Magnifying Low-Vision Issues

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NEW YORK--Eyecare practitioners just starting to get into servicing low-vision patients, as well as those who've been involved with this visioncare segment for a while, found the VCA session "Magnify Your Future," a low-vision seminar, beneficial. Leading the all-day session and panel discussion was Michael Politzer, OD. Speakers and panelists included Stanley Woo, OD; Thomas Porter, OD; Bethany Fishbein, OD; Randy Kinkade, OD; and Christopher Colburn, OD.

Subjects included diagnosing low vision, evaluating which low-vision devices work with which patients and clinical pearls. About 14 manufacturers were also on hand demonstrating a variety of low-vision aids.

Bowie Doyle Susan

Bob Susan, OD, of Levin & Luminais Eye Associates in Thorndale, Pa., who began serving low-vision patients six months ago, came to "get ideas on growing the practice and referrals, and to help his technicians get more experience" in this area.

"The overall experience of the speakers has been helpful," Susan said. "Anyone can give an eye exam, but how you interact with patients and have them buy into [low-vision treatment] is what will make a low-vision practice succeed." Drew Doyle, OD, who works at a Maryland Veterans Administration Hospital, has just been put in charge of an outpatient clinic where he will be performing low-vision exams, and "needs to learn the basics of using equipment" for low-vision patients. He said, "I need to know what's the best equipment for each situation."

Heidi Bowie, a low-vision rehabilitation researcher at Johns Hopkins, came to see the latest technologies available, as well as to hear insights from the speakers. "The seminars were good," she noted. She spent part of the break looking at diagnostic kits.

Richard Soder, OD, of New York, said low-vision patients have made up half his practice, for 25 years. He came to get an update on the latest low-vision aid technologies. --Seth J. Bookey