Seeing Beyond a Low Vision Diagnosis | Press Room – Aspirus Health


Randy lost most of his vision in both eyes due to a stroke last February. Limited to only light perception and given no hope of recovering his eyesight, Randy began adjusting to his new life.

A few months later, Randy’s cousin saw a news story about the low vision rehabilitation offered by an Aspirus occupational therapist in Stevens Point. She talked Randy and his wife into traveling 155 miles from their home in western Wisconsin to give it a try.

Today, Randy is already seeing better and living more independently, thanks to the techniques he is learning from Amanda Whipple, MS, OTR/L, SCLV – one of just five occupational therapists in Wisconsin with a specialty certification in low vision rehabilitation by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

“Specially trained occupational therapists can help restore independence in the activities that matter most to people with low vision,” said Whipple.

Low vision is visual impairment that does not improve with corrective lenses, making it hard to perform regular daily tasks. The most common forms of low vision are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. Low vision can also be caused by a concussion, a brain injury or – as with Randy – a stroke.

Whipple has helped many of her patients see better. Her techniques include:

  • working on the strength and endurance of the eye muscles,
  • finding the spot where her patient’s vision is the best, and/or
  • working on the communication between the eyes and the brain.

Whipple also teaches her patients ways to increase their safety and independence in the home, workplace, and community. She equips them with a variety of techniques and strategies tailored to their unique needs.

Whipple also advocates for protecting your eyes, even when you have normal vision. Some ways to protect your eyes include:

  • Routine visits to the eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist).
  • Wearing eye protection when performing tasks during which objects may go flying, such as when pruning bushes, cutting down trees, woodworking, construction, frying food, playing sports with flying objects such as a ball or puck, and riding your bike.
  • Limiting screen time and taking short breaks with your eyes closed.
  • Avoiding harmful blue light rays from screen use by wearing blue light blocking glasses or using a special computer filter.
  • Paying attention to signs that your eyes are tired. If your eyes start to feel strained or start burning, or you feel a headache starting after being on your computer all day, make sure you stop and take time to rest your eyes to prevent it from getting worse.

“Vision loss can be scary,” said Whipple. “But specially trained occupational therapists can help people with low vision get back to living life to the fullest.”

To find out whether low vision therapy may help you, call Aspirus Outpatient Therapy Services – Stevens Point at 715-345-1447. To learn more about the eye care services offered by Aspirus Health, visit aspirus.org/eye-care-surgery.

Randy lost most of his vision in both eyes due to a stroke last February. Limited to only light perception and given no hope of recovering his eyesight, Randy began adjusting to his new life.
A few months later, Randy’s cousin saw a news story about the low vision rehabilitation offered by an Aspirus occupational therapist in Stevens Point. She talked Randy and his wife into traveling 155 miles from their home in western Wisconsin to give it a try.
Today, Randy is already seeing better and living more independently, thanks to the techniques he is learning from Amanda Whipple, MS, OTR/L, SCLV – one of just five occupational therapists in Wisconsin with a specialty certification in low vision rehabilitation by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
“Specially trained occupational therapists can help restore independence in the activities that matter most to people with low vision,” said Whipple.
Low vision is visual impairment that does not improve with corrective lenses, making it hard to perform regular daily tasks. The most common forms of low vision are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. Low vision can also be caused by a concussion, a brain injury or – as with Randy – a stroke.
Whipple has helped many of her patients see better. Her techniques include:
Whipple also teaches her patients ways to increase their safety and independence in the home, workplace, and community. She equips them with a variety of techniques and strategies tailored to their unique needs.
Whipple also advocates for protecting your eyes, even when you have normal vision. Some ways to protect your eyes include:
“Vision loss can be scary,” said Whipple. “But specially trained occupational therapists can help people with low vision get back to living life to the fullest.”
To find out whether low vision therapy may help you, call Aspirus Outpatient Therapy Services – Stevens Point at 715-345-1447. To learn more about the eye care services offered by Aspirus Health, visit aspirus.org/eye-care-surgery.
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