• 114 N State St, Westerville OH 43081          614-882-0851             info@uptowneyedoc.com

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    • Dr. Bauder developed a passion for helping patients with low vision during her optometry school internships and knew she would want to incorporate it into her practice someday.  She was able to help a large number of patients who suffered from vision loss during her Ocular Disease residency at the Huntington VA Medical Center.  What she enjoys the most is helping people turn their hopelessness into hope and frustrations into joy.  After sometimes years of not being able to function to read, do their hobbies or take care of themselves around their homes, there is so much happiness when some of the functionality is restored.  She has patients who have not been able to read their Bible or see pictures of their grandchildren, or pay their own bills for a long time.  With an illuminated magnifier or electronic device, they may now be able to see enough to do one of these tasks again.  It is such a pleasure to be a part of restoring some freedom and independence, even just in a small way. 

       

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    • What Is Low Vision?

      What Is Low Vision?

      Low vision is used to refer to a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes, patients with low vision have some remaining vision (partial sight), but can also be legally blind. 
       
      Low vision can be caused by a number of different eye diseases, eye injuries or birth defects. Eye conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetes and glaucoma are common causes of visual impairment. The majority of low vision patients are over the age of 65, but can affect people of all ages.  With an increasing aging population, and diseases such as diabetes on the rise, the number of low vision patients is expected to increase dramatically by the year 2030.  
       
      If you have low vision, you may be unable to do many activities of daily living such as reading, doing household chores, managing your finances, or recognizing faces.  Driving is often not legal depending on the degree of vision loss.
       
    • Causes of Low Vision

       

      • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) : AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans over 65, accounting for nearly half of all low vision cases. It is caused when the part of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision breaks down, resulting in a blind spot in the center of your visual field. 
      • Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetes is on the rise in our country. This is a major cause of blindness and is directly related to high blood sugar levels, which damage the blood vessels in the body, including those in the eye. This can cause hemorrhages, new blood vessel growth, small vessel aneurysms, and build up of fats and deposits in the eye. 
      • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is often a silent disease, as small portions of peripheral vision are lost gradually over time and without noticeable symptoms. In advanced stages, this makes it difficult for patients to navigate.  Special prisms can be put in the glasses to help increase the usable visual field.  Orientation and mobility training is often helpful for these patients. 
      • Retinitis Pigmentosa: Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited disease affecting the retina and resulting in progressive vision loss. This type of vision impairment often begins in childhood, with poor night vision, and progresses over time.
      • Other Causes: There are many additional causes of low vision, including strokes, traumatic brain injury (TBI) Stargardt’s disease, albinism and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). 
    • What To Bring To Your First Appointment

      1. All your glasses or contact lenses, even if you no longer wear them.
      2. Your sunglasses
      3. Any magnifiers or reading glasses that you have
      4. Samples of special print or tasks that you want to see such as bills, books, medications bottles, model cars, music, sewing projects, etc.
      5. A completed copy of the Patient Data Forms. 
      6. Your Medicare and/or Insurance cards.

      The first visit will likely last about 1 1/2 hours.  Dr. Bauder will review your patient data forms, talk with you about your individual needs and help you identify your goals for vision rehabilitation.  A low vision refraction, contrast sensitivity testing, a visual field exam and other testing may be done to get the most information that we can about your vision status, especially if we are unable to obtain your records from your primary eye care provider. 

      You will have the opportunity to look at a wide variety of available equipment and try out multiple devices.  Together with Dr. Bauder you will then determine which low vision devices and training activities will help you achieve your goals. 

      What Will Happen at the Second Visit

      Your second visit could last up to one hour.  Dr. Bauder will train you on any devices you purchased and dispense them to you once you are comfortable with them.  Eccentric viewing may also be taught, which helps you find the best position for your eyes for reading to avoid blind spots.  You will be introduced to community resources that will help improve the quality of your life.  Support groups, talking books, free directory assistance, large print and mobility options are a few of the items that will be discussed. 

      Will Medicare or Insurance Cover Any Costs?

      Medicare and VSP insurance may pay for the office visits.  We will bill this for you, but you will be responsible for any fees that they do not cover.  

      Medicare does NOT cover any costs for low vision devices (magnifiers, filters, telescopes, etc).  Some VSP plans do offer low vision device coverage, but pre-authorization is required.  If you are ordering any equipment, a 50% deposit must be paid before the equipment can be ordered.  The remainder is due at the dispensing visit, unless other arrangements have been made with Dr. Bauder.   In order to meet your visual needs, usually 2-3 devices are recommended.  The average price of most devices starts at $100.  For severe vision loss, electronic portable magnifiers or a CCTV are often the only options that are strong enough to provide an improvement.  These types of devices start at $600 for the smaller portable versions.                                                    

      Browse Low Vision Devices