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Overview

What to Expect from Low Vision Services

At Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB), you may receive an eye exam from a doctor certified in New York State as a low vision specialist. You will be asked about your eye care history and how your sight affects your ability to accomplish everyday tasks like shopping, reading large print, writing checks, walking indoors and out, and more.

Then we will attempt to prescribe visual aids in an effort to help you to see a little bit better — and sometimes a little can mean a lot. It’s like physical therapy for sight, working with what you have to make small improvements that can have a positive impact on your quality of life. 

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Supporting Your Total Visual Health

Our doctors are not meant to replace your primary eye care provider; they’re here to help you to explore an area of care that is not surgical or medicine based: the use of optical aids and adaptive techniques to utilize remaining vision in an optimal manner. 

HKSB Low Vision Services

Visual Aids

Our low vision optometrists will assess your remaining vision and work with you to maximize your eyesight through the use of visual aids.

Lens-Based Optical Aids

  • Lighted magnifiers, both handheld and stand magnifiers of varied powers
  • Pocket-sized telescopes for distance spotting
  • Conventional glasses and sunglasses
  • Near-vision, prism-based spectacles
  • Glare-control lenses
  • Frame-mounted near-vision aids similar to what a dentist might use
  • Frame-mounted onto lens telescopes or all-in-one telescopic frame-based distance vision telescopic multi-lens focusable devices

Electronic Visual Aids

  • Frame-mounted onto lens telescopes or all in one telescopic frame-based distance
  • Desktop video magnifiers (closed-circuit, large monitor style)
  • Handheld video magnifiers (portable with screen sizes up to 7 inches)

Additional Support

Other Ways to Maximize Vision 

Sometimes it’s more about techniques than technology. Our low vision doctors will give you guidance on the best ways to use your sight and protect your remaining vision. 

Modifications

Simple things like changing the lighting in your home, using contrasting background colors or taking steps to minimize glare might make a real difference for you. 

Education

The more you understand how and why your vision is changing the better prepared you will be to make modifications that will enable you to use your remaining sight to your best advantage. 

About HKSB

A Tradition of Excellence 

Building on a legacy of service that dates back to 1893, HKSB was the first organization of its kind to offer an in-house low vision eye service. Since the launch of the low vision program in 1953, thousands of people have benefited from this service. 

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