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A Journal on Ophthalmology
Minerva Oftalmologica 2004 March;46(1):27-40
language: English, Italian
Low vision is a topic of growing importance for various reasons: exponential increase of the number of low-vision subjects; increased number of low-vision subjects not only in industrialized countries, but also in the third world; improvement of low-vision equipment and rehabilitation techniques; introduction of innovative laws (284/1997, 138/2001), which enabled a widespread development of visual rehabilitation and of ophthalmologic prevention dedicated centres. From a classification point of view we have to evaluate the 2 main perceptive abilities, the ones which allow a person to interact with the environment and to maintain a complete autonomy in everyday life: visual acuity and visual field. The other abilities are less important, because they complete and improve quality of vision, without having such a great role in overall individual visual function. The Italian Group for Low-Vision Study (Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio dell'Ipovisione - GISI) and the Società Italiana di Perimetria (SIPe) proposed a new classification of the visual impairment (central, peripheral and mixed) based on the WHO rules and on a binocular perimetric program suitable for the % evaluation of the visual field damage. This program could be useful also in the assessment of the visual capabilities for driving licence. The correct management of the low-vision subjects is based on the cooperation of different professionals under the supervision of the ophthalmologist (orthoptist, nurse, psychologist, infantile neuropsychiatrist, optician, social assistant, etc.). The rehabilitation trial is based on the use of a wide series of magnifying systems to be selected on the basis of the personal needs of the patient and in relation with kind and severity of the visual impairment.