Imagine, during a pandemic, your vision starts to deteriorate to the point where your retina doctor says it might be time to make a visit to the Spectrios Institute of Low Vision in Wheaton, Illinois – you live in Indiana. Seems like an impossible task, but Sue was determined!

Sue is a semi-retired nurse with macular degeneration. Her vision deteriorated a lot in the last 7 months, which lead her to Spectrios for help. “Everyone at Spectrios is so nice. It is very welcoming and everyone explains everything so well.”

Sue started with a telehealth phone encounter with Dr. Williams. “It was very informative,” she says. “It is a great way to get all the basic information out and get things started.” We recommend that patients start with a phone call or video conference for just the reasons Sue experienced – it helps to get all the initial questions answered.

The next step was a telehealth video call with a packet of diagnostic materials. “The information in the packet did a great job explaining what would happen and had all the tools we would need to use for the exam.” The exam conducted during a telehealth video call is very thorough. “My husband was my coach, he helped me with the different tests.”

Sue then continued with a meeting with Katrina, our Occupational Therapist. That was also done through a telehealth video conference. Katrina worked through all the activities of daily living and gave Sue many tips.

“I ended up with a homework assignment,” Sue explained, “Katrina has me practicing my eccentric viewing.” Eccentric viewing is a tactic that helps people with macular degeneration make use of their peripheral vision. “Katrina helped me with a lot of different things that have made my life easier, and we accomplished all that with a video call.”

Finally, the day came for Sue to make the trip from Indiana to Wheaton to see the Spectrios team in person. She had the opportunity to meet with both Dr. Williams and Katrina. During the in-person visit, they were able to quickly get down to business, having already worked through all the basic information gathering through the telehealth appointments. “It is so much more convenient to do a few telehealth appointments before you go in. It removes so much of the fear and apprehension.”

We recommend starting with at least one telehealth appointment. It is hard to absorb all that information in one visit. A few telehealth appointments are convenient and are less overwhelming. Sue is on her way to a return to independence and we were thrilled to be part of her team!