POMONA - Alexis Ayala went through a series of vision tests Monday at Western University of Health Science.

Those tests told a team of optometrists just how they could help him make better use of his limited vision.

Alexis, a senior at Hemet's Tahquitz High School, has X link retinosckesis, a condition in which layers of the retina don't seal together, said Robert Gordon, a doctor of optometry and associate dean of clinical affairs at the university's College of Optometry.

The teen has the problem in both eyes but it is more severe in one than the other.

After going through the tests Gordon and his team were able to recommend several devises that will allow their patient to maximize the vision he has.

"We can give him a simple pair of glasses to read," Gordon said.

With the help of a monocular, he will be able to see the classroom board and with "a surgical telescope, like the ones surgeons use, he will work with his hands," Gordon said.

The latter is particularly important since Alexis wants to become an auto mechanic.

Alexis was among several students tested during Monday's Low Vision Clinic Day at the university held in partnership with the Northern California-based California School for the Blind.

Through the partnership the university provides assessments to students who are visually impaired.

The exams are arranged through a student's special education teacher who works with the family to complete an application, said Nikki Blackburn, teacher for the visually impaired for San Bernardino City Unified School District and coordinator for the California School for the Blind Low Vision Clinics at Western.

The assessments bring together a student, his parents and teacher and the university's team so they can determine what challenges the student faces at home and at school, Blackburn said.

The university team goes over a student's opthamologists report to familiarize themselves with the child's or teen's medical condition and the university optometrists then work on assisting the student make "the best use of their vision," she said.

By working together parents and teachers can then discuss making adjustments in the school and home setting that will benefit the student, said Linda Pang, doctor of optometry and coordinator of Low Vision Services at the College of Optometry.


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