Nearly 14 million Americans have low vision – a condition characterized by a level of vision that is 20/60 or worse and that cannot be fully corrected with medical treatment, surgery, or conventional glasses.
Unlike total blindness, most individuals with low vision have some useful sight. But as vision deteriorates, those affected often find it difficult to accomplish the tasks of everyday life – such as reading, recognizing faces, cooking, driving, and differentiating color.
Low vision can occur at any stage in life, but it primarily affects those over age 60. Most people develop low vision as a result of eye conditions and diseases, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and stroke. Some conditions are treatable, but vision that is already lost is irreversible.
Symptoms to Look For
- Loss of detail
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Constant double vision
- Difficulty navigating steps
- Inability to distinguish colors
What is Low Vision Rehabilitation?
This involves the training and therapy that ensures you develop the skills and strategies to help you achieve the vision-related goals you set for yourself. It makes the most of your remaining vision through use of optical and non-optical devices.
Typical Low Vision Devices
One of the simplest devices used for reading text and numbers.
Eyeglasses that allow reading of small print at close viewing distances.
Hand-held or spectacle mounted, these devices improve distance vision tasks including TV, faces and in some cases driving.
High-tech video magnifiers allow a severely impaired person greater ability to read or see distance objects with better clarity.