What is it?

Low vision is vision loss that is not corrected with glasses, contacts or surgery. It differs from blindness as limited sight remains. Low vision includes blind spots, poor night vision and problems with glare to an almost complete vision loss. Low vision is divided into partially sighted which means that the patient has visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with conventional prescription lenses. Legally blind, is the other category, meaning that the patient has visual acuity no better than 20/200 with conventional correction and/or a restricted field of vision less than 20 degrees wide. Adults are at greater risk of developing low vision. The most common types of vision loss are loss of central vision, loss of peripheral vision, night blindness, blurred vision or hazy vision. Causes for low vision are many and may include macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma, cancer, and inherited diseases like retinitis pigmentosa. Blindness is the inability to see anything, including light.

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Signs & symptoms

Vision loss symptoms include blind spots, poor night vision,loss of peripheral vision, blurred vision or hazy vision. Patients may experience difficulty in reading, using a computer, writing, watching television and driving a car. Blindness symptoms may include cloudy vision, an inability to see shapes, seeing only shadows, and tunnel vision.

Diagnosis

Ophthalmologists will make a diagnosis by the symptoms reported and a complete eye exam. with a slit lamp and a variety of instruments, as well as a visual acuity test.

Treatment

Treatment for low vision depends on the underlying cause. Many people with low vision use visual aids such as telescopic glasses, lenses that filter light, magnifying glasses, hand magnifiers, and others. Certain specific treatments are available, depending on the cause.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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