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Low Vision Assessment and Rehabilitation

Initial Low Vision Management

Environmental Modifications


As we age, we require more light to perform visual tasks. This is even more important for persons with visual impairment. More light can be achieved by increasing the number and power of light sources, as long as the manufacturers' recommendations are not exceeded. The installation of fluorescent or flood lights can often help. One word of caution: some eye diseases cause increased sensitivity to glare which can counteract the benefits of increased illumination. The low vision specialist will provide guidance.

There may be more specific requirements for near-vision tasks. The most appropriate lighting for reading is a gooseneck or swing-arm lamp with an insulated, cone-shaped, reflective housing. Ideally, such task lighting should be available at all work stations throughout the home, for example: beside a reading chair, in the kitchen for food preparation, at the dinner table, writing desk, and bedside table. The light should not be directed into the eyes. It should usually be to the side and a little behind the better eye, or in front of the patient shining downward with the lower edge of the shade no higher than the tip of the patient's nose. Different bulbs of the same wattage (i.e. flood, soft white, clear, etc.) will produce different tints. Several should be evaluated for comfort.

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Last Update: Nov 29 2012