Low Vision

Low vision refers to the critical impairment of vision that can’t be corrected by normal lens correction devices. It happens when an individual is unable to properly maintain a functional level of visual activity.

Low vision may also refer to critical damage to peripheral vision. This may be a result of traumatic injury or the onset of eye infection/disease.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW VISION

Low vision will cause sufferers visual difficulties in daily life. These symptoms can be indicative of low vision; observing these signs at their earliest stage will help to preserve your vision.

  • Difficulty writing, reading, sewing, seeing far, or anything requiring vision concentration
  • Seeing bright lights more dimly
  • Difficulty reading signs
  • In severe cases, one might experience difficulty recognizing faces

CAUSES OF LOW VISION

The causes of low vision are as follows:

  • Optic nerve disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Haze
  • Eye injuries

TYPES OF LOW VISION

The common types of low vision are:

1. Night Blindness

This is the inability to see under moonlight or starlight, or even in dimly-lit areas such as restaurants or movie theaters.

2. Loss of Side Vision

Typically, this is the inability to recognize anything from one side or both sides. It may also be the inability to distinguish anything directly above or below eye level. If central vision makes it possible to recognize objects directly ahead, then the loss of side vision retards reading speed and affects mobility. It may sometimes be referred to as “tunnel vision.”

3. Blurred Vision

This is a condition where both far and near objects appear out of focus, even when the object is very large. This type of low vision is unimproved by even prescription lenses.

4. Age-related Macular Degeneration - AMD

AMD is a bilateral impairment to vision that hinders the functional abilities of the patient. This cannot be corrected with therapy, surgical intervention, medical treatment, contact lenses, or conventional eyewear. It is regarded as a loss of acuity or sharpness but may manifest as a loss of light sensitivity, loss of contrast, distorted vision, or a loss in field of vision.

5. Loss of Central Vision

This condition blurs or blocks the center of the sufferer’s view, while the peripheral vision remains intact. This makes it more difficult to read or to recognize objects/faces and distant objects. Mobility is not usually affected because side vision stays intact.

6. Extreme Light Sensitivity

This occurs when the visual system is overwhelmed by normal levels of illumination. This results in glare and a washed out image. People experiencing extreme light sensitivity may suffer discomfort or pain from standard levels of illumination.

7. Haze

This is the sensation of a glare or film over one’s vision that may produce various areas or patterns of severe vision loss extending over the entire viewing field.

EFFECTS OF LOW VISION

Low vision affects our daily lives in many ways. You'll experience physical, psychological, and economic changes. Routines like reading, taking independent walks, sewing, and other leisure activities can be affected. The chances of stumbling and falling are also increased.

TREATMENT

There are many low vision treatments and devices that can help those suffering from low vision cope with their vision disability.

1. Consult Your Eye Doctor

The first step is to visit a professional eye doctor and receive a diagnosis. The doctor will assess the severity of the low vision issue, and recommend treatments such as:

  • stand magnifiers
  • spectacle magnifiers
  • telescopes
  • video magnifiers
  • reading glasses
  • absorptive filters

Other solutions, such as for reading, may include special lighting, audio tapes, large-font printed material, or other visual aids.

Low vision magnifiers are helpful to those experiencing low vision. These devices give them the ability to read. There are various sizes and designs; for instance, the handheld versions are portable and can be carried along from place to place, while larger magnifiers can be used on a table. For those going shopping with a reading list or trying to read nutrition labels and menus, these can be very helpful.

2. Low Vision Rehabilitation Services

Low Vision Rehabilitation Services help you utilize what’s left of your vision to its fullest. Low Vision Rehabilitation offers a wide variety of services, such as special visual device training and low vision evaluations. They also offer direction for making improvements to your home, group, work, and community life, as well as providing group support from others with similar issues.

Talking computers, LED lighting, electronic glasses, and screen magnification have all made the visual rehabilitation process much easier. They offer hope and quality-of-life improvement, but not a cure.

Other possible remedies include:

  • Make arrangements for motion lights that’ll be switched on as soon as the person experiencing low vision enters the room
  • Write with bold black tip pens
  • Try not to strain eyes, and always take rest from work
  • Adjust lights according to your need
  • Make excessive use of contrasting colors. Use dark on light or light on dark surfaces more often; this can prevent falling and other errors

Do not let this condition take your confidence or hinder your happiness in life. You have to understand that every individual faces problems daily, and what makes them different is only the severity of the problem. Be encouraged; live happily, as you still have a lot to offer to the world.

For those who spend long hours on computers, taking proper care of your eyes will be beneficial for your health. It is better to prevent than to cure! If you are having any eye-related problem, it will affect your work, concentration, and productivity. We are all are fully responsible for the overall wellbeing of our bodies.

For more information, contact our office to make an appointment to see an optometrist.