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Low Vision Service

The Orthoptic department runs the Low Vision Service which aims to help people affected by poor vision.

What is Low Vision?

Low vision is reduced vision that cannot be improved by medical treatment or fully corrected by ordinary glasses. Low vision may cause problems in a person's everyday life, tasks such as reading paperwork or watching TV may be difficult

What happens at a Low Vision assessment?

At your assessment a Low Vision trainer will discuss with you how your reduced vision affects your life. We can then help you work out the best way of using your vision and improve your ability to do the tasks you struggle with.

This is often achieved by:

  • The use of good lighting and contrast
  • The elimination of glare
  • The use of magnifiers and other low vision aids

Will I be given low vision aids or magnifiers?

If the trainer finds you will benefit from low vision aids they will be issued to you on the day. If you are given any aids they will be on loan to you as long as you need them. Please take good care of any low vision aids that are loaned to you. Please return any aids that you do not use.

Is there a charge for this service?

There is no charge for the assessment or any aids loaned to you.

Will I be seen again?

Not all patients need to be given a further appointment. Your low vision trainer will arrange another appointment if necessary. If you do not need a further appointment you will be given contact details for the service. This will enable you to contact us for another appointment in future if:

  • Your vision changes and you are not able to use the devices loaned to you
  • You experience further difficulties


What should I do if my low vision aid is broken or lost?

In these circumstances please contact us on 0114 271 1581 or 0114 2713021 and we will replace your magnifiers.

What if I have problems?

If you have any problems or questions, contact us on the numbers above.

How long will the assessment last?

The assessment can last up to one hour.

Where is the Low Vision Service?

The clinic is held in the Low Vision Suite in the Ophthalmology Department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

The Ophthalmology department is located on A Floor of the Outpatients building opposite the hospital's multi-storey car park. The reception staff will be happy to show you to the Low Vision Suite when you arrive.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes. You are very welcome to bring a relative, friend or carer.

Is there anything that I should do before I attend my assessment?

It is very important that if you wear glasses they are up to date for your low vision assessment. Please visit your optician before your appointment if:

  • you have not been to the optician in the last year
  • you have had any treatment that has changed your vision since you last saw the optician

It may be difficult for us to assess you if your glasses are out of date or if you do not bring the glasses that you have.

What should I bring to the assessment?

  • Any glasses you have, even if you feel they do not make a difference to your vision
  • A copy of your glasses prescription
  • A list of tasks that you are having difficulty with
  • Any magnifiers that you have

What do I do to change or cancel my appointment?

If you have to cancel your appointment please let us know as soon as possible by calling 0114 271 1581 between 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

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