Low vision is the term used to refer to a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses or contact lenses. It is often characterized by partial sight, such as blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision. Low vision can impact people of all ages but is primarily associated with older adults.
There are many causes of impaired or low vision, including:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
Treating the underlying cause for low vision with medications, vitamin therapy or surgical procedures may help slow the progression of vision loss, but some sight loss may never be able to be restored.
Low Vision Rehabilitation involves the evaluation of the patient’s visual requirements to determine the best Low Vision aids and resources to help improve everyday function again.
Living with Low Vision
People who suffer from low vision are encouraged to remain independent by taking advantage of assistive technologies that are designed for people with visual challenges. Low vision products include reading and video magnifiers, talking clocks, computer software, and telescopic aids. People with impaired vision may be able to read large print books and magazines more comfortably than traditional-sized print, either alone or with the help of assistive devices. Many people with vision loss will use a combination of several different sight impaired aids to accomplish routine tasks.
Mobility specialists and occupational therapy in low vision can teach the visually impaired how to adapt a household to accommodate a person with vision impairment, and how to complete everyday events such as going to work, cooking a meal or doing a load of laundry. Those with low vision have access to support and are encouraged to take advantage of their support systems; their families, medical professionals, and their local communities may all offer resources and support that can help individuals with vision loss live an empowered, fulfilled life.