Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Making the most of the vision you have

Dr. Wilkinson and Low Vision Patient

A 2012 report co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health estimates that 2.9 million Americans, and about 135 million people worldwide, are living with low vision. The number is projected to increase 72 percent by 2030 when the last of the baby boomers turn 65. Most people with low vision are 65 years old or older. Age-related macular degeneration accounts for almost 45 percent of all cases of low vision.*
 
Information about Low Vision can be found at the National Eye Institute (NEI) web site where a patient of University of Iowa Low Vision Specialist, Dr. Mark Wilkinson is one of the featured videos - www.nei.nih.gov/lowvision/. These videos highlight individuals who have learned to make the most of their remaining vision and maintain their independence. "A vision rehabilitation plan helps people reach their true visual potential when nothing more can be done from a medical or surgical standpoint," said Mark Wilkinson, OD, who is also a NEI National Eye Health Education Program planning committee member.
 
"Vision rehabilitation can make a world of difference to a person adjusting to vision loss and should be considered part of the continuum of care. I urge health professionals to help their patients with low vision seek vision rehabilitation services." People of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from vision rehabilitation services.
 
*These statistics and additional information about vision problems in the U.S. at http://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata .