The College of Optometrists

Principles of assessing and managing patients with low vision

A160
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.67
A161
You should assess all patients according to their needs.
A162
You should follow local protocols for the assessment and management of patients with low vision. 
A163
You should ensure the patient has had a recent eye examination, which determines their refraction and ocular health, before performing a low vision assessment. 
A164
You should consider the patient’s needs for emotional support and social care.
A165
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. 
A166
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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