HEALTHBEAT 4: Low vision satellite clinic helps patients see the - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEALTHBEAT 4: Low vision satellite clinic helps patients see the smallest of print


According to the National Institute of Health nearly 3.2 million Americans suffer from what is known as "low vision." 

There's no cure for it, but a new clinic in Wadzinski Eye Clinic, 5855 Sunnybrook Drive in Sioux City, that is helping patients continue to live their lives as normal as possible. 

Low vision is defined as vision loss that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, medical or surgical treatments.

he most common causes of low vision are diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration 

"So a person is left with permanent vision loss, but they have enough vision that they can use to do day-to-day things but it's difficult with that vision loss," said Dr. John Shepherd, Director of Weigel Williamson Center.

Low vision rehabilitation is done to help individuals learn how to use tools and training activities to go about activities in which they struggle. 

"The number one reason people see us is reading and usually if they have macular degeneration there's vision they can use and learn to use better and can go about reading again," said Dr. Shepherd. 

Darlene Britton is one of those patients.    

She has suffered from macular degeneration for decades but just last year started to use tools -- like this Closed Circuit Television or CCTV -- to help with her favorite activities.

"I've always been a reader and now I can read, books, recipe books, the paper -- it's really a blessing," said Darlene Britton, patient. 

Britton uses other high powered magnifiers, reading glasses and talking clocks to help with her low vision. 

She hopes others are aware and will take advantage of all these vision tools.

"I certainly wasn't until I went to Omaha [Nebraska] to an eye specialist and he is the one that told me they had so many things," said Britton, "Cause our eyes are so special."

And now patients can use those tools and find a solution in the smallest of print. 

To find more information about the low vision satellite clinic in Sioux City call 402-559-2463 or click here. 

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