What is Low Vision?

Low vision is most common in adults age sixty and over, though, vision impairment can affect younger people as well and because it can affect people of all ages, vision loss can make day-to-day tasks difficult. The best way to keep up an active lifestyle while dealing with the effects of low vision is to learn what it is, what causes it, and how best to manage it.

If you or someone in your life has low vision, you may find it comforting to learn that this is a common condition. You might also take comfort in knowing that you are certainly not alone, since the National Eye Institute (NEI) reports that millions of Americans will experience visual impairment in their lifetime.

Signs of Low Vision

Low vision is a term that encompasses a variety of sight problems. According to Whatislowvision.org, the ailment is typically characterized by eye problems including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Blind spots
  • Legal blindness

Such problems can limit a person’s ability to complete daily tasks and enjoy their beloved hobbies. Past times, such as reading and  sewing, can be compromised dramatically by visual impairment. Important daily takes, like maintaining personal hygiene, getting dressed, and preparing food, can also become increasingly difficult for individuals experiencing low vision. More alarmingly, tasks like driving, operating machinery, and reading signs can become extremely difficult for people with vision problems. It requires the affected person to make lifestyle changes to accommodate their visual impairment, and that, in turn, requires consultation with an eye care professional.

Common Causes

A variety of factors can contribute to the loss of sight. Genetics, aging, birth defects, and eye traumas are well documented causes. Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the most common cause of vision loss, accounting for up to half of all reported cases of low vision in the USA (according to data from The Vision Council). Glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy are also frequent causes of impairment, especially in older adults.

Although, it is not always possible to restore vision after it has been lost, it is possible to treat the underlying causes. If you are experiencing any signs of visual impairment, or have an eye disease or disorder that can lead to loss of vision, don’t hesitate in contacting your vision specialist, it might lead to saving your vision.

Living with Low Vision

Although most people with visual impairment will need to use therapeutic devices to complete certain tasks, it is also important to work with a qualified ophthalmologist who specializes in treating patients experiencing low vision. Only an ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat the eye diseases and disorders which cause visual impairment for you or your loved one.

In Orange County, the ophthalmologists at Advanced Eye Medical are qualified help you manage your visual impairment and, most importantly, treat its underlying cause. With the help of your ophthalmologist, you can address the underlying cause, treat it, and develop a plan for completing daily activities with highest level of comfort and convenience possible.