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CBA working to raise awareness of vision rehabilitation services

August 1, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

JAMESTOWN - With the aging of the population, vision loss is becoming a major public health concern across the country.

An estimated 13.5 million Americans, or one in six adults, age 45 and older report some level of vision loss. Although an eye doctor is the professional most will turn to first when dealing with vision loss, it's important to note many different kinds of vision rehabilitation services are available in addition to the services received from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Vision Rehabilitation Therapists provide instruction and guidance in adaptive independent living skills, enabling adults who are blind and visually impaired to confidently carry out their daily activities.

People experiencing vision loss may have difficulty recognizing faces, reading, cooking, shopping, matching clothes or reading street signs. Eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataract are the leading causes of visual impairment in people over the age of 65. Certain racial and ethnic groups are at a higher risk for certain of these eye diseases.

The consequences of vision loss may cause people to become confused, fearful, anxious and depressed. CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services wants people to be aware there are vision rehabilitation services available here in the community to help them cope with their vision loss. While vision rehabilitation cannot restore lost sight, it can equip people with skills and strategies to enable them to maintain an independent and active lifestyle. Vision rehabilitation helps people with vision loss learn to maximize their remaining vision, travel safely, take care of their home, meet career objectives and enjoy leisure activities. The services can take place in numerous settings and can include the use of assistive technology and adaptive devices which can help to improve the quality of life for those with vision loss. The staff from CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services encourages everyone to visit their eye care professional on a regular basis.

CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services also has an Orientation and Mobility Specialist on staff who teaches the skills and concepts that people who are blind or have low vision need in order to travel independently and safely in their home, work site, school or in the community.

CBA Vision Rehabilitation Services, a United Way agency, has its offices at 510 West Fifth Street in Jamestown and sends teaching staff throughout the county every day. Anyone who wants more information or feels they or someone they know could use help from the CBA should call 664-6660.



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