Low Vision Causes and Treatment
By Walter Choate on February 19, 2014
You might have heard the term "low vision" before, but you may not have known what low vision was. You are not alone. The phrase does pop up from time to time, but the population at large tends to have a vague or poorly informed idea of what low vision entails.
Our optometrists and eye care experts would like to take this opportunity to consider the nature of low vision right now. We'll examine various causes of low vision and then consider how the condition and be treated and how patients can adapt to it as well.
What is low vision?
Low vision is a condition of reduced visual acuity that cannot be treated effectively with corrective lenses. This is different than general refractive error, however. Someone with low vision is still able to see, but activities such as reading and driving prove difficult due to these problems in vision.
When someone suffers from low vision, he or she can be classified into two groups based on the severity of the condition:
- Partially Sighted - When person is partially sighted, he or she achieves 20/70 to 20/200 vision with the aid of corrective lenses.
- Legally Blind - When a person is legally blind, he or she cannot achieve better than 20/200 vision with the aid of corrective lenses.
Causes of Low Vision
Low vision is generally related to various eye conditions and eye injuries. Some of the most common eye conditions that result in low vision include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal tears, retinal detachment, and retinitis pigmentosa.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Vision
Some common signs and symptoms of low vision include:
- Problems when identifying objects at a distance
- Problems with seeing close-up objects
- Problems differentiating between colors
- Problems with central vision and peripheral vision
- Problems with night vision and low-light conditions
- General haziness or blurriness of vision
Treatment Options for Low Vision
The right treatment for your case of low vision will depend on its root cause. Careful analysis and testing will be performed to ensure that you undergo the right procedure to address your needs.
Optical Aids for Low Vision - In general, the use of prescription eyewear is combined with the use of special magnification devices for televisions and computer monitors, magnifying glasses, reading prisms, lenses that filter light, and so forth. These optical aids can be quite helpful and restore a fair amount of vision loss.
Items That Help Patients Adapt to Low Vision - Patients will also use various non-optical items that allow them to adapt to their low vision. This includes buying large-print books, the purchase of high-contrast clocks and watches, listening to audio books, downloading screen reader software for the computer, and so forth.
Customized Care for Each Low Vision Patient
In order to ensure the most effective treatment for low vision, we will work closely with the patient to address all of his or her needs. We will suggest various optical devices to assist with daily activities as well as where everyday items for low vision patients can be found. We can also consider the most effective ways for patients to use their available vision in everyday situations.
Learn More About Eye Care Treatment Options
For more information about low vision treatment and your many options for advanced vision enhancement, be sure to contact our eye care specialists serving Nashville today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve excellent vision.
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“I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam.” Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient