Mobility and glaucoma

One of the conditions that causes patients to lose their peripheral vision is glaucoma. These patients often have a small wedge through which they can see. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind declares someone as legally blind if they have 10 degrees of vision or less. You can easily see why someone with this little vision bumps into obstacles. They simply cannot see anything unless it is directly in front of them.

We teach patients who have limited central vision to scan the area ahead of them looking for obstacles. They need to keep moving their head left-right and up-down continuously looking for anything that they may hit or trip over. This is tedious work but there is no substitute. In patients' homes we mark doorposts and cupboard doors. We also make recommendations to remove trip hazards. The key is to make the living environment as safe as possible. It is never good to hit or be hit by an object while moving.