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Treatments & Services

Low Vision

New Patients

If this will be your first visit to Emory Eye Center, please read the following document (#1) and download and print the Low Vision New Patient Questionnaire (#2) to complete and bring with you to your first appointment. Notice: Due to patient confidentiality laws, we cannot accept the questionnaire electronically.

Hope for Patients with Low Vision

Low vision can hamper even the most basic of daily activities—reading the newspaper, playing the piano, writing a check, preparing meals, or even knitting a sweater. The Emory Eye Center’s Low Vision Clinic offers special help for individuals with reduced vision that neither surgery, medical treatment nor the best standard optical remedies can correct. The clinic has helped children with hereditary conditions, individuals who want to remain in the workplace, and older adults who want to maintain independent lives.

For patients with eyesight as poor as 20/80, eyeglasses or contact lenses are sometimes not enough. Our optometrists are evaluating a number of low vision devices that help patients, many of whom are legally blind, see to drive a car, read a newspaper or recognize faces. Some of the devices offered include special magnifiers, high-powered lenses, virtual reality systems, and other optical devices. Our highly trained professionals, keeping in mind the budget and lifestyle of the patient, are committed to helping each patient, meet his/her goals for improved vision.

The Low Vision Clinic is one of a few clinical sites in the U.S. developing the most advanced vision-assisting devices available on the market. The clinic helps people of any age who are visually impaired and have only partial sight due to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, detached retina, or stroke.

What’s New in Low Vision?

Emory optometrists are investigating a number of new technologies and devices, including these popular systems available only at a few centers in the United States:

1. Implantable miniature telescope

Emory Eye Center was the first center in Georgia to offer a new technology proven to help the vision of some patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The device was FDA approved in July 2010; Emory participated in the clinical trials that helped gain FDA approval. End-stage AMD can cause a loss of central vision, which is not helped by corrective lenses, pharmacotherapy or surgery.

Implantation in one eye is followed by rehabilitation training to learn how to effectively use the device. Rigorous screening is required to ensure good candidacy for the implant. Interested patients may contact VisionCare ™ at the number below for complete information.

As with any surgery, results may vary, and there may be risks. To better determine if you are a candidate for this surgery, call VisionCare’s toll-free number at:

1-877-99-SIGHT (1-877-997-4448)

2. Age-related macular degeneration and cortical reorganization

Evidence suggests that the brain can be trained to reorganize itself faster and more efficiently to develop a new preferred retinal viewing area. Techniques for training are being studied and implemented.

3. Bioptic telescope lenses

Light and portable; fits onto a standard pair of glasses. Works like a self-focusing camera, only more precisely—magnifying distant images to four times normal size, close-range objects to five times normal size.

4. Digital viewing system

A virtual reality system, portable and self-focusing; magnifies images up to 30 times normal size. Provides distance and close-up vision in one system. Worn like a virtual reality helmet for viewing magnified images on a small screen in front of each eye; or placed into a reading stand over a book or newspaper for viewing magnified images on a standard TV screen.

5. Electronic magnifier systems

Advanced technology has allowed the development of many new electronic portable devices to increase vision both at distance and for reading. These devices have optically superior quality for crisp image viewing.