Low Vision Center

The Low Vision Center at Stony Point is central Virginia's only full-time private low vision rehabilitation center. Since 1998 we have been helping the vision impaired in Richmond resume their daily living activities, regain their independence, and improve their quality of life.

At the Low Vision Center at Stony Point we know that your vision is important to you and that losing your vision may be devastating. We will work with you to regain the ability to do your daily activities in a caring and compassionate environment.

What is Low Vision

If you have Low Vision then you have a vision impairment that is not correctable by surgery, laser, or other medical intervention. With many eye conditions your vision impairment is permanent. Low Vision Rehabilitation is the process of maximizing your vision using optical and non-optical aids to improve your independence and quality of life in spite of vision loss. We will also teach you techniques to better use your remaining vision to improve your ability to use the prescribed low vision aids.

What Low Vision is NOT

Low Vision Rehabilitation is not a cure for your eye condition. We do not have a way to make your eye disease (macular degeneration, glaucoma, etc) go away. We will work with you to maximize your vision using optical aids (glasses, magnifiers, etc.) to help you improve your independence and quality of life.

When and How to Make an Appointment

You should have a Low Vision Rehabilitation visit when you are having functional vision complaints: difficulty reading, writing, driving, seeing a computer or cooking. You do not need to be legally blind. We have seen patients with 20/20 (but still having functional complaints) as well as totally blind individuals. There is no vision limit to what vision can be evaluated in our Center. In general, the earlier you are seen the better you do with rehabilitation.

You may also call us directly at 804-545-9435 to schedule an appointment or you may be referred to us by your primary care eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist).

Prior to your visit it is helpful for our doctor to have your previous eye records from your primary eye doctor. It would be our pleasure to contact your primary eye doctor to obtain those records. Simply let us know.

If your medical insurance requires a referral to see a specialist, then you will need to get a referral from your primary care provider to be seen by us. Simply call your primary care provider (not your primary eye doctor) for the referral.

FAQ

How do I make an appointment? There are several ways to make an appointment. If you are not referred to us (by your eye doctor, the Veterans Administration Medical Center or the Department for the Blind & Vision Impaired) you may simply call to schedule your own appointment. Call 804-545-9435 to set an appointment for Richmond or our satellite clinic in Williamsburg.

What do I bring to my appointment? Any glasses, magnifiers, or any magnifying device that you use (whether it works well for you or not). Also, you will need to bring your health insurance cards and a list of your medications.

Will my insurance cover the cost of my visit? Most insurance companies, including Medicare, pay their usual and customary reimbursements for your eye examination with our Low Vision Optometrist, and evaluation and management with our Occupational Therapist if you are visually impaired. **Referrals are not needed for most insurance companies (including Medicare) however HMO plans (i.e., Anthem HealthKeepers) require referrals prior to your appointment.

Will my insurance pay for any devices that I need to help my vision? Most insurance companies, including Medicare, do not pay for your devices�even if you are legally blind. The sad reality is that insurance companies pay for crutches or a cane if you cannot walk but they don't pay for magnifying devices if you cannot see. Depending on your history and financial capability, we may work with the HH McGuire Veteran's Medical Center, local Lions Clubs, and the state-run Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired agency for appropriate devices.

I am having difficulty doing my job, can you help? Yes. Did you know that the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) provide you safeguards even if you are visually impaired. Consult the Department of Justice (DOJ) for specific information regarding ADA (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm). This is not a legal claim and must be verified for your individual circumstances, your legal counsel and the DOJ however, in general, the ADA allows provisions for employers to make reasonable accommodations to meet your vision needs relative to your work or job. This may include providing you with necessary magnifiers, software, or other devices that allow you to perform your job tasks. We can help explain the process and determine what equipment would be most necessary for you at work.

What kind of eye examination can I expect? We perform an eye exam that is very function oriented. Many aspects of our exam are very similar to the exam your primary eye doctor performs however, we use different eye charts to better determine your level of function.

What kind of eye problems can you help? Most of our patients have age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, or glaucoma. However, we see many patients that have suffered from stroke, rod-cone dystrophy, aniridia, achromatopsia, optic atrophy, cornea disease and many other eye diseases.

What age of patients do you help? We help patients of all ages, from school-aged to 100 years+. Regardless of your age or eye condition, we will evaluate you to determine what aids will be helpful to your quality of life.

How many visits will I need? Your initial visit is usually with our optometrist and occupational therapist. Follow up visits will be scheduled as needed. Depending on your location and needs, a home visit may be done after your initial visit to help you adapt to vision loss in your home.