Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) mutation that results in painless, sudden-onset, bilateral central vision loss and dyschromatopsia. Currently, there are no proven treatments to prevent or reverse the optic neuropathy in LHON. Accordingly, individualized rehabilitation services and assistive devices for low vision are crucial for helping people with LHON to regain independence and quality of life. This report describes the impact of multidisciplinary low vision rehabilitation on a young man with recent-onset LHON and emphasizes the importance of the provision of emotional support through counselling for low vision.
Although there is no treatment for LHON at the present time, patients with LHON can continue their occupational and social activities. The key is to assess the patient’s level of functional vision and provide the appropriate assistive devices. Low vision care should be individualized, taking into consideration the personality of the patient and his or her environment. Most importantly, emotional support and counselling are an essential part of the successful care of a patient with low vision.