The College of Optometrists

Principles of assessing and managing patients with low vision

A105
Patients need not be registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired to benefit from low vision services. You should encourage patients to access low vision services as soon as they feel they need them, rather than waiting for significant visual loss, as this can lead to better outcomes.33
A106
You should assess all patients according to their needs.
A107
You should follow local protocols for the assessment and management of patients with low vision. 
A108
You should ensure the patient has had a recent eye examination, which determines their refraction and ocular health, before performing a low vision assessment. 
A109
You should consider the patient’s need for emotional support and social care.
A110
You should understand the multidisciplinary nature of low vision assessment and management and give patients the contact details of other members of the low vision multidisciplinary team or other relevant parties, as appropriate. 
A111
Low vision assessment is rarely a one-off process and you should encourage patients to return for follow-up assessments at appropriate intervals. This is in addition to any other regular optometric or ophthalmological care.   

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