Phillips Eye Institute
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Low Vision Services
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Services provided enable people living with low vision to make the best of their remaining eyesight. People may have low vision due to diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. Read Chuck Schuler's story to learn how Low Vision Services have helped him.
Our frequently asked questions can help you understand the process for addressing low vision issues.
How can I get a low vision evaluation?
For an evaluation with a low vision specialist, Phillips Eye Institute needs a letter of referral from an eye care provider that includes patient name, date of birth, insurance information and pre-authorization, if required. The letter should also include date of last exam, visual acuity and diagnosis. Referral forms can be requested by calling 612-775-8866.
What happens at the evaluation?
Patients will see the Low Vision optometrist for an evaluation. They will also be introduced to devices that will help them with their activities of daily living. If needed patients can also be referred to the Minnesota State Services for the Blind and/or Vision Loss Resources.
Does insurance cover the costs of services at the Low Vision Center?
Medicare and most insurance plans cover the evaluation and follow-up visits, but we recommend you check with your plan to be sure. Typically, devices are not covered by insurance. You will be responsible for paying all costs that are not covered by your insurance plan.
Where can I purchase the devices recommended by the eye care providers?
The Minnesota Low Vision Store is conveniently located in the Low Vision Center at Phillips Eye Institute. Devices such as magnifiers, telescopes and video magnifiers are available.
Source: Phillips Eye Institute
Reviewed by: Emmett Carpel, MD
First Published: 05/10/2010
Last Reviewed: 05/10/2010
Chuck Schuler, 78, seeing more since his visit
Tuesday - Thursday
Not only is Chuck Schuler, 78, seeing more since his visit to the Low Vision Center at Phillips Eye Institute – he is also smiling more.
After macular degeneration caused permanent vision loss in both eyes, Schuler’s ophthalmologist referred him to the Low Vision Center.
A low vision specialist evaluated Schuler. Then he saw an occupational therapist with skills in low vision therapy. She helped Schuler learn about devices that help address vision deficits.
Schuler was able to try several devices at home before deciding what to purchase. Now he uses a reading machine with a 22-inch screen to read books, magazines and the newspaper. He also uses a low vision telescope – a special lens attached to a pair of glasses -- to watch television.
“Every one there was so helpful,” said Schuler. “I can function better, I smile more, and it makes life closer to what it was before my vision declined,” he said.
For more information, call the Low Vision Center at 612-775-8866.