More MS news articles for May 2002

Coping with Vision Loss: Maximizing What You Can See and Do

by Bill Chapman, EdD

InsideMS, Winter 2002, Vol. 20, Issue 1

This book is a useful resource for people with disorders of the eye that cause partial vision loss, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Persons with MS, who generally have more subtle difficulties with contrast and color perception, double vision, or oscillopsia (perception that the environment is shaking), will appreciate and perhaps benefit from Dr. Chapman’s discussions.

Dr. Bill Chapman is uniquely qualified to write this book; he is not only a specialist in vision rehabilitation, but he offers much perspective from his own experiences with Stargardt’s disease, a condition that causes loss of central vision. Dr. Chapman emphasizes coping and a “willingness to see the glass half-full.” His positive mindset and constructive approach are contagious to the reader.

Particularly practical and potentially most helpful to persons with MS are his discussions on how the eye works, what different levels of visual acuity mean with regard to function, and how the use of proper lighting, head positioning, and the best possible glasses/contact lens prescription can work to maximize visual function. Large print, clear illustrations, and careful explanations of vision vocabulary make this book easy reading and a useful reference for anyone affected by visual loss.

Hunter House, Inc., Publishers, 2001, 282 pp. $16.95 paperback, $26.95 hardcover. Toll-free: 800-266-5592; fax: 510-865-4295; Web site:

 Reviewed by Laura Balcer, MD, MSCE, a neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

© 2002 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society