Eye Issues For Every Age Recap

Vision is something we take for granted, but when we start to have trouble seeing it is easy to panic. This blog has covered a variety of eye issues for every age, from children through older adults. Here are a few articles from leading doctors and specialists that you may have missed and might be of interest.
Artistic eye 6
Bill Takeshita, OD, FAAO – Visual Aids and Techniques When Traveling

Michelle Moore, CHHC – The Best Nutrition for Older Adults

Arthur B. Epstein, OD, FAAO – Understanding and Treating Corneal Scratches and Abrasions

The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) – Low Vision Awareness
Maintaining Healthy Vision

Sandra Young, OD – GMO and the Nutritional Content of Food

S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO – Selecting Your Best Vision Correction Options

Suber S. Huang, MD, MBA – It’s All About ME – What to Know About Macular Edema

Jun Lin, MD, PhD and James Tsai, MD, MBA – The Optic Nerve And Its Visual Link To The Brain

Ronald N. Gaster, MD FACS – Do You Have a Pterygium?

Anthony B. Nesburn, MD, FACS – Three Generations of Saving Vision

Chantal Boisvert, OD, MD – Vision and Special Needs Children

Judith Delgado – Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

David L. Kading OD, FAAO and Charissa Young – Itchy Eyes? It Must Be Allergy Season

Lauren Hauptman – Traveling With Low Or No Vision  /  Must Love Dogs, Traveling with Guide Dogs  /  Coping With Retinitis Pigmentosa

Kate Steit – Living Well With Low Vision Online Courses

Bezalel Schendowich, OD – What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?

In addition here are few other topics you might find of interest, including some infographics and delicious recipes.

Pupils Respond to More Than Light

Watery, Red, Itchy Eyes

10 Tips for Healthy Eyes (infographic)

The Need For Medical Research Funding

Protective Eyewear for Home, Garden & Sports

7 Spring Fruits and Vegetables (with some great recipes)

6 Ways Women Can Stop Vision Loss

6 Signs of Eye Disease (infographic)

Do I Need Vision Insurance?

How to Help a Blind or Visually Impaired Person with Mobility

Your Comprehensive Eye Exam (infographic)

Famous People with Vision Loss – Part I

Famous People with Vision Loss – Part II

Development of Eyeglasses Timeline (infographic)

What eye topics do you want to learn about? Please let us know in the comments section below.


Susan DeRemerSusan DeRemer, CFRE
Vice President of Development
Discovery Eye Foundation

Coping With Retinitis Pigmentosa

Tribulations, Travels and Tennis Balls

Linda Becker stopped playing tennis at night because she couldn’t see the balls coming at her. “Coincidentally, I saw something about night blindness on TV, so I went to my optometrist,” Becker says. He confirmed she had night blindness and sent her for more testing. An ophthalmologist told her: “I’m sorry, but you have retinis pigmentosa, and you’ll be blind some day.”
Linda Becker - coping with retinitis pigmentosa
“As a young mother, I couldn’t wrap my head around that,” Becker says. So she entered a decade of denial until she started to sideswipe other cars while driving. “I drove into my development one day, and there was a thump over the hood of my car. I thought, ‘Oh my god, what did I do? Did I kill somebody?’ I pulled over, and a police officer who happened to be driving behind me came over to my window. I was devastated. I said, ‘What have I done?’ He told me a jogger who wasn’t paying attention had tripped over the hood of my car. But I knew if I could have seen better, I would have stopped. That was the day I put my car keys down.”

Coping with Retinitis Pigmentosa

Encouraged by her kids to get a guide dog, Becker called Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). She learned she needed orientation and mobility (O&M) skills, including knowing how to walk with a white cane, before she could be considered for a dog.

“I called the Braille Institute, and it was daunting, to say the least: Thinking about walking with a white cane, having people know I’m blind and feeling disabled. Going through that whole transition — I didn’t want to even face it,” she recalls. “But I went, and I took classes, until I knew it was time for me to have a guide dog. I’ve always been a dog person, and I’d rather use my dog as a mobility tool than a cane. Plus, I wanted the companionship.”

She successfully completed the GDB requirement of walking one mile to and from her home with the cane. She then completed two weeks of on-site training at GDB’s campus in Oregon, where she was paired with Lyla, a yellow English Lab.

Becker started teaching classes at the Braille Institute and helping others navigate their vision-loss transition. She teaches a 14-week sensory-awareness class. “It helps develop and educate your other senses when you start losing your sight,” she says. “It humbles me. I have no sight now. My transition of going to the Braille Institute, learning to use a white cane, then learning to have a guide dog, taught me a whole lot about myself and feeling very independent. I was able to speak about guide dogs and speak about blindness — and be a teacher.”

She became an outreach ambassador for the Braille Institute, facilitating low-vision support groups throughout Orange County, Calif. She also went to work for GDB as an alumni-outreach representative, putting together workshops and helping people learn about the “guide-dog lifestyle.”

Now 66 years old, Becker finds the most enjoyment in traveling. “Being with a guide dog and in the blindness community took me places,” she says. “I was asked to be a keynote speaker here or an ambassador there. I’d never done that type of thing before, and I’d never traveled much. I just kept hopping on airplanes with my guide dog and going to hotels and trying to figure things out. I ask questions and collect tips, so I can share with others how easy it can be to travel with or without usable sight. It is really exciting, and I’m really driven to go different places.”

Since Lyla’s retirement, Becker travels regularly with her guide dog, Anchorage, a yellow lab. “He gives me courage,” she says. The pair is currently planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Becker is no longer daunted by learning new skills, exploring new places or even flying tennis balls — Anchorage is quite happy to deal with those when he is off-duty.

For more on traveling with guide dogs, including Becker’s adventures with Lyla and Anchorage, read “Traveling Tails”.


LH1_RESCANLauren Hauptman
Lauren Hauptman INK

Low Vision Resources

What to do when “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing more that can be done. There is no cure for your eye condition.”

In your work as healthcare professionals and health educators, it’s likely you’ve encountered a significant number of adults and older adults who have been on the receiving end of this devastating news.

When an eye care provider says, “There’s nothing more that can be done,” what he or she likely means is, “There’s nothing more I can do for you surgically.” But instead of saying, “There’s nothing more that I can do,” the discouraging message delivered to the patient is, “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

Thus, in many cases, the discussion ends there. Patients will either exhaust their resources searching for an elusive cure or become resigned to a life that is restricted and defined by incurable vision loss.

When receiving a diagnosis of vision loss, many adults who have managed to overcome a host of obstacles in their lives may now believe they are facing an obstacle with no viable solution. A natural, and understandable, initial reaction is to focus instead on the devastating losses that are seen as an inevitable accompaniment to blindness and low vision such as:

  • Loss of independence: “How will I prepare meals, clean my home, or shop? Will I become a burden to my family and friends?” 
  • Loss of confidence and self-worth: “All my life I’ve been physically active and self-reliant. Has my life as an independent person come to an end?” 
  • Loss of privacy: “I won’t be able to handle my finances independently. Will I have to surrender control of my life to someone else?” 
  • Loss of employment: “I’ll have to quit my job. How will I earn a living?” 

It’s important to let your clients and patients know that there is indeed hope—and life—after vision loss. A wide range of vision rehabilitation services enable adults who are blind or have low vision to continue living independently. The term “vision rehabilitation” includes highly trained professionals and comprehensive services that can restore function after vision loss, just as physical therapy restores function after a stroke or other injury.

Patient working with a low vision therapist
Patient working with a low vision therapist

Vision rehabilitation professionals include:

Additional vision rehabilitation services can include:

  • Peer support and counseling: talking with peers, sharing common concerns and frustrations, and finding solutions to vision-related problems. 
  • Vocational rehabilitation: vocational evaluation and training, job training, job modification and restructuring, and job placement. 
  • Veterans’ services: vision rehabilitation and related support services for blinded veterans of all ages. 

There are many resources available to help your patients and clients locate vision rehabilitation services. For example, the VisionAware Directory of Services allows you to browse by state and type of service, including counseling resources, support groups, low vision services, independent living skills, and orientation and mobility. The VisionAware “Getting Started” Kit provides tip sheets on specialized services and products that can assist with everyday life after vision loss.

The National Eye Institute’s National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) also has low vision education resources. The video, Living with Low Vision: Stories of Hope and Independence, explains how, as a health professional, you can help your patients make the most of their remaining vision and improve their quality of life by referring them for vision rehabilitation services. Share it with your colleagues, too. You can find additional resources and ideas for promoting vision rehabilitation on the NEHEP Low Vision Program page.


Maureen Duffy, CVRTMaureen A. Duffy, CVRT
Social Media Specialist, visionaware.org
Associate Editor, Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness
Adjunct Faculty, Salus University/College of Education and Rehabilitation