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.