Low Vision Patient Less Dependent on Seeing Eye Dog

Joel Cohen, a Pennsylvania attorney, sought help for a difficult vision problem caused by a retinal disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

“I was told nothing more could be done but, I wasn’t willing to accept that…I thought surely, there must be something more I can do.”—Joel Cohen

He had been told that nothing more could be done for his vision. His peripheral vision was so constricted that he could not get around at all without his guide dog. Mr. Cohen was considered legally blind. In addition, his limited side vision interfered with reading legal documents, because he could only see one word at time. It was taking him hours to read a single legal brief.
A low vision evaluation by Dr. Errol Rummel, a New Jersey low vision optometrist (a Fellow of the International Association of Low Vision Specialists) proved that the other eye doctors were wrong. Using the IALVS endorsed reverse telescope system, Dr. Rummel was able to design and prescribe special eyeglasses, that allowed Mr. Cohen more freedom from his guide dog, and made it easier for him to more quickly read legal documents.

Margaret Russo, IALVS patient, NJ

“When my macular degeneration began to interfere with my regular daily routine, I knew I needed help. Now, I have more confidence in my activities like driving. The best part is I can now see my daughter’s face more clearly.”

Jay L. Spierler

“Dr. Rummel has given me the opportunity with the telescopic glasses that he has prescribed to view life and all the beauty around which I have not had in a while. I was very fortunate to find a doctor as compassionate, professional and helpful as Dr. Rummel.”

A Simple Story

Our story is simple, Dr. Rummel gave my father back his life. At 91 years old, my father who was always fit, still walks 5-10 miles a day, sharp mind, perfect health, never wore glasses and was a titan in industry was at the mercy of strangers to do everything from read his mail to doing his banking. Age (as we know) is a bitch.Teams of the best doctors in 2 states and three countries could only tell him it was not in his brain, it was some sort of physical failure due to age that may get better on its own, or not, and one eye was actually pretty good, and there was nothing to do about it. So sorry, have a nice day, buh bye.

Its shocking – and then not so shocking in these days of profit uber alles- that no one used the term “Low Vision”.Dr. Rummel understands what a Low Vision patient “sees” and he also knows what kind of device could address that deficiency. That’s what five board certifications means.To say my father was skeptical is a gross understatement. It wasn’t until he was considering assisted living that he’d agree to even call Dr. Rummel. Even so, it was only lip service to please his kids, as we were struggling to find a safe and suitable place for him to live and he was driving friends away with his pointedly bad mood. This brilliant powerful man made banking errors for the first time of his life because he simply could not see the placement of a decimal point on his computer screen. He was faced with being dependent on others for the rest of his life. It was killing him. I was losing my father.

Even after the first appointment, when I could see during the exam the world reappearing for him, and he experiencing sight he had gradually lost over 20 years, and ordering yes, very expensive glasses, we both really didn’t believe it.=About a month later the glasses arrive and we go for the appointment to get the glasses, both of us still ready to be let down. Another case of not believing our own eyes and ears, because so many trusted, credentialed, highly motivated professionals said there was nothing more we could do. Even though we had both seen it in his office.

And I will say this, after that first visit, my father’s attitude about everything improved 1000%. Even though we rationalized doubt, when you can actually see something you couldn’t see before, somewhere in your head it knows, its really going to happen. His walks had dropped to 2 miles a day and slooooow. The weekend before the glasses arrived he walked 7 miles.

We got the glasses and went out to lunch. Along the way he’s noting everything he is seeing that he previously couldn’t see. He read the menu- first time in 20 years. My father taught me everything I know about restaurants, it was a pleasure to see him back to himself. In control.

Until now, every time I’d try to read the whole menu to him to give him his choice, but he’d always ask me to order for him, or he’d order the first thing I said that he could possibly like, then hearing someone else order something he really wanted, change to that or miss the meal he desired. When the bill came, he read it himself, to the penny. For 20 years we have had to tell him how much it cost, whether the bills he had in in his wallet were 10s or 20s or 50s. I asked him what time it was, he told me to the minute. Then, out of habit, when I asked when his dentist appointment would be, he started to hand me the appointment card to read. I said “I’m not reading that, you read it.” And so he did.

And his life has changed. The whole family dynamic has changed back to what it was 20 years ago. The idea of him going to assisted living is laughable. He calls me up to tell me that he woke during the night and not only could read the time on his watch, he could also read the manufacturer.

And so all our family’s lives have changed for the better. My Dad is always in a great mood, he’s back doing the things he loves and reading his own emails and I get to feel like a kid again because when I go to lunch with my Dad, he takes care of everything. No more role reversal, that’s huge.

I cannot express fully enough our gratitude to Dr. Rummel and his competent and kind staff.

Reading Glasses (Lunettes pour lire)… How about that smile, eh? (Quel sourire, hein?)

Yes they look strange. Notice the bit of tape on his glasses for walking. It is very fragile. It will rub off, it should not be touched. (Oui ils ont l’air étrange. Notez le peu de ruban adhésif sur ses lunettes pour la marche. Il est très fragile. Il va déteindre, il ne devrait pas être touché.)

Dad took me to lunch. He read the menu. (Il m’a emmené à déjeuner. Il a lu le menu.) He also told me the time “seven minutes to 2″. (Il m’a également dit l’heure “sept minutes à 2″). The bill came, he read it, $27.82. (La facture est arrivé, il l’a lu, 27,82 $). Yes, he should read 5 inches from his face. (Oui, il devrait lire 12cm de son visage). He took out his wallet and picked some bills and put them in the folder. (Il a sorti son portefeuille et a pris quelques billets de banque et les mettre dans le dossier). He did not need any help. (Il n’a pas besoin d’aide). There should be good direct light. (Il devrait y avoir une bonne lumière directe).

Typical Comments From Our Patients

"I could not see street signs too clearly. After telescopic lenses were prescribed I could see the signs further down the road. Special reading glasses help me read books, newspapers, and to see my wrist watch. Now I know there is always hope.

The glasses for TV are terrific. And the reading attachment makes the words in my newspaper easier to see. I also see signs better when I am driving. The special glasses do just what they’re supposed to do.

Now I see much better. I highly recommend those special glasses to anyone with vision problems."

"For approximately sixteen years I went to numerous retina specialists who offered no hope. At one point I was told I couldn’t drive anymore. While I was taking my daughter for a visual exam with Dr. Rummel, I happened to mention that I had low vision. I explained the difficulties that I have and live with every day. I was used to seeing things a certain way and therefore, what was abnormal to other became normal to me. Dr. Rummel then told me that he could help me to see much better. When testing different lenses, he placed me in everyday situations, and much to my surprise, I was able to see clearly."

"I am looking forward to being able to see other drivers when I am driving my car and not having to worry if it is my turn to proceed at a stop sign. I am also looking forward to reading with my daughter without having to struggle to read the words and remember what I just read. I will feel safer crossing the street and being able to see my daughter while she is playing in the school yard.ment is good, however these special glasses are a significant improvement in many ways. I can see someone’s face and expressions when talking to them; it makes me feel more comfortable. I can see things in my garden and even television looks better."

Success Stories

S.B. diabetic eye problems and came to reinstate an expired drivers license and to read better. His regular vision was 20/200 but with special driving telescopes he saw 20/50. Prismatic reading glasses got him reading standard newsprint. Two months after he received his special glasses his license was restored.“Now I see much better. I highly recommend those special glasses to anyone with vision problems.”

S.B., age 70 of Whiting, NJ

R.T. lost sight from glaucoma and multiple sclerosis of the optic nerve. He wanted to see to drive, read and watch TV better. The Doctor prescribed two telescopes, one for driving and another for TV that can be modified for reading, “The ones for TV are terrific” he said “and the reading attachment makes the words darker.” “I’ve also been driving and the telescopes do just what they’re supposed to do.”

R.T. age 59 of Jackson, NJ

Dear Dr. Rummel, Giving me the glasses that helps me read books, letters and newspapers makes me happy and thankful for the work you do. I have a new lease on my future. For this I am so thankful to you. May God grant you good health to continue your good work.Sincerely

– Anne Soonis Meyers

Dr. Rummel,Thank you for all you have done to help my vision. Other doctors could not help me. Your low vision help has improved my vision greatly.Sincerely,

– Dorothy Mellon

Hand Written Letters and Stories

For those of you that feel there is no hope, please read on… In Aug. 2003 my husband and I were involved in a serious auto accident which resulted in my husband sustaining serious injuries including the loss of 75% of his vision due to head trauma.To his family and friends he was always referred to as hawk eye because his vision was so good.So needless to say that when he was examined by an eye doctor after coming out of a coma he was in for three weeks and being told that most of his vision was gone and nothing could be done about it, we were devastated and had no hope until we made an appointment with DR.RUMMEL.

He examined him extensively and ‘confirmed what the other doctor told us with the exception of one thing there was a way of utilizing the sight he had left.DR.RUMMEL designed and located a lab that made up glasses called (vision field awareness devise). This device utilizes the sight he has left in the lower left part of his eye so that it brings objects down when he looks at them. This way he can see anything above him without always looking up. Amazing isn’t it.When told what he planned to do we weren’t very optimistic, but he was encouraging.When we asked, what if they didn’t work? He was determined.

I am now looking forward to giving up my Chauffeurs cap and my husband is now enjoying doing the things he was unable to do before he had these glasses. Because of the determination and efforts of DR.RUMMEL he has restored a big part of our lives and we thank him sincerely for this. My husband still has a long road ahead of him because of his other injuries, but things have been made easier for him to move on. And for all of you that thought there was no hope…Have faith, because DR, RUMMEL was given a very special giftWe would also like to thank all of DR.RUMMELS staff for their care and concern.



Dear Dr. Rummel,

In June, my husband saw you, at that time peripheral vision in in his right eye was non-existant and he had problems with field cuts in both eyes. He was very depressed thinking he could never do things or return to work. This all resulted from a stroke he had on April 13, 1994.

You suggested he try the peripheral vision prism glasses. They were made and put on his glasses. It took a while to get used to them but, in about two to three weeks things were brought from the sides to the front of his vision. He is doing very well now and is much happier. He is scheduled to go back to work after Labor day.

We didn’t realize that this could work so well and so quickly. Fortunately for him they have his new technology and a doctor such as yourself could help him. We are very much pleased with the results and grateful for both.


The Ahern’s, Ginny and John

Dear Dr. Rummel

I wanted to say thank you. It has been about a month since I received my Side Vision Awareness Glasses, and I can see so much better! I am more confident when I leave the house. I can go to public places and not feel overwhelmed and confused. I can see people’s faces again! I can even read road signs! It has been over a year since I lost part of my vision to Optic Neuritis from having MS, and now I can finally see again! I saw three different eye doctors before you, and I believed there was no one out there that could help me. You were my only hope and you really came through for me. I want everyone in my situation to know that you can help them the same way you helped me.

I love my Side Vision Awareness Glasses! They fit great and it didn’t take me that long to get used to them. After about a week or so they felt like every other pair of glasses I’ve ever worn. They are comfortable and they look great! I appreciate all the time you put into my consultation, you were very thorough in making sure I had the correct lenses to meet my vision needs. You were very honest and straight forward regarding the challenges that were possible when adjusting to using the glasses. I am very happy with my Side Vision Awareness Glasses. Thank you again, Dr. Rummel, you really changed my life for the better!

Elizabeth P.

Dear Dr. Rummel,

Thank you very much for all of your time and assistance. I am very glad to have met you and learn more about my vision than what I knew before. I was amazed at the improvement in my distance vision when I tried on the telescope glasses. Thank you for being so kind and patient and always striving to make sure that I understood what you were saying. It is rare to find a doctor like you, who is thorough and does not rush. And you have helped me as I look into potential new opportunities for the future. Thank you also for taking the time to speak with me even after our appointments. I believe that your services can help many people such as myself.

Thank you again.

Mary Rose

Dear Dr. Rummel,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to examine my mother today, and provide your professional opinion regarding her vision.

We appreciate the time you took during the comprehensive and thorough 90-minute consultation to ascertain whether she’s a good candidate for optical devices.

Also thank you for being forthcoming and not pressuring her to purchase an expensive device when you realized it would provide her no significant benefit.

Again thank you for your assistance and professionalism.


Lorette Sciarappa, MD

Dear Dr. Rummel,

It was a pleasure meeting you, I don’t think anyone else could have tried harder to help me see better.

Thank you very much.


Elaine S.

Letter from a happy patient

My recent visit went very well, and Dr. Rummel proved to be a true professional, putting his patients first, by making sure they are comfortable, in a clean and safe office where we both wore masks and practiced safe distancing.

He addressed all my concerns as well as answered all questions that me or my fellow family members asked. Dr. Rummel brings everyone into any decision making on behalf of his patient during the visit.

I strongly recommend Dr. Rummel as a side vision loss /low vision specialist.

Eugene M.