Low vision is the term used to describe significant visual impairment that can't be
corrected fully with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.
Eyediseases are a common cause of low vision. For example:
- macular degeneration
- diabetic retinopathy
- retinitis pigmentosa
- light sensitivity
- eyei njuries
Children can have lowvision due to a birth defect or injury. Visually impaired children may have
learning problems that require special instruction and they may need help developing socialization skills.
Vision loss in adults and seniors can be particularly traumatic, leading to frustration and depression. Losing the ability to drive safely, read quickly, watch television or view a computer
screen can cause people with low vision to feel shut off from the world. They may be unable to get around town independently or shop for food and other necessities.
Some visually impaired people become very dependent on friends and relatives, while others suffer alone. That's a shame, because many ingenious low vision devices are available
to help people overcome vision impairment and live independently.
If you have a vision impairment that interferes with your ability to perform everyday activities and
enjoy life, your first step is to see an eye care professional for a complete eye exam.
Poor vision that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses could be the first sign of a
serious eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa.
If your eye doctor finds that you have vision loss that cannot be corrected adequately with standard eyewear, medical treatment or surgery, he or she will help you take the next
steps toward coping with your new situation.
An eye doctor who doesn't work in the low vision arena would refer you to a low vision specialist. A low vision specialist can evaluate the degree and type of vision loss you have, prescribe appropriate low vision aids such as: aplanatic system, prismatic glasses, galileian or
keplerian telescopes, lighted handheld magnifiers and medical filters.
He will help you learn how to use them.