Low Vision Appointments
Sometimes, glasses and contact lenses are not enough to improve someone’s vision. This could be due to eye problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration; it could be due to an accident or trauma to the eye; or there are some inherited conditions that affect the vision.
If this is the case, you may be recommended a Low Vision Appointment by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. This is not a normal sight test but an extra test where your optician will help you try to make the most of your vision.
How does it work?
The Low Vision Service Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government – you do not have to pay for it.
If you are entitled to a Low Vision Appointment, your optician or ophthalmologist will tell you. You will be referred for an appointment with a Low Vision qualified optician (you must have an up-to-date sight test to have a Low Vision Appointment). At the appointment, they will find out what magnifiers and other tools would be helpful for you.
These aids will then be provided to you on an indefinite loan. You can keep them for as long as you like, but if you no longer want them you will return them to your optician so that they can be sent back to the scheme.
If one of the aids breaks, you can return it to your optician who will be able to order you a replacement.
If you meet the criteria, you are entitled to one Low Vision Appointment per year.
Unfortunately, Low Vision appointments cannot improve your vision. We can only help you make the most of the vision you have got.
What happens in a Low Vision Appointment?
Your optician will begin by asking your some questions and then checking your vision.
Once they have established the reason for your vision difficulties and the level of sight, they will show you some magnifiers and other tools to try and help you with your everyday tasks.
Your optician will also talk to you about different techniques to help you make the most of your vision, depending on the type of sight loss that you have and the things you are struggling with.
If it is appropriate, your optician may also offer to refer you to your local Social Services. Depending on your needs, this could involve modifying your home to make it easier for you to remain independent, to provide you with training on how to use a white stick, or to provide you access to other help.
Your optician will also be able to direct you towards local charities that can help. This may be by providing support groups, so that you can speak to people who are going through the same eye problems you are, or to help you access other beneficial services.
How do I book a Low Vision Appointment?
If you are a patient of ours, please get in touch using the information below. Our team will be happy to let you know if you qualify for the scheme.
If you have not seen us before, contact your usual optician and ask them if you meet the criteria for the Low Vision Wales scheme. If you do, they can refer you to us and we can arrange an appointment for you.