Eye Doctor Helps People That Have Been Told There Is Nothing Else That Can Be Done
George Kornfeld, a low vision optometrist, received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yeshiva University and graduated from The Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1971.
He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of its low vision section. He is also a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS), a group striving to enable low vision patients to access the optical and digital technology that will transform their lives.
Kornfeld is passionate about low vision care and making a difference for his patients. He sees patients in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Elmira, Watertown, and Scranton PA. Kornfeld trained with William Feinbloom, a founder of modern day low vision and the inventor of many of the low vision telescopes and microscopes used today.
What is Low Vision?
Low vision is caused by eye disease, genetics, trauma or other events, where fully corrected vision with conventional glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery, remains insufficient to do what the patient wants to do.
Kornfeld considers low vision starting at 20/40 and worse when one can’t see well enough to do the tasks one wants to do even with the best glasses (contacts or refractive surgery). That is sufficient reason to seek the help of a low vision specialist.
What causes low vision?
Medical conditions causing low vision are age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) both wet and dry, inoperable cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
Genetic conditions causing low vision are retinitis pigmentosa, albinism, Stargardt’s disease (a juvenile form of macular degeneration), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).Traumatic causes of low vision are stroke and traumatic brain injury.
What is a low vision evaluation?
Kornfeld determines what the eye condition is and how the patient uses his eyes. The idea is to help the person achieve their goals. Kornfeld demonstrates how patients can see with the use of telescopes, microscopes, special reading glasses and other low vision aids.
Can a person with low vision drive?
A person with low vision and visual acuity between 20/40 and 20/70 with a 140 degree field of vision has the potential for driving. And vision between 20/70 and 20/100 with a 140 degree field while looking straight ahead and also 20/40 while looking through a superiorly placed telescope mounted in the glasses also has the potential for receiving a telescopic driver’s license. This can help a person maintain his or her independence. A low vision evaluation may help to determine if it is a possibility.
Some of the most important goals of low vision patients are to read, watch television, recognize faces, play cards, play music and drive a vehicle. One of Kornfeld’s goals is to enhance patients’ vision and help them gain confidence in themselves, do the activities they want to do, and to help them maintain their independence. Kornfeld strives to make patients’ vision better, not perfect.
“Working in the field of low vision has made my professional life most rewarding as I watch my patients who have poor and compromised eyesight begin to read again, walk around more confidently, drive cars and trucks, and in general get a new lease on life,” says Kornfeld.