Low Vision Clinic
Low vision occurs when vision cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. It is often the result of eye disease (i.e., macular degeneration), or systemic disease (diabetes), or genetic conditions (albinism).
The Low Vision Clinic assists those with low vision to make better use of their remaining vision through optical and electronic devices, and other adaptive techniques.
How is a low vision evaluation different from a comprehensive eye exam?
Our low vision evaluation is divided into three parts.
The first part is spending time with you, learning about how changes in your vision have impacted your daily activities. Many of our patients describe difficulty with reading, walking in unfamiliar areas, cooking, and cleaning.
In the second part of the evaluation, we will take measurements of your vision, which are different from the tests done during a primary care eye exam.
The last part of the exam involves the evaluation of devices and tools intended to make life easier for you. A low vision evaluation is often a starting point for many low vision services and resources available to our patients.
Low vision evaluation includes:
We have tests that can measure visual acuity more accurately than “counting fingers” and “hand motion,” and can quantify profoundly reduced vision up to 20/64,000!
Many low vision patients have reduced ability to detect contrast. Contrast sensitivity is one of the main visual functions that allows us to more easily navigate our world.
We will evaluate your vision under low lighting conditions to better understand the importance of lighting and high contrast to your day-to-day functioning.
We can functionally assess your peripheral visual fields with both automated and manual perimetry, often a requirement for further services.
Measurement of central visual loss, and investigating the role it plays in reading fluency.
Using techniques developed specifically for low vision patients, we identify refractive errors of the eye and determine options for correction.
We will conduct a tint assessment with the goal of reducing glare.
Low Vision Facts
Low vision device evaluation includes strong reading spectacles, optical and video magnifiers, and telescopes. We offer rehabilitation counseling and provide services through many community agencies that assist those with low vision.
National Institutes of Health project that the estimated number of people with low vision will triple by 2050.
Low Vision Clinic
UC Berkeley School of Optometry
200 Minor Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1155 Market Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Marlena Chu, OD, FAAO
Associate Clinical Professor