Low vision is a loss of vision that cannot be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Low vision is not blindness, as sight is limited. Low vision can include blurred vision, blind spots, or low night vision. Macular degeneration, due to age, or glaucoma are the most common causes. A factor is also diabetes. People with impaired vision can use visual aids.
What is low-vision?
Low vision is a loss of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses prescribed by a doctor or contact lenses. You don’t have to go blind if you experience this kind of vision loss. There may still be some vision that can be corrected with visual aids.
Low vision can be described as a range of levels of sight loss, from blind spots, poor night vision, and issues in glare to complete loss. Low vision is defined by the American Optometric Association as one of two categories:
Partially-sighted: The person’s vision ranges from 20/70 to 200, with traditional prescription lenses.
“Legal blind” means that the person’s visual acuity is greater than 20/200 with traditional correction and/or has a limited field of vision of fewer than 20 degrees.
Visual acuity is measured by the ratio of vision. It refers to the clarity of vision at 20 feet from an object. 20/70 vision means that you must be at least 20 feet from an object to see what someone with normal vision can see at 70 feet.
Who is most at risk for developing low vision?
Low vision can affect anyone. It can be caused by a variety of diseases and injuries. Low vision is more common in adults older than 45 years due to glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is also more common among those over 75. Poor vision is a common problem in older people, such as one out of six over 45-year-olds. Poor vision affects one in four people aged 75 and older.
These are the most popular types of low-vision:
- Central vision loss is a blind spot in the middle of the vision.
- Side (or peripheral) vision Inability to see any object on either side of the eye, above or below the eye. Central vision, however, remains unaffected.
- Blindness at night: A loss of vision in dark places, such as theaters and outdoors.
- Blurred vision objects appear both far away and near.
- Vision blurred: The whole area of vision appears blurred or covered by film or blur.
Causes and symptoms
Low vision could be caused by many things. Low vision is usually caused by eye injuries, eye conditions, or a condition that affects the entire body. Macular degeneration, which is also caused by diabetes and glaucoma, is the most common cause of poor vision. Eye cancer, eye injuries, and genetic disorders can all contribute to low vision. Low vision is more common if you have these conditions, or are at high risk.
Diagnostics and tests
Low vision can be identified by an eye exam performed by your eye specialist. If you have vision problems that make it difficult to do everyday activities such as cooking, traveling, or school, consult your eye doctor. Your depth perception, visual field, and visual acuity will all be tested by the eye doctor.
Treatment and management
Some eye conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, can be treated to restore or maintain vision. If this is impossible, vision loss can be permanent. Aids for visual impairment are beneficial to many people who have difficulty seeing. These are the most common low-vision aids:
- Telescopic glasses
- Lenses that reflect light
- Magnifying glasses
- Hand magnifiers
- Closed-circuit television.
- Reading prisms.
The Argus(r) II prosthetic eye might be able for some patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The device can partially restore sight to blind patients. Some patients may be able to see better and be able to navigate streets and doors independently.
These non-optical aids are very helpful for those who have difficulty seeing. These are some of the most common non-optical aids:
- Software to read text
- Refer to the guides.
- Watches and clocks with high contrast.
- Watches and clocks that talk.
- Large print publications.
- Watches, clocks, and phones with larger numbers.
Many people can see better and live more comfortably with visual aids. Ask your Low vision specialist for information about the best places where to purchase visual aids.
Diabetic patients may avoid vision loss. Patients suffering from macular and glaucoma might also be treated to prevent further vision loss.
Low-vision devices are designed to improve the visual performance of low-vision children. This will facilitate academic and social development, and give them an edge in everyday life. They can be either electronic or electronic with an optical. These are the most commonly prescribed low-vision aids:
Magnifying glasses for Macular Degeneration can be worn as eyeglasses. They improve vision and help with tasks like reading, stitching, or threading needles. These magnifiers don’t require your hands and allow you to use your hands.
Stand magnifiers: These magnifiers can be placed on the object to be studied and are hidden from your eyes. You can also get handheld versions that are easy to read and have built-in lighting. Standing magnifiers may be the best option for you if you have motion disorder or arthritis.
Telescopes can be attached to glasses or similar to binoculars to be used for distant viewing.
A man reading from a video magnifier. These electronic devices make pages and photos larger. Tablets and smartphones are the most affordable video magnifiers. They allow you to increase contrast and font size.
Low Vision Techniques
These modifications, also called low vision techniques, are useful for everyday tasks. You can improve the lighting in your home by using light bulbs of higher wattage. To prevent accidents and improve visibility, make sure that the corners and crevices of your home are well lit. To reduce glare, adjust light fixtures to minimize the effect on your eyes. Wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed stole, or a scarf around your face to protect your eyes.
To make shopping lists, use a thick and bold felt tip marker. A whiteboard can be used to mark important dates and times. Low vision devices such as watches, remotes, and thermostats that can “talk back”, are easily accessible and affordable. Special schools may have occupational therapists available to help children learn independence. Patients with vision impairment can thrive in a supportive environment at home and school.
It is important to have a positive and happy attitude about living. Many diseases that were once untreatable are now being treated. Researchers around the globe are now focusing their attention on conditions that can permanently damage the eyes and vision. We can expect a rapid breakthrough.