Patients with low vision require different approaches to care because the causes of low vision of each individual may vary. Some people develop low vision over time due to aging or a certain genetic condition. As we age, our eyes change too. Many of these changes in vision can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. However, if your eye doctor tells you that your vision cannot be fully corrected with ordinary prescription lenses, medical treatment, or surgery, and you still have some usable vision, you have what is called “low vision.” Having low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery, you may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as reading your mail, shopping, preparing meals, and signing your name. There are many signs that can indicate low vision. For example, even with your regular glasses, do you have difficulty:
a) Recognizing faces of your friends and relatives
b) Performing tasks that require you to see well up close, such as reading, cooking, crafting, fixing things around the house, or picking out and matching the color of your clothing
c) Performing tasks at work or home because lights now seem dimmer
d) Reading street and bus signs, or the names of stores
Vision changes like these could be early warning signs of eye disease. Usually, the earlier your problem is diagnosed, the better are your chances of undergoing successful treatment and keeping your remaining vision. Regular dilated eye exams should be part of your routine health care
Cause- Among older persons, low vision can result from specific eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, from a stroke, or from a range of other eye conditions. Low vision may affect your ability to see people’s faces or watch television, to read, to drive, and even to match colors. It is important to discuss your vision with your eye care professional because many causes of decreased vision can be treatable with medicine or surgery.
Low Vision Services- Low vision services can include any or all of the following:-
a) training to use optical and electronic devices correctly
b) training to help you use your remaining vision more effectively
c) improving lighting and enhancing contrast in each area of your home
d) providing a link with a counselor or a support group to help you deal with your feelings related to your changed vision
e) learning about other helpful resources in the community and state, such as vision rehabilitation services or free Library for the Blind services.