Original Research

A review of rehabilitation of low vision patients

O. A. Oduntan
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 67, No 4 | a197 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v68i4.197 | © 2008 O. A. Oduntan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2008 | Published: 17 December 2008

About the author(s)

O. A. Oduntan,, South Africa

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It hasbeen estimated that in 2002, there were about 124 million people worldwide who had low vision1.  These people have best visual acuity (VA) ranging from worse than 6/18 but equal or betterthan 3/60 in the better eye after treatment and or standard refraction.  In terms of visual field (VF), they have VF loss of less than 20 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction2. Low vision may result from congenital or acquired diseases, trauma, uncorrected refractive error or other ocular disorders. Although such people may beamenable to medical or surgical interventions, they may be assisted to maximize their remaining vision by using optical, non-optical or electronic devices or combinations of these.  Illumination control or environmental modifications may also assist.  As a result of the low vision, the patient may have social, psychological, economic and other related problems which need to be addressed along withthe visual problems. For effective rehabilitation of the low vision patient therefore, a multidisciplinaryteam approach needs to be employed.  In this approach, professionals from a number of disciplinesare independently involved in the assessment and management of the patient.  The purpose of this review article is to highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to low vision rehabilitation, the various professionals and their roles that may be involved in the rehabilitation of the low vision patient.  This article will increase knowledge of rehabilitation of patients with low vision and may improve the services offered to such patients.


Low vision; Visual disability; Rehabilitation; Psychological problems; Handicap.


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