Photo of doctor performing low vision optometric exam

Low Vision Optometric Exam

How we help individuals with “low vision”

“Low Vision” refers to individuals who are referred by their eye care professionals as no longer treatable with medical approaches, glasses, prescriptive eyewear, etc. Instead, you may need specialized services including low vision aids, adaptation and training to help you use the vision you do have! In other words, when medical approaches and/or prescriptive eyewear alone are no longer able to help you obtain your goals, we are the next step to help you become more independent.

Do you have any of these difficulties? If so, we can help!

  • Reading books, mail or small print (such as labels and prescriptions)
  • Recognizing faces
  • Glare or low-lighting situations
  • Preparing meals
  • Traveling safely inside or outside the home
  • Reading street signs
  • Reading a computer monitor or using a keyboard
  • Writing tasks letters, checks, or lists
  • With hobbies such as card playing, woodworking, or various arts and crafts activities

Conditions that can be helped with our services

It is best to Contact Us for an evaluation if you are unsure of whether we can help or not. We work with individuals with a wide variety of eye conditions including, but not limited to:
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Vision issues from stroke/brain injury
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Optic Atrophy
  • Nystagmus
  • Albinism

Who conducts the low vision evaluation?

An optometrist with specialized training in low vision will evaluate many aspects of your vision to develop a comprehensive plan in order to help you adapt to your vision loss. An initial low vision evaluation generally lasts about two hours. Additional evaluations may be necessary depending on your condition and functional goals

What is included in a low vision evaluation

A low vision examination focuses on how you are functioning with your vision and how to improve your ability to complete daily tasks and activities. The optometrist uses specialized tests which provide more specific information regarding your vision to determine which types of low vision devices or training may be beneficial for you.

The optometrist will:

  • Ask about the difficulties you are experiencing related to your vision and work with you to develop activity-specific goals to focus on during the evaluation
  • Answer your questions about the disease causing your vision loss and its impact on your daily life
  • Evaluate if your vision can be improved with glasses
  • Gain a comprehensive picture of how your vision affects your daily life through various tests of functional vision
  • Evaluate and prescribe low vision devices such as specialized glasses, telescopes, and magnifiers
  • Provide information about other resources at our center as well as locally and nationally
  • Refer to other professionals such as an occupational therapist to further address functional difficulties if needed

How a low vision examination differs from an examination with a optometrist or ophthalmologist

Unlike an examination with your primary optometrist or ophthalmologist, a low vision examination is not a medical examination to evaluate your eye health. It is important that you continue to see your primary eye doctor/ophthalmologist to monitor your condition and evaluate for any other eye diseases which could cause further vision loss. If you notice any new changes in your vision, consult your primary eye doctor right away.
Contact our Low Vision Clinic

Contact Our Low Vision Services

  • Contact our Low Vision Services staff to learn more about how they can help.
  • Schedule an appointment at our Low Vision Services, which includes an assessment.
  • You will be scheduled at one of our convenient locations. 
San Diego: 5922 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115
Vista: 1385 Bonair Road, Vista, CA  92084
Low Vision Services:  619-255-9741


Visit our store to purchase assistive technology products

Contact Our Blind & Visually Impaired Products Store

  • Call for information about Assistive Technology products.
  • Our store is conveniently stocked with Assistive Technology products and low-vision aids.
  • Our expert staff can provide you telephone support.
Call our store:  619-583-1542 X161
Email our store:
Visit our store:  Make Appointment