The specialist services in the Cardiff University Eye Clinic include the Special Assessment Clinic providing eye care for patient with communication difficulties, and Low Vision Clinic offering services for the visually impaired.
Special Assessment Clinic
The Special Assessment Clinic, run by:
Dr J Margaret Woodhouse,
and supported by:
They Provide eye care for patients who cannot communicate in the usual way. This includes infants and young children, children with special needs and adults with intellectual disability. We work closely with the Educational Services in providing guidance on visual abilities and needs for children with any form of visual impairment, and the clinic links with the Low Vision Clinic to advise on or supply magnification aids when appropriate.
We also operate as a teaching clinic for students of Optometry, and as a research resource, since we aim to develop further ways of assessing vision in special needs patients, and to study the aetiology and effects of vision defects in people with disabilities.
We are highly experienced in providing eye care for children and adults with all levels of ability. You do not need to be able to read or to communicate well to have a full eye examination.
The emphasis of the clinic is always on communication, by written and verbal reports, so that parents, careers and educators are made fully aware of the patient’s visual abilities and difficulties, and the ways in which their particular problems can be addressed.
Low Vision Clinic
The Low Vision clinic sees patients with many types of visual impairment to try and make the most of their residual vision, which often involves the use of magnifiers or other specialised aids and the appropriate advice.
They are usually seen under the Assembly funded Welsh Low Vision Scheme although there are some exceptions. The aids given are on ‘free loan’ from this service, who encourage a return and re-cycle policy. If patients are not resident in Wales they would have to be seen privately which would involve a fee for both the magnifiers and the assessment.
As the clinic provides clinical training to undergraduate Optometry students, during semester time patients will be seen by final year students who are supervised by fully qualified and accredited members of staff. During vacation period the patients will be seen by the University Optometrists.
We are very well equipped with both standard and specialised low vision aids and have strong links with the Hospital eye service, social services and the local voluntary organisations for people with visual impairment.