NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES—The Braille Institute and Lighthouse Guild are both celebrating low vision awareness month in February with educational online seminars, a free personalized low vision consultation, and tips on coping with the low vision. Throughout February, the Braille Institute is offering free online seminars with optometrists discussing important topics—macular degeneration, nutrition and eye health, and clinical trials for low vision retinal diseases. Medical professionals from UCLA Health, Shiley Eye Institute UC San Diego, and Retina Consultants San Diego will be presenting. Braille Institute also provides free low vision consultations on the use of magnification, lighting and other devices to help individuals maximize their remaining vision.

"Those with low vision do not have to give up on activities they love, they just have to learn new ways to do them," said Katie Scheuring, low vision occupational therapist at Braille Institute. “We offer free low vision rehabilitation services to help a person maintain independence and perform daily tasks. Services include daily living skills classes, one-on-one technology training, audio books, and more.”

Braille Institute offers a full range of free low vision-focused resources and classes/workshops. Some low vision workshops will be presented in Spanish.

Lighthouse Guild is celebrating low vision awareness month by offering some practical tips for patients who are experiencing low vision. Among the tips offered by the organization are using contrast to distinguish items and avoid moving quickly from a dark room to a lighted area.

“The most important thing you can do for your eyes is to get a comprehensive eye exam,” said Dr. Andrea Zimmerman, low vision specialist at Lighthouse Guild. “The three main causes of low vision and blindness in the United States are glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic eye disease. Only a comprehensive eye exam can detect these diseases in their early stages and help preserve vision.”