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Thread: Eye Exam Needed - Adaptive Equipment?

  1. #1

    Eye Exam Needed - Adaptive Equipment?

    My husband is a T-5 paraplegic. He is not able to lean forward and his tummy gets in the way of 'typical' eye exam equipment that is rolled towards him. Is there adaptive eye exam equipment for situations such as this? I'd like to call other providers in town to see what they have available but it would be helpful to know what type of equipment to ask about.

    Thank you for any leads.


    We live in the Greater Des Moines, Iowa area.

  2. #2
    If you can borrow a power chair, tilt and recline help. Larger clinics should have an exam room big enough to fit the chair. My husband had eye surgery in his power chair. There are some offices equipped with "wheelchair lanes" [add-ons to their regular chairs] optimized for the manual wheelchair, but the tummy could still be an issue.

    Also, the American optometry association site offers a search by city or zip for optometrists who have a "vision rehabilitation" emphasis. Those will typically have more adaptive facilities or be able to refer you.

  3. #3
    Maybe you can provide a little more information, why is he not able to lean forward? Imagine if he is not able to lean forward he is probably already using a power chair, what kind of chair? Does he use a chest strap? How adjustable is the back (does it fold, how far forward will it lean)?

    If there is a way to help him lean forward this would seem to be the easiest fix.

  4. #4
    Doubt this helps but calll ahead and ask what accommodations they have for doing exams/treatment for your husbands limitations.
    My wife and I use Complex Rehab Powerchairs. Both our ophthalmologist and retinal specialist have rooms for exam that they either move exam chair or has none in room so powerchair has access.
    Ophthalmologist we used while living in city was like retinal clinic they had rooms without a exam chair or was movable in at least one exam room because they only done one of us at a time and used same room.
    Most of tests, especially invasive tests(IV Dye, mapping of eye, etc) and treatments at retinal clinic has plenty of space inside rooms for powerchairs. When Retina doc done laser the table used has rounded inward towards machine so patient is closer.
    Things are tight at local small town ophthalmologist's center but still big enough for one powerchair at a time. Here surgeries they do at Outpatient Surgery Center.
    "Good Luck!"

  5. #5
    Optometrists can do a manual test using lenses they clip on frames one at a time. The instrument they routinely use just speeds up the process. Most will not do it because it takes twice as long and they do not get paid more. They were doing these exams well before they developed the carousel instrument. I had it done that way a couple of times and it worked fine.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  6. #6
    this is tough - sorry about the inconvenience for you.

    you may want to go to a medical center optometrist or ask your SCI primary care provider about this.

    I was in a medical center and posed the issue to our eye department and they had the capability to make the adjustments for people in wheelchairs.

    Keep searching - best of luck

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  7. #7
    Thank you, everyone, for your responses. My husband has a quantum power wheelchair that tilts and reclines. He can lean forward a little with assistance but not for any length of time. I'll check out the American optometry association and will also ask if the dr. will do a manual exam.

    My husband was also recently diagnosed with diabetes so we need to figure out a way for him to get the most comprehensive 'diabetes' related eye exam.

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