Assessing patients with low vision
- If you do not have sufficient expertise to assess a patient with low vision you should refer the patient to someone who has. This may be an optometrist or a dispensing optician based in a low vision service, or the local social services department.
- You may need to assess the patient's:
- needs. Some patients may have a personal care plan or low vision passport that would assist in this assessment
- visual acuity, including use of distance and near logMAR charts. If these are not available you may be able to use conventional charts to achieve meaningful results
- contrast sensitivity
- glare function
- central visual function using, for example, Amsler charts and appropriate colour vision tests
- visual field. You should:
- repeat field assessments, where necessary and possible, to obtain a meaningful result, and
- be aware of the limitations of static screening equipment particularly in cases of severe sight loss. If you do not have access to a conventional kinetic test, such as Goldmann, you should use confrontation type tests and Amsler charts for central vision to give practical advice to the patient
- binocular and accommodative status, where appropriate, for example in phakic children with low vision.
- When you have completed the appropriate assessments you should:
- advise the patient of your findings and provide these in an accessible format.68 This may include large print, MP3, braille, or an easy read format
- pass on relevant information to the low vision team or other appropriate parties, with an explanation of the results.
See section on Consent.
68 Equality Act 2010 [accessed 9 Nov 2017]