LOW VISION UNIT
 

 
 

The FISABIOS's Low Vision Unit was created to assist patients with a serious visual impairment, for vision  plays a central role in their own autonomy and personal development. Vision is required to process the 80% of the information present in our environment, at all events necessary to satisfy our everyday needs. Most of the knowledge, abilities and activities that we develop derive from information concerning this visual sense.  

Vision is especially important during childhood. For this reason, the FOM's Low Vision Unit counts on a multidisciplinary team formed by ophthalmologists, optometrists and rehabilitation technicians specialized in eye examinations, prescriptions and visual aid training. They aim to restore visual capabilities and so ensure an effective development of the academic, professional and leisure life.

Which patients are attended?
Patients whose situation fits the concept of low vision, whose visual acuity is greater than 0.050 and less than 0.300 between 5%-30% of normal vision.
Patients whose eyesight has diminished as a result of some pathology and has fallen under the 0.500/0.600 threshold.
Patients who could have their eyesight improved with the help of filters and/or occasional aids used in low vision cases: diabetic retinopathy, maculopathy, refractive or cataract surgery.   
Patients with amblyopia, nistagmus or neuro-ophthalmic problems.

What causes low vision?
The main pathologies that cause low vision are:
Maculopathy: 24.87%
Myopia magna: 17.31%
Diabetic retinopathy: 11.32%
Optic nerve pathologies: 9.58%
Retinal degeneration: 8.89%.

Which are the diagnostic tests and treatments used by the FOM's Low Vision Unit?
In order to assess the patient's possibilities of medical and surgical recovery, we undertake a previous ophthalmic study, followed by a special ophthalmic examination for low vision patients. Specific and specialized equipment is used.
At first, we evaluate the patient's vision needs and demands: what they would like, or actually have, to do with the eyesight that they cannot do at the moment (reading, sewing, using a computer, etc).
Near and far visual acuity are tested for each eye (separately) with the best of all possible conventional optical corrections.  
We measure contrast sensitivity and colour vision.
We perform a visual field test and assess the amsler grid (central vision exploration) for each eye.
We photograph the posterior pole by means of an Optomap.
The regular ophthalmic test is completed by analyzing the ocular mobility, the anterior pole, the tonometry and the back of the eye.  Then optometrists (specialized in low vision) carry out an optometric examination  to assess convergence as well as motor and sensory dominance, succeeded by a refraction test suitable for low vision patients and a provisional prescription of different aids such as telescopes, microscopes and telemicroscopes.
All the instructions are registered for visual rehabilitation technicians, who will prepare an individualized plan for each patient and an average duration of three-to-four sessions. In them, they are taught to use the aids suggested and learn to do the eye exercises (eccentric viewing) required to reach their goals.
At the end we proceed to prescribe the permament aid that best suits the patient's needs.