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Putting the Spotlight on Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Chism Low Vision Institute Supports Low Vision Awareness Month for February

Drs Larry M. Chism and Mona Douglas are drawing attention to a little-known cause among Texas and Louisiana residents, by actively promoting February’s ‘Low Vision Awareness’ Month.


Dallas, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/19/2014 -- Across the United States, over eleven million Americans suffer from some form of AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) and that number is expected to double by the year 2050.

However, to the average person on the street in Texas and Louisiana, AMD and the concept of ‘low vision’ remains a mystery.

Seeking to raise awareness of this pervasive disease, Drs Larry M. Chism and Mona Douglas of Chism Low Vision Institute are focused on educating the public through ‘Low Vision Awareness Month’, which takes place in February.

“Many people might ask, ‘what exactly is low vision?” says Dr Larry M. Chism, Low Vision Optometrist and member of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists. “It’s a common question. Low vision is a term normally used to mean ‘partial sight’ or sight that isn’t fully correctable with surgery, medications, contact lenses or glasses.”

In the United States specifically, the most common causes of low vision are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Those born with conditions such as albinism or optic nerve damage can also have low vision. Macular Degeneration affects the retina in two forms – dry and wet AMD. The dry form of AMD is more common, and is generally associated with less severe loss of vision. There is no treatment for dry AMD. Wet AMD can cause severe vision loss due to the leaking of blood or fluid from the retinal blood vessels. Treatments to stop the leak and reduce the level of vision loss are effective but there is no cure for any type of AMD.

Chism Low Vision Institute is a group of low vision optometrists who were intensively trained and are highly experienced in helping low vision patients live their best life. Dr. Larry M. Chism and Dr. Mona Douglas prescribe and dispense the highest quality, optically advanced, hands-free low vision devices available.

“Many eye doctors will tell patients that nothing more can be done,” says Dr. Douglas. “What we hope to achieve with February’s Low Vision Awareness Month is to educate patients to seek a second opinion through institutes such as ours. We are trained to equip patients with custom low vision telescope, microscope, prismatic, and other unique glasses that can truly make a difference in quality of life. Often, people think they must give up their hobbies – but our glasses can help with driving (in some states), reading, watching television and a myriad of other tasks. It isn’t necessary for those who have AMD to give up their independence or lose hope.”

For more information, call 888 243 2020 or visit http://www.chismlowvision.com.

About Dr. Larry M. Chism
Dr. Larry Chism received his Bachelor of Science in 1975 and went on to receive his Doctor of Optometry shortly after, concentrating in contact lenses and low vision. Since 1980, Dr. Chism has been the full owner and managing associate of Vision Source-Tyler, a private practice providing full scope optometric eye care services.

As a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, Dr. Chism is committed to helping patients gain back their freedom. He has been providing low vision care for 20 years and has extensive experience in working with individuals who have suffered from decreased vision. These individuals desire to gain back control of their lives and not let decreased vision interfere with their happiness. For this reason, Dr. Chism is referred to by his patients as “the see better doctor.”

Dr. Chism commutes to six different locations throughout Texas.

About Dr. Mona Douglas, OD
Dr. Mona V. Douglas earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston: College of Optometry in 1994. She is a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) as well as the American Optometry Association and the Texas Optometric Association. Dr. Douglas provides advanced low vision care to patients with a variety of eye conditions to help them improve their abilities to drive, read their mail, recognize faces and watch TV, as well as to enjoy their hobbies and their independence. Dr. Douglas and her husband Drew Douglas, O.D., live and have a primary care practice in Tyler, Texas. They have a set of boy/girl twins and enjoy being involved with their children's activities, spending time with family and being active in their church. Born & raised in south Louisiana, Dr. Douglas welcomes the opportunity to offer low vision services to her home state.