Legally Blind and Driving

Low Vision Specialist of Maryland and Virginia Giving People Hope!

Patients who have lost their vision due to Macular Degeneration now have hope of driving again, and doing many of the things they thought were history because of their poor eyesight.  But, for over 39 years Dr. Thomas Azman of Low Vision Specialists of Maryland and Virginia, in Baltimore, Maryland has been helping Macular Degeneration patients bring back Quality of Life. Utilizing the latest technologies that can help you see well enough to read small print, watch TV clearly, drive your car, and most importantly see your family and loved ones.

Macular Degeneration is the most common eye disease among the senior population. As many as 25% of those over 65 have some degree of degeneration. The macula is one small part of the entire retina, but it is the most sensitive part and gives us sharp images.

When it degenerates, Macular Degeneration leaves a blind spot right in the center of vision, which makes it impossible to recognize faces, read a book, or pass the drivers vision test.

The experts do not know what causes Macular Degeneration. But major factors include UV light from the sun, smoking, aging, and improper nutrition. Vitamins can help. The results of two studies, AREDS and LAST demonstrated a lowered risk of progression by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamins. Doctor Azman can advise patients on the best nutritional supplements during the low vision evaluation.

Nine out of ten people who have Macular Degeneration have the dry type. There is no medical treatment except for vitamins. The wet type involves the leakage of fluid or blood from the blood vessels behind the macula. Injections of Leucentis® or Avastin® are very effective in preventing the vessels from leaking.

Telescope driving glasses are able to help legally blind people pass a driving test and drive again.  “Our job is to figure out anything and everything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Thomas Azman, OD. “Whether it’s driving, reading, watching television, seeing faces, playing bridge… we work with whatever is on the persons “wish list,” even if it’s driving.”

Maryland and California are two of many states that allow the use of telescopic glasses for safer driving. Bioptic telescopic glasses are prescribed to read signs and see traffic lights farther away.  Prismatic and microscope reading glasses also help patients to be able to read the morning paper and watch television.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with vision loss, there is hope.  Legally blind and driving is an option!