June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
How Many Patients in a Retinal Practice Have Low Vision?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donald Calvin Fletcher
    Ophthalmology, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California, United States
    Low Vision Rehab, Envision, Wichita, Kansas, United States
  • Taylor Donald Fletcher
    National Ophthalmic Research Institute, Fort Myers, Florida, United States
  • Laura Walker
    Low Vision Rehab, Envision, Wichita, Kansas, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Donald Fletcher, None; Taylor Fletcher, None; Laura Walker, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 4666. doi:
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      Donald Calvin Fletcher, Taylor Donald Fletcher, Laura Walker; How Many Patients in a Retinal Practice Have Low Vision?
      . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4666.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To assess what proportion of patients being seen in a retinal practice could possibly benefit from referral to a low vision rehabilitation clinic based on visual acuity alone.

Methods : The records of 1017 consecutive unique patients seen over a 2 month period in a Florida retinal practice were reviewed. Patients best corrected visual acuity was recorded for each eye. Patients with visual acuity worse than 20/60 in each eye (ICD 9 category Low Vision) were noted and diagnosis recorded.

Results : Patient age median (range) was 75 (12 – 103) years with 55% female. Best eye corrected visual acuity for all patients median (range) was 20/30 (20/12 to HM). 18% were classified as low vision based on acuity, best eye median (range) 20/80 (20/70 to HM). Of these patients 51% had exudative AMD, 16% had atrophic AMD, 14% had diabetic retinopathy and 19% had some other diagnosis.

Conclusions : A very significant proportion of patients seen in a retinal practice are potential candidates for referral for low vision services. The majority of these patients with decreased acuity had AMD or diabetic retinopathy. These patients are likely to have significant reading problems which could be helped with low vision rehabilitation. This supports the assertion that retinal practices may be a good location to offer low vision rehabilitation services where these patients are already comfortable with receiving medical care.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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