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State-of-the-art: low vision rehabilitation

      Abstract

      The State of the Art is strong - to paraphrase another famous saying. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) is today a recognized discipline in Ophthalmology, expanding and improving the quality of life of numerous visually impaired patients. It was not so about a century ago when it all started. Then, charity work aimed at helping blind children was all that LVR was. With advances in science, medicine and public health policy, help for the blind expanded its reach to all who were visually impaired. Devices and re-training of skills have been added to complement diagnosis and charity work. Modern LVR, which took hold in the last few decades, was propelled to new heights by relentless advances in basic and clinical sciences. Today we can provide significant and meaningful help to visually impaired patients in most situations. It could be as simple as a hand magnifier or as intricate as a retinal prosthesis. In many instances it seems to be just a beginning for things still to come.
      La discipline se porte à merveille, pourrait-on dire en résumé. La réadaptation visuelle est aujourd’hui une discipline reconnue en ophtalmologie. Elle améliore la qualité de vie de très nombreux patients ayant une déficience visuelle. Il en était tout autrement quand tout a commencé il y a de cela un siècle environ. De bonnes œuvres venant en aide aux enfants aveugles, voilà à quoi se résumait la réadaptation visuelle à l’époque. Avec les progrès de la science, de la médecine et des politiques de santé publique, l’aide aux aveugles s’est plus tard étendue à toutes les personnes ayant une déficience visuelle. Des instruments et le perfectionnement professionnel sont venus améliorer le diagnostic et appuyer le travail des organismes caritatifs. La réadaptation visuelle moderne, qui s’est développée au cours des dernières décennies, a été propulsée à de nouveaux sommets par les progrès constants de la recherche fondamentale et clinique. Les personnes souffrant d’une déficience visuelle peuvent aujourd’hui bénéficier d’une aide significative dans la plupart des situations. Cela peut aller de la simple loupe à des interventions aussi complexes que l’implantation d’une prothèse rétinienne. Et dans de nombreux cas, il semble que ce ne soit que le début de choses encore plus grandes à venir.
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