OPT001: Low Vision 1 - Theory

This module is aimed at providing eye care practitioners with the comprehensive theoretical knowledge to prepare them to provide a high standard of low vision service in the primary care setting.

It includes the role of the multi-disciplinary team. There is no practical component to this module.

Start dateDurationCreditsPrerequisitesModule tutorsModule code

March 2017

September 2017

20 contact hours over one academic term.

10 Credits

CET Points available

NoneMarek Karas 
(Leader)

Rebecca John (Leader)

Barbara Ryan
OPT001

Additional information: This module complements OPT002, OPT006 and OPT007

Learning Objectives

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • The epidemiology of low vision in the UK for different ages, and its effects on daily living
  • The certification and registration process in the UK, and the benefits of registration
  • The optical components of simple magnifiers and telescopic systems
  • How to take a visual and general health history as part of a low vision assessment
  • How to measure visual function and refract a person with a visual impairment
  • The impact of eye conditions on visual functioning and how this affects individuals from different populations both practically and emotionally

To apply this knowledge to given scenarios and demonstrate how you would determine:

  • The most appropriate magnification for a patient with low vision their visual function and reported difficulties
  • The most appropriate low vision device for individuals for different tasks

To analyse a theoretical situation and suggest appropriate management of a patient with respect to:

  • How the effect of magnification; lighting and contrast can help people with low vision
  • The roles of other professionals and services in the wider low vision team
  • How non-optical devices and strategies can assist people with a visual impairment

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via 11 lectures (Powerpoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University's e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There are also 3 online sessions of guided case-based learning, allowing students to revise and apply their knowledge in a virtual setting.

Syllabus Content

  • Definitions of visual impairment and epidemiology of low vision
  • Certification and Registration.
  • Affects of visual impairment on visual function, activities of everyday life and psychological well being.
  • Measuring visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and functional visual fields in low vision patients.
  • Measuring contrast sensitivity, refraction and visual fields in people with low vision.
  • Definition of magnification.
  • How to prescribe magnification.
  • Basic optics of the different types of magnifiers.
  • Consideration of uses, ergonomics, dexterity, field of view, magnification ranges and spectacle requirements when prescribing magnifiers.
  • Reducing glare in low vision patients.
  • Aids for peripheral visual field loss.
  • Making things bigger and improving contrast.
  • Lighting: general lighting, task lighting.
  • Sight substitution using sound and touch.
  • Braille and moon.
  • Computers and visual impairment, and non-optical aids.
  • Liaison with other professionals and services.

How the module will be assessed

Online Examination (40%): There is a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series for final assessment.

Online Coursework (40%): There are four case-based presentations as coursework – these are key features scenarios, where the learner must work through the case by answering 4 sets of questions. Each question will have 4 possible answers (MCQ), and at each question stage, more will be revealed about the case.

Written Coursework (20%): Students will submit a written piece of coursework describing a patient-management scenario (1500-2000 words).

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic Skills:

  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning.

Subject-Specific Skills:

  • To be aware of recent research in visual impairment and accepted clinical practice in the discipline.
  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level.
  • Develop empathy with people who have visual impairment.
  • To develop the holistic approach to supporting people with visual impairment.

Generic Skills:

  • Time management.
  • Working independently.
  • Develop IT skills.
  • Improve problem solving skills.