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Low vision service


The Low Vision Service is the place to go when your failing eyesight cannot be improved by means of the best spectacles. Dispensing Optician, Mrs Annette Ball runs the Low Vision Service at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and also holds a clinic at the Fakenham Medical Centre.

Anyone who has poor eyesight, due to any eye disease, can access the low vision service, patients do not have to be registered as sight impaired. There are many whose visual ability is too good for registration, but falls short of what is sufficient for their daily life.

A Low Vision Assessment is completely different from an eye examination that you have at the opticians. Your eyesight will be assessed and enhanced by means of suitable Low Vision Aids such as magnifiers, 'strong' spectacles and telescopic aids, so enabling you to achieve visual tasks. Contact may by made with other support services if you so wish.

Under the NHS, all hand-held and spectacle mounted low vision aids are supplied on a permanent loan basis from the hospital. However, specialised lighting and electronic aids may be purchased.

The first assessment appointment takes approximately 45 minutes and it is essential that patients bring their spectacles and any magnifiers that they may have, even if they feel they are of little use. A copy of their most recent spectacle prescription is very helpful.

Referral to the Low Vision Clinics can be made by an Optician directly to the hospital or by a GP through the 'Choose and Book' system. Patients can choose whether they wish to be seen at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital or Fakenham Medical Practice. Appointments are available within 4 weeks.

A Low Vision Assessment and the provision of low vision aids can help people rebuild their confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to live safely and independently.