Low-Vision Rehab May Improve Macular Disease

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2008-05-12 19:34

A low-vision rehabilitation program that includes a home visit, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and assignments to practice using them appears to significantly improve vision in veterans with diseases of the macula (the area of the retina with the sharpest vision), according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Low vision, chronic visual impairment that limits everyday function, is one of the 10 most prevalent causes of disability in America," the authors write as background information in the article. In addition to affecting daily function, low vision increases the risk of depression, injury and an overall decline in health. Most diseases that cause low vision are not curable. "In most cases, impaired vision cannot be corrected and rehabilitation is the only option for regaining lost function for the patient with low vision. Low-vision rehabilitation aims to restore functional ability, the ability to perform tasks modulated by visual impairment."

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