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Western New York Optometrist Launches Low Vision/Macular Degeneration Solutions

Article photo Kornfeld We Can Help

Low Vision Optometry of Western New York, a low vision optometry practice with locations in Rochester, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Elmira, New York as well as Scranton and Clarks Summit in Pennsylvania, has launched their updated low vision exam services. Led by expert low vision optometrist Dr. George Kornfeld, the practice has an extensive track record of helping patients with low vision live their fullest lives.

As August is National Eye Exam Month, the clinic is making a push to educate people about how low vision exams are different from regular eye exams.

The practice specializes in providing state-of-the-art precision low vision eyewear, low vision eyewear that medical eye doctors often do not offer. Dr. Kornfeld works directly with patients to restore their ability to read, drive, work, recognize loved ones, and more.

Low Vision Optometry of Western New York performs comprehensive low vision exams. The process begins with an evaluation of the patient’s medical history, including chronic conditions, prescription medications, and key health indicators, such as blood pressure.

Next, patients answer questions about their vision impairment, including the onset, the severity, and the treatments they have received. In addition, Dr. Kornfeld asks patients about their history with specific diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and other conditions.

During the exam, Dr. Kornfeld performs complex refraction to evaluate the refractive error. Further, low vision testing charts, developed by William Feinbloom, O.D., Ph.D. a pioneer in the field of low vision, are employed to determine the extent of patient visual impairment.

Dr. Kornfeld carries out a variety of additional tests, including assessments of glare, contrast sensitivity, reading ability, and visual fields. Drops to dilate the pupils used in other exams are not a part of a low vision exam.

Upon completion of the exam, patients may be prescribed low vision eyewear to improve their quality of life, including bioptic telescopes, side vision awareness glasses®, EScoop® glasses, and prismatic lenses.

His low vision practice complements preventative eye care and medical treatments by other eye care doctors. Dr. Kornfeld’s practice is devoted to providing low-vision-enhancing solutions. Kornfeld Low Vision services include those caused by macular degeneration. In addition, he collaborates with patients’ existing eye doctors to address their visual impairments.

A spokesperson for the practice said: “Dr. Kornfeld recognizes that vision loss can often lead to depression, loss of independence, and reduced quality of life. He is honored to be a part of the team of doctors that include optometrists, ophthalmologists, and retina specialists who provide a holistic patient-first approach.”

More information is available at https://www.kornfeldlowvision.com

5 Adjustments To Make Around The House For People With Low Vision

senior couple at home 640×350

Home improvement can upgrade the look and feel of your living space. But for those with low vision, the right setup can be the difference between constantly relying on others and functioning independently.

At Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York, we understand the importance of feeling self-sufficient and continuing to do the things you love after vision loss. To that end, we’ve shared a few tips to help you adapt your home and help you live a higher quality of life.

1. Increase the Color Contrast

Make sure you strategically place bright contrasting colors around the house to help identify and locate items. For example, keep your phone, keys or wallet in a bright tray or dish so they’re easy to find.

Consider replacing cabinet and doorknobs with colors that stand out. For instance, choosing black knobs on white cabinets and doors will make it easier for you to find and grasp them. You can also add brightly colored tape to kitchen utensils and remote controls. We further recommend you place brightly colored non-slip tape or a contrasting or textured strip of flooring in front of a staircase to alert you to the stairs.

Contrasting colors are just as useful for preparing food and beverages. Pour dark liquids (like coffee or tea) into white mugs, and light liquids (like milk) into darker colored mugs. If your mugs blend in with the color of your countertops, consider purchasing new ones in a contrasting color.

2. Furnish Thoughtfully

People with low vision may struggle to maintain eye contact or recognize faces of those who are far away. For this reason, it’s worth moving sofas and armchairs close together.

Moreover, when choosing furniture, focus on differences in texture and size. It’s often easier for someone with low vision to identify a piece of furniture through touch rather than sight.

3. Bring in More Light

Think floor lamps, desk lamps, and sheer window curtains — anything that increases lighting will make it easier to read, cook, do crafts and other activities.

Desk lamps should be bright and be fitted with a lightbulb that’s at least 75w.

4. Use Technology

Consult with your low vision optometrist regarding which optimal low vision digital aids and devices you can use to help you read and identify household items with ease. Some options include closed caption television video magnifiers, handheld video magnifiers and wearable digital headsets.

5. Make Your Space Hazard-Free

Consider removing rugs or securing their edges to prevent accidental trips and falls, and ensure that all pathways are free of electrical cords and clutter.

If your home has a tiled floor, be sure there aren’t any loose, uneven or broken pieces that can easily be overlooked. Additionally, when washing your floors, opt for non-glare detergents that don’t leave a waxy finish.

Living with low vision can be difficult, but making your home more suited to your visual needs will make daily living easier.

Your low vision optometrist at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York makes it a priority to provide personalized care and attention to ensure the best possible outcome. After thoroughly examining your eyes and assessing your degree of vision loss, Dr. George Kornfeld will recommend low vision aids and devices to help you maximize your vision and enjoy a better quality of life.

If you or a family member live with low vision or have been diagnosed with a sight-threatening eye condition, call Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York to schedule a low vision consultation today.

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York serves patients from Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , and Buffalo, New York and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. George Kornfeld

Q: What is low vision?

  • A: An individual is defined as having ‘low vision’ if their fully corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do. Fortunately, there’s hope for those with low vision. A low vision eye doctor can offer vision aids and devices to maximize remaining vision.

Q: What are low vision aids and devices?

  • A: Low vision aids are a combination of special lenses and devices that maximize any usable vision to help patients recognize faces, watch TV, read and carry out daily tasks. Common low vision aids include low vision glasses like microscopes, telescopes, filters and prisms. There are also electronic visual aids and optical magnifiers.


Why Do Seniors Often Overestimate How Well They Can See?

woman drinking coffee 640

Many eye conditions and diseases often creep up slowly, with no discernible symptoms in their early stages. That’s why many people with sight-threatening eye diseases are completely unaware of their condition until they reach irreversible vision loss. This is especially true of those 60 years and older, known to be at higher risk for developing these conditions.

A Swedish study that included 1,200 seventy-year-olds, 6 out of 10 didn’t realize that their vision was subpar. Nor did they know that there were ways to maximize their remaining vision with certain glasses or a stronger lens prescription.

The study concluded that many seniors tend to believe that their eye health is better than it actually is, largely because (as mentioned above) the symptoms of eye disease often go unnoticed until its more advanced stages.

Conditions That Slowly Impair Vision

Below are some common causes of vision impairment that don’t always show the warning signs early on. If you or a loved one has any of the following symptoms, contact Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York to promptly schedule an eye exam.

Cataracts

When the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, it’s likely due to cataracts—a natural part of the aging process. The majority of cataract cases occur in people over the age of 50. Depending on the location and severity of the cataract, it can interfere with vision and may need to be surgically removed.

Cataract symptoms include:

  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Faded colors
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in lens prescription
  • Sensitivity to light

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is an eye disease that affects the macula (the central portion of the retina), causing central vision loss. A healthy macula enables us to read, watch TV, recognize faces and see fine details.

Symptoms of AMD include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing straight lines as distorted or wavy
  • Difficulty reading
  • Oversensitivity to glare
  • Needing bright light to perform close work

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. It typically affects both eyes and can lead to peripheral vision loss, known as ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Left untreated, glaucoma can eventually cause total blindness.

The early stages of glaucoma do not have any obvious signs, which is why frequent eye exams are essential. Symptoms of middle-to-late stage glaucoma include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Seeing rings around lights
  • Sensitivity to light

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

DR is a complication of type 1 and 2 diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Controlling your blood sugar helps minimize eye damage.

Symptoms of DR include:

  • Deteriorating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark areas in your visual field
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden increase in floaters

How Our Low Vision Optometrist Can Help

Here’s the bottom line: many eye diseases develop gradually, waving no red flags until the eye is irreversibly damaged. That’s why comprehensive annual eye exams are so crucial for those 60 years and up, even if they believe their eyes to be in perfect health.

We at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York use the latest diagnostic technology to ensure the most accurate examination and diagnosis. If any signs of eye disease are detected, please don’t lose hope. We can help.

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York offers a variety of low vision aids and devices that help maximize your vision, so that you can continue living your life to the fullest.

Vision impairment shouldn’t have to stop you from doing the things you love. To schedule your low vision consultation, call us today.

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York serves patients from Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , and Buffalo, all throughout New York.

Q&A

Q: #1: What are low vision aids?

  • A: They are a combination of special lenses and devices that maximize any usable vision in order to help those with reduced vision read, watch TV, recognize faces, and carry out daily tasks. These include low vision glasses, like telescopes, microscopes, prisms, and filters. Other visual help includes electronic visual aids and optical magnifiers. Your low vision optometrist will work with you and prescribe the best devices for you.

Q: #2: What can cause low vision?

  • A: People with low vision have visual impairments that cannot be successfully corrected using traditional eye correction methods, like surgery, standard glasses and contact lenses. Low vision can be caused by an eye injury, eye diseases like macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, aging, certain accidents, among other factors.


Low Vision Optometrist Dr. George Kornfeld Helps Visually Impaired Individuals Improve Their Quality of Life and Independence

dr kornfeld

Rochester, NY — Many view a low vision diagnosis as the end of their independence and ability to make memories and live an ordinary life. Dr. George Kornfeld is a low vision practitioner who has been working tirelessly for nearly 50 years to help low vision patients vision, help them gain confidence in themselves, do the activities they want to do, and maintain their independence. Through his
private practice that serves patients in Western and Upstate New York and North Eastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Kornfeld shows patients that their vision does not need to be perfect to take control of their lives, just better.

February is Low Vision Awareness Month, which is particularly important because not many people know what diseases and conditions cause low vision or know that there are ways to manage low vision. Low vision patients vary, but many have medical conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), both wet and dry, inoperable cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma as well as genetic conditions including retinitis pigmentosa, albinism, Stargardt’s disease, and retinopathy of prematurity. Others may have traumatic causes of low vision, such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. Many low vision patients have exhausted the conventional optometry and ophthalmology solutions by the time they find a low vision specialist.

Within the last few years, Dr. Kornfeld’s wife Debby has become one of his low vision patients due to her anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Debby, like many of Dr. Kornfeld’s patients, can use several different kinds of low vision glasses to do tasks on her own, including reading, walking, and driving. Dr. Kornfeld recognizes that every patient is different and has different tasks that they would like to do if they had better vision. Debby, for example, loves crafts and is now able to sew using her sewing machine, draw, and cook using her low vision devices. Using her closed-circuit television has enabled her to continue to do research and write. Even still, there are limitations to having to rely on multiple lenses, which has prompted Dr. Kornfeld to brainstorm creative solutions to help people navigate their lives with better sight and perform tasks without having to change their glasses as frequently.

Treating low vision does not result in one-size-fits-all solutions, which requires Dr. Kornfeld to gain a deep understanding of the factors behind each patient’s low vision and their vision goals. He has been doing this important work since 1971. “There are two significant points in my low vision career that always remind me why I do what I do,” says Dr. Kornfeld. “One was when a married woman with Stargardt’s (juvenile macular degeneration) got a bioptic telescope, allowing her to drive, work independently, and even change her life drastically. The other was a patient whose vision dropped below 20/70 and lost her ability to drive, which had previously helped keep her stay connected to her community. After she got a bioptic telescope, she was able to renew her license and return to doing the things that make her happiest.” While low vision solutions are not for everyone, Dr. Kornfeld is energized by the prospect of helping compatible patients achieve their goals, maintain their independence, and make their lives better.

Though Dr. Kornfeld does not see exclusively low vision patients, his unique services and perspective on treating low vision patients draw people from Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Niagara, and even Scranton, Pennsylvania. To learn more about Dr. George Kornfeld and Low Vision Optometry of Western New York, please click.

About Low Vision Optometry of Western New York and Dr. George Kornfeld

Dr. George Kornfeld has been providing low vision services for 48 years. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia and is a proud Fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and International Academy of Low Vision Specialists. Dr. Kornfeld established low vision services at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York, and has operated a private practice, Low Vision Optometry of Western New York, for the past ten years.

Media Contact:

Company Name: Low Vision Optometry of Western New York
Contact Person: Dr. George Kornfeld
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Phone: 585.271.7320
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Website: www.kornfeldlowvision.com

How to Know If You’re at Risk for Glaucoma

happy senior outside 640×350Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition that can cause blindness. The condition occurs when fluids in the eye put pressure on the optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, with more than 3 million cases in North America alone.

By testing your vision, dilating your pupils, examining your eyes, and testing your eye pressure, Dr. George Kornfeld can detect whether you have glaucoma. Additional tests can determine whether your peripheral vision has declined.

Because glaucoma’s early stages affect the peripheral nerves in your retina, your side vision is damaged before your central vision. Furthermore, as this nerve damage is almost always pain-free, often this condition is discovered only after causing irreversible vision loss. While glaucoma’s effects can be managed, its damage is permanent.

Be Aware of the Risk Factors

You should be alert to the dangers of glaucoma, especially if you:

  • are over 40 years old
  • are African American or Hispanic
  • have diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or high blood pressure
  • have a family history of glaucoma
  • sustained an eye injury
  • have extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • have used corticosteroid medications
  • notice any vision loss

How Do I Know if I Have Glaucoma?

Contact Dr. George Kornfeld at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York, who will dilate the pupil of your eyes and perform a comprehensive eye examination to determine whether you have the condition. If you do, we will start treatment immediately, usually by prescribing eye medications to prevent the glaucoma from worsening, and schedule follow-up visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a thorough dilated eye exam by age 40 to catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early.

Other proactive steps the CDC advises to prevent glaucoma include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • monitoring your blood pressure
  • staying active
  • not smoking

 

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York treats patients with glaucoma — and people at risk for it — in Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , Buffalo, and throughout New York.

References

The 3rd Person in the Exam Room

adult woman with senior womanMany of the people who enter our offices seeking low vision care do so with a mixture of anxiety and trepidation. By the time we see them they will have already tried over-the-counter reading glasses, a variety of routine eyeglass prescriptions, hand-held magnifiers, and probably retinal treatments and AREDS vitamins — often to no avail.

Not only has their vision not improved, but they have been repeatedly told by their physician that “nothing more can be done,” at least from a medical perspective.

Eager for solutions, they reach out to Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York to give it one more try, often accompanied by a friend or loved one.

We recognize how important it is for many patients to have a “3rd person in the exam room.” Having a support person can be invaluable for the patient, in a variety of ways, by providing emotional support and guidance during and after visits to the practice. This support person can be a significant other, spouse, partner, adult child, aide, or caregiver.

Reasons to Have a Support Person Present at the Low Vision Evaluation

There are many reasons for having that third person in the room. One of them is the familiarity that helps calm the patient’s anxieties. Furthermore, even if a patient’s memory is intact, they rarely remember all the suggestions and recommendations discussed during the doctor’s visit — something a support person can help with.

The support person may be able to fill in any missing information regarding the patient’s visual needs and medical history if the patient isn’t able to do so.

Accompanying the patient to exams can give the support person a deeper understanding of the patient’s visual capabilities and limitations. They may be dismayed at the patient’s poor vision during the eye chart testing or elated to discover that the patient has usable vision that can be enhanced with the use of low vision aids and devices.

The “3rd person” can act as a cheerleader, encouraging the patient to try activities they thought were beyond their visual abilities. They can encourage the patient to try telescope glasses or read small print using a microscopic lens.

The support person can also help and remind the patient to correctly follow the instructions when using the low vision aids by, for example, ensuring the patient is holding the reading material at the correct reading distance and situating the desk lamp for maximum benefit and brightness.

Bring a Support Person to Your Next Low Vision Consultation

To ensure the best outcome, we highly recommend that patients invite a support person to join them for their vision evaluations and consultations with Dr. George Kornfeld.

To learn more about how Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York can help low vision patients make the most of their vision, please contact Dr. George Kornfeld today.

We serve low vision patients from Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton ,Buffalo, all throughout New York.

Reading Tips For Those With Macular Degeneration

Woman 1.7FD w Cap.KinkadeThe most serious symptom of macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of central vision, with those in the more advanced stages of AMD experiencing a smudge or black spot in the center of their vision. This makes it difficult to read and causes many people to give up on reading.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Below you will find a list of low vision devices and strategies that can help people with AMD read more easily and comfortably.

Members of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists are experts in determining which low vision devices will work best for you for reading.

Low Vision Devices for Reading

Reading Magnifier

Hand-held magnifiers are the most commonly used visual aids for spot reading among those with AMD and other low vision conditions. In the correct power, they are useful for reading medicine bottles, prices, labels, oven dials, etc. While you can find small pocket magnifiers, full-page illuminated magnifiers, and magnifiers that are mounted on adjustable stands, only your low vision doctor can determine exactly what power you need.

Portable Electronic Magnifiers

A portable electronic magnifier resembles an iPad or a tablet. By holding this device in front of your reading material, you can view the magnified version on its LED screen.

High-Power Reading Glasses

Strong magnifying reading eyeglasses enable a person with severe visual impairment to read the fine print. Your low vision eye doctor will determine the correct near prescription and demonstrate how they work.

Video Magnifier

Although traditional optical magnifiers, such as magnifying glasses, are generally very helpful, some people benefit more from a video magnifier. A video magnifier, or closed-circuit television (CCTV), has a camera that transmits magnified images (up to 50x or higher) and displays them on a large monitor or TV screen. You can sit as close to the screen as you like and adjust the magnification, brightness, and contrast for reading clarity.

Tele-Microscopic Glasses

Tele-microscopic lenses are mounted on the eyeglass lenses and may be prescribed for one or both eyes. They allow people with low vision to read, use a computer, write, and perform other tasks at a comfortable distance.

Certain low vision devices require a prescription from an eye doctor as they are custom-made for your specific needs. Consult Dr. George Kornfeld, who will help determine which vision aids are best for your needs, based on your lifestyle and level of vision impairment.

Other Strategies To Help You Read With Macular Degeneration

Increase in Contrast

It’s important to ensure a stark contrast between the text being read and its background. Newspapers don’t offer much contrast because the grey letters sit on an off-white background.

Many electronic screens allow you to tailor the contrast to your needs: black lettering on a white background; white lettering on a black background; black lettering on a yellow background; and yellow lettering on a dark black background. Try the different color combinations and settle on the color contrast combination that offers the best contrast for the most comfortable reading experience.

Increase Lighting

Increasing the amount and type of lighting can greatly improve reading ability in those with AMD.

Direct light. A standard table lamp usually won’t provide sufficient light for reading a book. Consider getting an adjustable gooseneck lamp that allows you to focus the light directly onto the reading material.

Sunlight. Because natural sunlight is the ideal lighting for reading, try to arrange your furniture in such a way that you can sit near a window for comfortable daytime reading.

Lightbulbs. Use the brightest light bulbs for each light fixture in the house. These include LED, halogen, and full-spectrum light bulbs (which mimics natural sunlight more than incandescent bulbs). Be careful with halogen, however, as they may create excessive heat. Replace any fluorescent lighting in the house, as it can cause glare, particularly for those with low vision. For reading, however, the best option is to use lower strength light bulbs and bring the lamp closer.

E-reader. Kindles and other e-readers conveniently include a built-in light that allows you to adjust brightness for more comfortable reading.

Large Print Books or Larger Fonts

Consider purchasing large print books online or in book shops, as they include larger fonts, more spacing and better contrast. If you opt for electronic books, you can conveniently increase the font size, rendering it easier and more enjoyable to read.

Adjust Spacing

Your electronic reading device allows you to adjust the spacing between the lines as needed. By widening the space between lines, you will find reading easier and will experience less eye strain.

Speak with Dr. George Kornfeld for more advice on reading with macular degeneration or to get low vision aids and devices.

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York serves low vision patients in Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , and Buffalo, throughout New York.

 

Why All Low Vision Patients Are Upset

Bifocal Type R.By Richard J. Shuldiner, OD, FAAO, FIALVS, Chief Clinical Editor

In 1960, at the age of seven, Wayne F. was diagnosed with amblyopia in his left eye (commonly referred to as Lazy Eye), but it was left untreated. As an adult, Wayne scheduled regular eye exams every few years and received new glasses each time the vision in his right eye changed. In November of 2019, it was time to renew his driver’s license. During all previous DMV visits, Wayne could read the vision charts with the help of glasses. This trip was different.

How Wayne Suddenly Became a Low Vision Patient

Wayne’s vision had slowly deteriorated to the point where the DMV eye chart became impossible to read, and, to his surprise, his license was revoked. Wayne scheduled an appointment with his eye doctor to get new glasses. He expected that a new prescription would improve his vision enough to get his driver’s license reinstated. It also seemed like an opportunity to get new frames and a new look. That’s when Wayne received the news that dry macular degeneration had developed in his right eye, and that new glasses would not improve his vision. He was told, “Nothing more can be done.”

Wayne was devastated. Confusion and worry took over as he asked himself, “How will I get to work? How will I pay the mortgage? How will I support my family? What will become of me?”

Low Vision Patients Have a Reason to Be Upset

ALL low vision patients are upset. Every one of them. And it doesn’t matter if they have a happy disposition, a good attitude or have “accepted” it. They are upset.

As we know, Wayne is not alone. Many patients are struggling with the shocking news that new glasses will not restore their vision. Loss of vision is one of the major fears that people have. When it happens, the upset can be truly debilitating.

Definition of Low Vision

What exactly is “low vision”? There are many ways to say it, but for me, this is the most understandable: Best corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do.

The definition contains two variables: vision and task— the amount of vision available to work with, and the tasks the patient wants to be able to do. A person with no visual goals does not have low vision, regardless of the extent of vision loss.

What Is it Like?

Consider the plight of most of the low vision patients we see. They have had decent vision for most of their lives. They needed glasses at some point, for any of the refractive reasons, including presbyopia. Some solved their conditions with glasses, others with contact lenses, vision therapy, or a surgical procedure. In each case, these solutions enabled them to see well enough to do what they wanted to do.

Now, after scores of eye examinations over the years, they once again don’t see well. Still confident that their vision can be corrected, they make an appointment with clear expectations and intentions: stylish new frames, better contacts, clearer vision to enjoy life and be productive. After all, they’ve been through this many times. Only this time, it doesn’t happen.

Instead, they are told they have an “eye condition” that has caused them to lose vision permanently!

And, they are told that if there is a treatment, it won’t bring back the vision they have lost!

And, they may lose more vision!

And it could happen at any time!

And they might go blind!

And lastly, they are told, “There’s nothing more we can do!”

Each sentence stabs like a knife.

What Being Upset Is All About

Surprisingly, there are only three things that upset human beings.

  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • Thwarted intentions
  • Undelivered communications

Think about any time you have ever been upset. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who you think was to blame, regardless of what “they” did, regardless of the topic or whom it was with, the upset falls into one or more of the above three categories.

No one expects to lose vision permanently.

No one expects to hear these words from their eye doctor: “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

The expectation is that the doctor will have a solution to the problem.

The intention is to get new glasses, see better, get new frames and have a new, fashionable look.

They walk out in a daze, unable to communicate or even think clearly.

Upset Reactions

Three things happen to a human being when they become upset:

  • A shift in reality
  • A loss of affinity
  • A decrease in communication

Everyone knows not to make decisions when upset. Why? Because the shift in perception of reality leads to bad decisions. We’ve all experienced a reduction in both love and appreciation when we are upset with a loved one. And, we all know that getting someone to open up and communicate when they are upset is nearly impossible.

Words From an Eye Doctor

Life is full of unexpected and upsetting events and, like a flash of lightning, life can change in an instant. An event, such as being told you have Macular Degeneration (or some other vision-affecting eye condition) and that new glasses won’t help, becomes so upsetting that clear thinking is virtually impossible. What I’ve seen over the years while working with low vision patients is a state of chaos, of not knowing what to do, who to turn to, and how to deal with permanent vision loss. Confusion and fear take over as people have no idea what their lives will be like or what they should do.

Providing a Future

When faced with “going blind,” all the hopes and dreams of the future seem to be destroyed. The idea of having time to read great novels, travel to see famous sights, watch the grandchildren play their sports, and more is crushed in their minds. The future they have imagined is gone.

This is where low vision care comes in. People need a future to live into. Dr. George Kornfeld can give them that and reduce the turmoil they feel.

We are telling our patients today: “There is life after vision loss. There are low vision doctors who can help to keep you doing those things you love. Your life is not over.”

Advanced LOW VISION CARE is available at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York and a fulfilling life is attainable. Low vision glasses (i.e. telescopes, microscopes, prismatics, filters, etc.), low vision devices, adaptive technology, large print materials, and auxiliary professionals, such as Occupational Therapists and Orientation/Mobility specialists are available. Dr. George Kornfeld is a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists and has years of experience treating and caring for low vision patients.

This article first appeared here: https://emailactivity1.ecn5.com/engines/publicPreview.aspx?blastID=2606173&emailID=387066764

Is It Possible to Read and Write With Macular Degeneration?

man reading a newspaper 3393375Once you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions. The uncertainty as to whether you will be able to read, write, and recognize faces can be depressing. Before you let these concerns weigh you down, contact a low vision optometrist, such as at , dedicated to helping macular degeneration patients live independent, fulfilling lives.

The Importance of Vision in Daily Tasks

“To help a person do what he or she wants to do” is the central idea behind the work of every low vision optometrist. Our goal is to enable patients to carry out activities that are important to them. The ability to engage in daily tasks concerns patients with macular degeneration the most, as many routine activities, such as reading and writing, rely on central vision.

Reading With Macular Degeneration

Think about how often throughout the day you use your eyes to read labels, street signs, bills, or restaurant menus.

With the loss of central vision, reading can become a true challenge. The good news is that there are devices that can enable you to read again, even with macular degeneration.

Writing With Macular Degeneration

Your grandchildren are about to come for dinner, and you want to cook their favorite dish. First, you need to write the shopping list to buy the necessary groceries. And maybe you want to leave a note for your spouse on the fridge to let them know you went shopping.

With the help of low vision glasses provided by an IALVS optometrist, an eye doctor with advanced training in treating patients with vision loss, you can write shopping lists, sign checks, or fill in your favorite crossword puzzles.

Recognizing Faces With Macular Degeneration

Reading and writing are technical tasks. However, central vision loss due to macular degeneration can have an emotional impact as well. Being able to see the delighted smiles on your grandchildren’s faces when you serve them their favorite dish can bring tremendous joy.

IALVS optometrists understand the emotional impact of vision loss and will address your concerns with compassion. will work to maximize your vision every step of the way, so you can continue to enjoy looking into the eyes of your loved ones.

What Type of Low Vision Glasses Do You Need?

Different types of low vision glasses enable macular degeneration patients to accomplish the tasks mentioned above. These include telescopic, microscopic, and prismatic reading glasses.

Prismatic glasses and microscopic glasses are designed for reading and writing. Both types provide the wearer with clear vision at a close range. Thanks to these lenses, you can continue to engage in the activities you enjoy, such as play cards, knit sweaters, or build airplane models.

For face recognition, a low vision optometrist may recommend telescopic lenses. These help you clearly see things at a far distance — such as the face of a child walking towards you from the front gate.

Consult a Low Vision Optometrist

The three essential tasks for which vision is paramount can be helped with a variety of low vision aids and devices. Consult a low vision optometrist, such as at , who can enable you to engage in a variety of other tasks on your wishlist.

serves patients in Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , Buffalo, and throughout New York.

I Have Best Disease. Will I Be Able to Drive?

driving with best diseaseThis question reflects the primary concern of almost every patient with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy. The genetic disorder affects central vision, which is vital to reading road signs, seeing traffic lights, and detecting emergencies while driving.

“The thing to know about this disease is that it does not progress to severe vision loss”, says our IALVS colleague and low vision optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm. Almost all of his patients, he says, can be helped with bioptic telescope glasses. “They can be very efficient, safe, and effective for drivers and help keep their independence through most of their lives with this disease”.

There Are Good Chances for Driving With Best Disease

In most states, low vision optometrists can help you obtain your driver’s license. If you already have a license, but recently experienced a deterioration in your vision, we may be able to help you stay behind the wheel with the help of innovative low vision glasses, custom made to your prescription. Bioptic telescope lenses enable people to keep driving for most of their lives with Best disease.

If you have been told that you won’t be able to drive because your vision does not meet the legal requirements, you should consult a low vision optometrist near you, such as Dr. George Kornfeld. Best disease is a rare condition, and not every eye doctor can help guide you on the laws and devices or custom optics that allow you to drive again.

Driving With the Help of Bioptic Telescope Lenses

Bioptic telescope glasses help people with low vision drive and perform many other vital tasks. These low vision glasses combine your regular prescription lenses on the bottom with telescopic prescription lenses on top. The regular lenses are called the “carrier lens”. The second set of lenses are much smaller and provide high magnification, making an object appear larger and closer, so it is easier to see.

Driving while wearing bioptic telescopes is easy; almost anyone can get used to them. Most of the time, you will be looking through the carrier lenses. As you approach a traffic sign you will be able to read it through the telescopic lenses. All you need is to slightly tilt your head down and focus on the sign to read.

Is Driving With Vision Loss Allowed?

Most states permit driving with the assistance of advanced optics, such as bioptic telescopes. However, the regulations vary according to each state and province. A low vision optometrist can assist you in understanding the rules that pertain to you and help you through the process.

You will generally need to reach a certain level of visual acuity with or without glasses to obtain a driver’s license. The minimum vision requirement varies. In some states, bioptic glasses are mandatory from a specific level.

Check out the local driving laws and regulations here: https://www.ialvs.com/dmv-driving-laws/, or simply contact your nearest low vision optometrist at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York.

What Does a Low Vision Optometrist Have to Do With Driving?

Low vision optometrists are familiar with the visual requirements for obtaining a driver’s license. They also know which low vision aids can be used for driving and have the chance of achieving the desired visual acuity for you. Dr. George Kornfeld will examine your eyesight and can maximize your remaining vision.

We work with each patient individually to establish the tasks they wish to accomplish. The next step is to assess and determine which devices and optics can help them reach those goals. Many patients are able to continue driving after working with a low vision optometrist.

Are you concerned about driving or carrying out another activity you value? Contact IALVS optometrist, Dr. George Kornfeld, at Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York today for a consultation. Schedule a low vision exam to get your personal assessment and let us help you optimize your remaining vision.

Low Vision Optometry Of Western New York serves low vision patients from Rochester, Syracuse, Scranton , Buffalo, and throughout New York.