Help for Veterans Who Have Vision Loss
There are approximately 130,000 veterans in the United States who are legally blind, and over a million veterans who have low vision which decreases their ability to perform necessary daily activities, according to the Veterans Affairs Office of Blind Rehabilitation Services. This is a staggering number of men and women who have served our country and now need vision rehabilitation services to help them adjust to their vision loss and retain their independence.
For older veterans, the major causes of their vision loss include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, stroke and diabetic retinopathy. Among veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, blast-related brain injuries can lead to vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty reading and blindness. Veterans Affairs estimates that as many as 64% of service members with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) also have a vision problem.
In looking at the nexus of vision and health, the role of vision rehabilitation and addressing related health conditions for veterans who have vision loss is vital. We know that people who have low vision can receive appropriate equipment, education, guidance and healthcare enabling them to lead independent lives.
It is essential that people who are at risk of, or who have vision loss have access to vision and health services. Lighthouse Guild, committed to addressing and preventing vision loss, has been awarded a Veterans Administration contract to provide services to veterans at our Buffalo and Niagara Falls GuildCare Adult Day Health Care Programs. These are the only Adult Day Health Care programs in New York State specializing in services for people with vision loss.