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I have a family member with intellectual disabilities and she is not able to follow most of the instructions that occur during a vision exam. Is it possible to get an accurate exam with someone who is not able to follow instructions? Are there eye doctors that specialize in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities?   

Although this does not fall into a particular subspecialty, some ophthalmologists are more comfortable than others in evaluating a patient with intellectual disabilities. A skilled Eye M.D. can determine the health of an eye and even get an accurate measure of the vision in many circumstances. If there is the suggestion of disease and parts of the exam are too difficult to be completed in a standard office setting, an exam under anesthesia becomes another alternative.

Answered by: James H. Heltzer, MDDr. James M. Heltzer

Categories: General Eye Health

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Answered: Dec 03, 2012

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