahead of you, such as street signs, stop lights, and other cars. You also need peripheral vision to see your surroundings, especially important when changing lanes, turning left or right, or going in reverse.
In order to safely drive with glaucoma, you must undergo a vision test with your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Depending on the severity of your condition, your driving license may have restrictions placed on it, or you may simply be required to repeat the vision test periodically to ensure your current visual health doesn’t impede your driving abilities. In the US and Canada, each state’s and province’s DMV has their own visual acuity requirements and they often change. For specific criteria, check with your local DMV – most publish their driving rules online.
Each State in the US and Province in Canada has its own driving requirements. Your Low Vision Optometrist is a good source for your State / Province’s requirements. Vision requirements for each state are listed on the website of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (www.IALVS.org).
Some types of glaucoma will cause the patient to experience blurry or cloudy vision, sensitivity to light, halos around lights, or eye pain. These symptoms can affect their ability to drive safely.
However, the most prevalent type of glaucoma has no symptoms. The loss of vision is so gradual that one does not notice until it’s too late.
Patients with glaucoma and other vision limiting conditions generally are in fear of losing their ability to drive or that drivers license may be confiscated if they don’t meet their DMV’s visual requirements. Dr. Harold Ashcraft understands this fear and our team will do everything we can, using the latest medical technologies and our extensive experience, to ensure that you continue driving safely – even with glaucoma – for as long as possible. Living independently is a goal we’re here to make sure you meet.
Bioptic telescope glasses can be a great solution for glaucoma patients. These glasses contain special lenses customized for your prescription. They enhance your vision by use of miniature telescopes that magnify images, like road signs and traffic lights, allowing you to see them clearer and with sharper detail. Many US states allow those with glaucoma to drive while wearing bioptic telescope glasses.
Glaucoma’s Affect on Reading
For avid readers who love to curl up with a good book or newspaper, having glaucoma can interfere with reading. Decreased visual clarity can cause words on a page to appear blurry or foggy, and patients often squint or strain their eyes in an effort to see the words clearer. Our low vision optometrists can help. We have a number of low vision aids and low vision glasses to help you continue your love of reading.
At The Low Vision Center at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry, we can prescribe low vision glasses like reading telescopic glasses. These specialized glasses magnify the words so you can see them clearer. Enjoy reading your favorite books once again. Dine out with friends and you’ll no longer have to struggle reading restaurant menus.
Watching TV With Glaucoma
Having glaucoma doesn’t mean you have to give up watching your favorite television shows and movies. It just means that you can watch them differently. Low Vision devices and glasses like Full Diameter Telescopic Glasses, Electronic Head Borne Devices like IRISVision and Jordy make it possible for glaucoma patients to watch TV enjoyably. Electronic Vision Aids (EVA’s) and Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) are devices that give you a wider field of view so that you can see more. It typically comes with a monitor, a magnifying camera, and an adjustable stand for comfortable and flexible viewing.
How Can I Use My Phone with Glaucoma?
In the digital age, it’s now more important than ever to manage screen time and pay close attention to any signs of digital eye strain. Today, 70% of US adults and 65% of Canadian adults have digital eye strain from increased amounts of screen time. Studies show that 60% of people spend 6 hours or more each day on digital devices. Many glaucoma patients report sensitivity to light.
This doesn’t mean that you must give up your smartphone or tablet if you have glaucoma. Even with this eye disease, you can still use your phone with some extra help as long as the condition is managed carefully. In addition, blue reflecting treatments as well as blue absorbing treatments can be prescribed. Cell phones, tablets, and desktop computers can be programmed to reduce the amount of emitted blue light. Computer glasses can provide that extra help by reducing glare. Many glaucoma patients find that they have sensitivity to light; computer glasses can help protect against this. Dr. Harold Ashcraft can help determine which types of computer glasses are right for you.
How Can I Make Out Faces?
If glaucoma deteriorates to the point of affecting your central vision, it becomes difficult to recognize faces. This can be a painful experience when it comes to the people you love. Fortunately, Dr. Harold Ashcraft can provide you with prescription low vision devices to help. Full-Diameter telescopes, for example, can make it easier to see facial details by enlarging them, even from just a few feet away.