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Low Vision Assessment Clinics

If you are being seen in the Eye Clinic for treatment or monitoring, you can ask your doctor for a Low Visual Aid appointment.

If you are not currently attending the hospital for an eye condition, but have a diagnosed visual impairment and are not seeing well, even with a correct, up-to-date prescription, you can ask your GP or optometrist to refer you to the Low Visual Aid Clinic.

If you are having difficulty with everyday tasks such as reading, writing, watching television or crossing the road due to your eyesight, the Low Visual Aid Clinic can offer you visual aids and advice.

What to expect at your appointment
To determine the best advice and optical aids to give you, the optometrist will take a  detailed case history where you will be asked about current and previous eye conditions, your living conditions including the type of lighting you have around your home and whether you have any help from family or friends, how you manage with household tasks such as cooking and cleaning and whether you have any hobbies or interests.

Your distance and near vision will be assessed. Your current spectacles may be checked and new ones will be prescribed if they help. Please bring all your spectacles with you to this appointment.
Often when damage is to the retina, such as in macular degeneration or glaucoma, changing your spectacle prescription is unlikely to improve your vision.

Optical aids you may be given
Optical aids (with the exception of electronic aids) are loaned free of charge. Aids loaned include non-illuminated and illuminated magnifiers for close work, and telescopes and binoculars for intermediate and long distances. Non-optical aids you may be offered to improve your writing include shields and filters to reduce glare and light sensitivity.

Lighting, contrast, talking books and newspapers, large print books and newspaper with television guides can be discussed with the optometrist and the Eye Clinic liaison officer. Information about local charities and services are also available, and some are listed below.

  • For further information on how to get an appointment, please call the Optometry Clinic office on 01473 703232.
  • Ipswich Blind Centre. Open Monday- Friday, 9am – 1pm. Tel: 01473 219712.
  • Suffolk Sensory Team (Sensing Change) Tel: 01473 403796.
  • East Suffolk Association for the Blind Tel: 01473611011.

Information on national associations for the visually impaired is also available in the Eye Clinic.

CVI registration
Certificates of Visual Impairment (CVI) can only be certified by a consultant ophthalmologist. There are two categories of registration: severely sight impaired (blind) and sight impaired (partially sighted).

Severely sight impaired – The majority of people registered are not totally blind. To qualify your vision must be below a certain level and/or your field of vision must be severely restricted.
Sight impaired – Reduced vision and/or visual field loss.

If you are attending the hospital Eye Department you can ask your doctor if you are eligible for registration. If you are not currently under the care of an ophthalmologist, you can get advice on eligibility and how to get registered from your optometrist or GP.