Low vision is not the same as blindness or traditional
vision problems that can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Low vision is vision that does not allow you do to the things that you
need to do. This is different for different people and may include the
inability to distinguish colors, the loss of visual activity, blurred,
obstructed or spotty vision, and the loss of visual fields, such as
"tunnel vision.” It is usually caused by injury or eye disease such as
macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, but can be a
result of a injury or a hereditary condition.
People with low vision usually retain some usable vision, and
although there is no cure for low vision, eye care and vision
rehabilitation treatment is available. Low vision specialists at The Eye
Clinic help patients by evaluating their functioning eyesight and
prescribing optical devices or training to maximize their remaining
vision. Vision rehabilitation services help individuals adapt to their
new environment and teaches them to function safely with newfound
independence and confidence. Through the proper rehabilitation
procedures, patients can maintain their everyday quality of life and
complete necessary tasks.
Low vision devises include optical and non-optical tools that
improve vision. Different types of low vision may require different
kinds of visual assistance. Optical low vision devises use lenses or a
combination of lenses to provide magnifications. These are very
different from standard eyeglasses and include:
Non-optical low vision tools include:
Large-print books, newspapers and magazines
Large playing cards
Enlarged telephone dials
High-contrast watch faces
Machines that talk (timers, clocks, computers)
Machines that scan print and read aloud
A complete eye exam by an experienced ophthalmologist is essential for an accurate diagnosis of low vision.