The College of Optometrists

Assessing patients with low vision

A167
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.
A168
You may need to assess the patient's:  
  1. needs. Some patients may have a personal care plan or low vision passport that would assist in this assessment
  2. 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
  3. contrast sensitivity
  4. glare function
  5. central visual function using, for example, Amsler charts and appropriate colour vision tests
  6. 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
  7. binocular and accommodative status, where appropriate, for example in phakic children with low vision.
A169
When you have completed the appropriate assessments you should: 
  1. 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
  2. pass on relevant information to the low vision team or other appropriate parties, with an explanation of the results.

See section on Consent.

References

68 Equality Act 2010 [accessed 9 Nov 2017]

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