Q: I have a 9-year-old daughter who has a congenital macular scar that causes her to have central blindness in both eyes. Fortunately, she can use her peripheral vision to accomplish tasks and has enough vision to be successful at school without Braille instruction. Currently, she can read fourth grade materials without any magnification or large print, although we think she would benefit from having large print materials as often as possible. Is there any advanced technology that can help get her central vision back?
A: There are a variety of magnifying devices, electronic and video magnification technology, and vision rehabilitation services that your daughter can utilize to make reading standard print materials much easier. I highly recommend your daughter have a low vision examination by a low vision specialist in order to discuss these devices, technology, and services in further detail to determine which is most appropriate. Many low vision specialists are located at schools and colleges of optometry as well as vision rehabilitation agencies. She will also need to be followed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist on a regular basis to monitor the congenital macular scar. – Linda Pang, O.D. at Lighthouse International
Q: I’ve been diagnosed with Myopic Degenerative Disease. Is there a cure? I am progressively losing my sight. What can be done?
A: Degenerative myopia causes the thinning of the retina and the underlying tissue. It is very important to be examined regularly by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to monitor the condition. Because of the extensive changes that occur to the retina and the surrounding structures, patients with degenerative myopia are more susceptible to developing glaucoma, retinal holes or tears, retinal detachments, and blood vessel growth underneath the macula.
In addition to being examined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, patients with degenerative myopia benefit from a low vision examination by a low vision specialist. The low vision specialist will determine whether you will benefit from various optical devices, electronic/video magnification technology, and vision rehabilitation services. Optical devices, technology, and vision rehabilitation services will allow you to use your remaining vision efficiently to perform activities of daily living in order to remain active and self-sufficient. -- Linda Pang, O.D. at Lighthouse International
Q: I’ve had a white light streak in the upper right quadrant of my eye for the past 24 hours. It happens when I blink and gradually fades when my eyes are closed. What is the cause of this?
A: If you ever experience light streaks, flashes of light, thousands of floaters, shadows or a curtain in your vision, or any other unusual symptoms, you need to have an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist immediately. -- Linda Pang, O.D. at Lighthouse International