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Optical / Low Vision

low visionThe optical department at the Eye Clinic Surgicenter consists of a highly trained and dedicated staff up-to-date on current technology for your frames, lenses and contacts. We’re here to help you achieve your best corrected vision — and with the best optical products and we can help you achieve the right look at the right price.

Our low vision technician, Suzanne Erpenbach COT, has been working with low vision patients for the past ten years while also establishing the first low vision support groups in this area. We work hand in hand with board members of Low Vision Montana to organize a mobile low vision unit that will bring low vision equipment and resources to rural Montana and beyond.

Together, we work with other community resources to help educate the area about all of the resources available to those with vision impairment. We are committed to insuring that low vision patients in our area receive the best possible assistance to retain their quality of life.

Common Types of Low Vision

  • Loss of Central Vision – The loss of central vision creates a blur or blindspot, but side (peripheral) vision remains intact. This makes it difficult to read, recognize faces, and distinguish most details in the distance. Mobility, however, is usually unaffected because side vision remains intact.
  • Loss of Peripheral (Side) Vision – Loss of peripheral vision is typified by an inability to distinguish anything to one side or both sides, or anything directly above and/or below eye level. Central vision remains, however, making it possible to see directly ahead. Typically, loss of peripheral vision may affect mobility and if severe, can slow reading speed as a result of seeing only a few words at a time. This is sometimes referred to as “tunnel vision.”
  • Blurred Vision – Blurred vision causes both near and far to appear to be out of focus, even with the best conventional spectacle correction possible.
  • Generalized Haze – Generalized haze causes the sensation of a film or glare that may extend over the entire viewing field.
  • Extreme Light Sensitivity – Extreme light sensitivity exists when standard levels of illumination overwhelm the visual system, producing a washed out image and/or glare disability. People with extreme light sensitivity may actually suffer pain or discomfort from relatively normal levels of illumination.
  • Night Blindness – Night blindness results in inability to see outside at night under starlight or moonlight, or in dimly lighted interior areas such as movie theaters or restaurants.

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