Low vision can result from loss of macular function, with loss of peripheral vision or from loss of hemi-fields of vision such as in cases with stroke. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) is the continuation of care after all other means for restoration of vision were used and failed. Modern LVR is a multidisciplinary endeavour responsible for providing assessment, prescribing devices, and conducting training sessions for individuals with low vision. Ontario recognizes the diverse needs of individuals requiring LVR interventions, covers LVR assessments and LVR training sessions, and provides financial subsidies for the purchase of low vision devices.
Key words: low vision rehabilitation, low vision, age-related macular degeneration, assistive devices, vision therapy.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in North America. This article reviews the clinical spectrum, risk factors, pathophysiology, and potential therapeutic options for this disease. Despite significant advances in the treatment of certain forms of AMD, there is currently no cure for this degenerative condition. The substantial personal, social, and economic burden of AMD requires that those who provide care to older adults have a general understanding of this cause of blindness. It is important for the ophthalmologist and primary care physician to address modifiable risk factors for the progression of AMD such as poor cardiovascular status and smoking, which may worsen visual loss. In addition, educating patients and their families regarding risk factors and potential treatment options may greatly benefit those affected by AMD.
Key words: blindness, geriatric, age-related macular degeneration, choroidal neovascularization, ranibizumab, bevacizumab.
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