A Low Vision exam differs from a primary eye care doctor’s eye exam as the focus is on enhancing the individual’s remaining functional vision needed to perform daily living activities.
Drews Low Vision Clinic
Staffed by a Doctor of Optometry and specially trained Low Vision/Occupational Therapists, the Low Vision Clinic provides functional vision assessments in a rehabilitation model. The low vision exam determines if there are prescriptive optical aids or non prescriptive vision aids that will help you best utilize your remaining sight. This exam compliments your primary eye doctor’s medical exam by looking at how your visual functioning may be enhanced.
Low Vision Services
If an exam by the Society’s doctor is not indicated or desired, Low Vision Rehabilitation staff can assist you in the identification and proper use of non-prescriptive aids such as magnifiers, lighting and task lamps, computers and electronic zoom magnification. Appointments are required for these services.
Low Vision Aids
The Society carries over 250 different low vision and adaptive living aids. All strengths of magnifiers are available with or without internal lighting, with some being hands free. In addition, monocular and telescopic aids are available for near and distance viewing. Special sunglasses are available that best fit specific eye conditions. Larger and more expensive aids are available for demonstration, sale or rental and include lamps and CCTV electronic screen magnification reading devices. Aids can be provided for those unable to afford needed equipment. Appointment needed to sample and purchase low vision aids.
About Your Appointment
Length of Appointment
As Clinic appointments include an examination by our Low Vision Optometrist, with special training in Low Vision, and a Low Vision/Occupational Therapist. Most appointments are approximately 90 minutes in length.
What to Bring for Your Appointment
If you use any eyeglasses or magnifiers please bring them with you. Other items that may be used to assist with your appointment include medication labels, utility bills, bank statements, menus or any other special items used on a regular basis.
Cost to Individuals & Insurance Coverage
The Society’s clinic and physician’s services are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. Patients are responsible for any copay amount and a refraction charge ($35) if a new eyeglass prescription is desired. Scholarship funds may be available for those needing assistance or without insurance or any income.
There is no charge for time with the Therapist and insurance plans are not billed for these services, which are provided with thanks to the generosity of donors and those who left the Society in their estate planning.
Scholarship funds may be available for those needing assistance to cover the physician’s visit or for aids and devices
Where Services Provided
The Drews Low Vision Clinic and other Low Vision Services are provided at the Society’s main office at the southeast corner of Brentwood Blvd. and Manchester Road. Some Low Vision Service may be provided in the individual’s home.
Transportation is provided for individuals unable to afford or not able to come to the Society’s office on their own. The Society’s driver or public taxi are used for transportation to Society’s services with a $10 round-trip donation requested to help off-set costs.
Appointment Days & Hours
Monday – Thursday, 8:45 – 4:00 PM
To Request an Appointment
Meet our Specialists
History of the Drews Low Vision Clinic
Under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Robert Drews, and recognizing the growing needs of older adults experiencing age-related vision loss, the Society established a low vision clinic in 1989. Beginning with services by an Optometrist ½ day per week and one other staff person, the referrals and need for additional services continually grew to where the Society slowly expanded services and in 2009 went to a full-time clinic with one Low Vision Specialist (Optometrist) and four Certified Low Vision Therapists.
In recognition of over 60 years of service to the Society and those who are blind or visually impaired, in 2010 the Society formally named the clinic The Leslie and Robert Drews Low Vision Clinic.
Dr. Leslie C. Drews (1905 – 1961) Robert C. Drews, MD, FACS, FRCOphth (1930 – 2017)
Dr. Leslie Drews was a prominent ophthalmologist who joined the Society for the Blind’s Board of Directors in 1953 and served until he passed away in 1961 at the height of his career. During his time as a member of the Society’s Board Directors he provided crucial leadership and gave counsel related to blindness and vision loss.
Dr. Leslie Drews did his undergraduate and medical school training at Washington University. He became a member of the St. Louis University Department of Ophthalmology in 1929 and co-chaired it from 1953 – 1956. Dr. Leslie Drews was appointed to the staff of Washington University from 1956 – 1961 as Associate Professor. He served on the staffs of 11 area hospitals. Dr. Leslie Drews was elected to the American Ophthalmological Society in 1942 at the remarkably young age of 37, and published a number of papers during his illustrious and meaningful career.
Dr. Robert C. Drews is the son of renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Leslie Drews and was a member of the Society’s Board of Directors from 1962 and served until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure he served as Chair of the Board twice and continues to be an active member of the Society’s Advisory Board.
Knowing the needs of older adults experiencing age-related vision loss, under Dr. Robert Drews guidance and leadership, the Society added “Visually Impaired” to the name in 1986 and established the first Low Vision Clinic in 1989.
In addition to authoring nearly 500 publications, Prof. Drews has served on the editorial committee of Ophthalmology and numerous other ophthalmic peer-reviewed publications. He has been a popular invited lecturer and visiting professor all over the world and has lectured and taught advanced ophthalmic microsurgical techniques and intraocular lens implantation. Dr. Drews has received many awards for his professional and civic activities, including the Washington University’s School of Medicine’s highest distinction, The Second Century Award.