Salem, VA, February, 2012 – Vision loss from age related conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration, is a common problem for many seniors.  According to the American Foundation for the Blind, 15 percent of people over the age of 65 have vision loss that is severe enough to impact their ability to perform daily activities.

“We teach people ways to compensate for that loss of vision,” said Keith Gentry, Occupational Therapist, LewisGale Rehab Department.  “Our goal is to help those with vision problems due to neurologic or age related changes to progress to the point where they can function as independently and safely as possible.”

The Neuro and Low Vision Therapy program at LewisGale Medical Center helps those who have vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contacts, surgery or other medical treatment. This vision loss can also be the result of a macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, stroke, brain injury, or other medical conditions. Therapists work with the client to evaluate the impact that vision loss has had on their daily routines and activities and develop an individualized treatment plan to help them maximize the use of their remaining vision.

The program recently expanded its services to include several new evaluation tools and new community services including home assessments.

“We recently added the light meter which helps us assess the ideal amount of light the patient needs to function during different activities such as reading,” said Gentry. “These new tests help us to better define their functional limitations so they can be more accurately treated.”

Gentry  has more than 14 years of experience treating patients with neuro and low vision and is nationally certified in the specialty.

“With the baby boomer generation there is a growing need for our service,” he said. “Many of our patients have been able to significantly improve their level of independence after completing our program, and that’s very rewarding.”

For more information about the Neuro and Low Vision Therapy program, call 540-772-3770.