February Low Vision Awareness Month Puts Attention On Changes In Eyesight

February 04, 2019
Wichita, Kan. – Each February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by letting those we care about know that they are loved. February is also Low Vision Awareness Month – the perfect opportunity to confront and address the reality of vision loss with the ones who matter to us most.
 
Envision, a Wichita, Kan.-based not-for-profit organization with locations in 11 states, provides inspiration and opportunity to people who are blind or visually impaired so they can lead fulfilled lives. During Low Vision Awareness Month, Envision is calling on individuals to learn the signs and symptoms of low vision, and more importantly, the value of low vision rehabilitation.
 
“The number of seniors is growing, and so is the population of youth and adults with some form of visual impairment,” said Heather Hogan, senior vice president of Foundation & Mission Services at Envision. “Our goal throughout February is to ensure that as many people as possible learn about low vision rehabilitation and other resources that can help people with low vision maintain their independence, live at home longer and continue to do the things they love.”
 
Low vision is a term used to describe loss of eyesight that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts or medical treatment/surgery. Low vision makes it difficult to accomplish daily tasks. Low vision rehabilitation combines adaptive technology, orientation and mobility training, occupational and physical therapy and more to maximize an individual’s remaining vision and restore functional ability.
 
Adults who experience vision loss may be reluctant to admit it or not fully understand the changes themselves, but there are signs that include: 
 
  • Being unsure of movements in low light environments;
  • Hesitation to go up or down stairs;
  • Bumping into things more often;
  • Shying away from going outside the home;
  • No longer interested in previous passions, such as reading, cooking or sewing;
  • Less motivated about day-to-day activities.
 
The issues may be subtle at first, but collectively they may signal a need to visit an optometrist and a discussion about low vision rehabilitation. In fact, regular eye exams are key regardless of whether vision loss is suspected. Early detection of eye diseases – cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration – can help minimize long-term effects.
 
Envision is one of many agencies throughout the country that offers low vision rehabilitation. Through its network of partners, Envision can connect anyone nationwide with services in his or her area.
 
Individuals with questions about low vision rehabilitation can learn more at www.envisionus.com or by contacting Envision by phone at (316) 440-1600 or email info@envisionus.com.
 
About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.

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