Independence Low Vision proudly offers the highest quality assistive technology products and personal services to the blind and visually impaired throughout Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Hawaii. We focus on enhanced customer service and product expertise. Our greatest assets have always been our customers. We value your business and the trust that our visually impaired community has given us throughout the years.
We offer high-quality products from the complete Vispero line, which includes Optelec, Freedom Scientific, and Enhanced Vision. We also sell leading technology from Orcam, Nueyes, Magnifying America, and LVI.
We understand the challenges experienced when one is diagnosed with low vision. We have low vision solutions to help with vision loss stemming from macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, or diabetic retinopathy. Our low vision aids have helped thousands of people regain their visual independence by providing the ability to read, write, and see. We proudly offer the most reliable and diverse line of low vision aids available on the market today.
As we continue to grow and provide for our community, we are proud to announce that we help those who have served in our military. If you or someone you love is in need of low vision services, let us help you get connected!
We are committed to meeting the needs of the visually impaired and blind individuals in our community. We offer a free, no-obligation demonstration of our low vision products and on-site convenience.
Let us help you!
Technology Consultant/Licensed Optician
Here at Independence Low Vision, we strive to create the best experience possible for our clients with customer satisfaction being our number one goal.
Frequently asked questions
What is low vision?
Low vision is a condition caused by eye disease, in which visual acuity is 20/70 or poorer in the better-seeing eye and cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses. (Scheiman, Scheiman, and Whittaker)
What can cause low vision?
Eye diseases or conditions can cause visual impairment. Some of the more common causes of low vision include:
- Macular Degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disorder that affects the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye where images are focused. The macula-the area on the retina responsible for sharp central vision-deteriorates, causing blurred vision. This can cause difficulty reading and, for some, a blurry or blind spot in the central area of vision.
The most common form of age-related macular degeneration is known as non-exudative, or the "dry" form, in which vision loss usually progresses slowly. More rapid and severe vision loss comes from exudative, or the "wet" form, of macular degeneration. In the wet form, abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak fluid and blood.
Both exudative and non-exudative forms of macular degeneration are age-related. They are the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Recent studies estimate that over 1.6 million older Americans have age-related macular degeneration.
The exact cause is unknown. Although age is the primary contributing factor, cigarette smoking and nutrition can also play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration. A hereditary juvenile form of macular generation called Stargardt Macular Dystrophy can also cause vision loss.
- Cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of part or all the lens inside the eye. This clouding interferes with light reaching the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in general loss of vision. Causes include aging, long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation, injury, disease and inherited disorders. If the eye is healthy, a cataract can be surgically removed. Usually, an intraocular lens implant is inserted in the eye, and vision is restored. Cataract surgery has a high success rate in otherwise healthy eyes. However, cataract surgery is not always possible for people who also have other eye diseases. These people may require low-vision rehabilitation to maximize their remaining vision.
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. Most commonly, this occurs due to increasing internal pressure in the eye because of problems with the flow or drainage of fluid within the eye. It can also occur when the internal pressure of the eye does not increase (normal-tension glaucoma), but there is not enough blood flow to the optic nerve. There are no early symptoms in the most common form of glaucoma, but the first signs of damage are defects in side (peripheral) vision and difficulty with night vision. If diagnosed early, it can be treated with drugs, or sometimes surgery can minimize vision loss.
- Diabetic Retinopathy. People with diabetes can experience day-to-day changes in their vision and/or visual functioning because of the disease. Diabetes can cause blood vessels that nourish the retina to develop tiny, abnormal branches that leak. This can interfere with vision and, over time, may severely damage the retina. Laser procedures and surgical treatments can reduce its progression but regulating blood sugar is the most important step in treating diabetic retinopathy.
- Retinitis Pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa gradually destroys night vision, severely reduces side vision and may result in total vision impairment. An inherited disease, its first symptom-night blindness-usually occurs in childhood or adolescence.
- Amblyopia. In amblyopia, the visual system fails to develop normally during childhood. The blurry vision that results in one or both eyes is not easily corrected with normal glasses or contact lenses alone.
- Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Retinopathy of prematurity occurs in infants born prematurely. It is caused by the high oxygen levels in incubators during the critical neonatal period.
- Retinal Detachment. With a retinal detachment, the retina separates from its underlying layer. It can cause total vision impairment in the affected eye. Causes include holes in the retina, eye trauma, infection, blood vessel disturbance or a tumor. If diagnosed early, most detached retinas can be surgically reattached with vision partially or completely restored.
- Acquired (Traumatic) Brain Injury. Vision can also be lost or damaged as a result of head injuries, brain damage and stroke. Signs and symptoms can include reduced visual acuity or visual field, contrast sensitivity, blurred vision, eye misalignment, poor judgment of depth, glare sensitivity, confusion when performing visual tasks, difficulty reading, double vision, headaches, dizziness, abnormal body posture and balance problems.
Is there a low vision cure?
Low vision is not a normal symptom of aging. If you have noticed changes in your vision, see your eye doctor right away. Regular medical eye exams by an ophthalmologist are important to diagnose eye diseases early. It is important to treat any conditions that are treatable.
Your eye doctor will do a complete eye exam to diagnose what is affecting your vision. For children, there will also be questions about the child’s birth, medical history and any past vision problems.
The exam usually begins with questions about your medical history and any vision problems you might be experiencing. You will have tests designed to check your vision and check for eye diseases. Your doctor may use a variety of instruments and aim bright lights at your eyes. Your eyes also will be tested for visual acuity, or how well you see letters at a distance.
If you are having trouble doing things other than just reading small print, your eye doctor may refer you for vision rehabilitation. You can ask your ophthalmologist to find vision rehabilitation programs and specialists for you in your area.
If a family member or friend has vision loss, he or she needs to learn to do as much as possible independently and safely. Recognize the challenges of vision loss, but don’t take over their tasks. Instead, help identify the adjustments they need to make to maximize their independence in a safe manner.
Written By: David Turbert and Dan Gudgel
Feb. 25, 2019
Does insurance pay for low vision equipment?
Medicare and private insurance companies typically will pay for a low vision exam by an eye doctor, but it does not reimburse for any low vision devices.
Does the VA pay for low vision equipment?
If you are a Veteran, we can help assist you in getting a new device or machine through the VA if your vision qualifies. We work very closely with the VA and with the VA's Assistance and approval you can receive a new device or machine, most of the time free of charge to the Veteran.