If you are experiencing blurry vision and are not able to see well enough to do everyday activities such as reading and driving, you may be suffering from low vision. Low vision is most often a symptom of a condition, not a condition on its own. It is common in individuals suffering from vision problems like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma.
Even if you are suffering from changes in your vision, it's not too late to get an eye exam from our team of low vision specialists and begin your road to recovery with our low vision care doctors.
The low vision specialists at Clarkson Eyecare can help you diagnose and treat low vision at nearly 200 locations across Missouri, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Jersey, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota. Click to find a location near you.
Total blindness is when an individual has no light perception whereas someone dealing with low vision still has light perception. Individuals with low vision can have visual fields that include visual impairments such as blind spots, poor night vision, and blurry sight. It is important to note that people with low vision may experience different symptoms and varying degrees of the same symptom. Low vision is unable to be corrected with glasses or contact lenses or surgery. Low vision is diagnosed in individuals with a visual acuity worse than 20/70 and sight that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Low vision can be caused by a number of different conditions that are both genetic or environmental:
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye care provider as you will require an eye exam to diagnose low vision.
Loss of central vision - a blur or a blind spot in the center of your visual field but your peripheral vision remains
Night blindness - when one cannot see outside at night or in dimly lit areas
Loss of peripheral vision - also known as tunnel vision, this is when one loses side vision in both or one eye or when one cannot see above or below eye level
Blurred vision - when the visual field is out of focus even with corrective lenses
Hazy vision - field of vision seems to be covered with a film or glare
After receiving a comprehensive eye exam to confirm a low vision diagnosis, the optometrists at Clarkson Eyecare can develop a custom eye care treatment plan that is right for you and your vision rehabilitation needs. Rehabilitating your vision is similar to physical therapy, but for your eyes and there are a number of different rehabilitation services available.
There are a few steps to a vision rehabilitation program. First, your optometrist will evaluate your vision, conduct a few eye examinations to assess your visual function, and then create your rehabilitation plan. Your rehabilitation plan might include environmental modification and use of low vision devices. The low vision specialists at Clarkson Eyecare are here to help you rehabilitate your eyesight. The goal of low vision rehabilitation is to help preserve your sight. Low vision rehabilitation will not reverse any damage that has already occurred; however, It can help you keep the sight you have left.
Having trouble with your sight? Worried you may have low vision or an underlying vision condition? Be sure to schedule an exam with our vision care experts.
There are a wide variety of eye conditions that can cause low vision. The most common being:
Macular degeneration - a disorder that affects the retina
Diabetes - can cause daily vision changes including diabetic retinopathy
Glaucoma - will cause damage to the optic nerve
Cataracts - caused by long-term exposure to UV radiation or an injury
Retinitis pigmentosa - an inherited disease that will eventually destroy night vision
Injuries - stroke, brain damage, eye trauma, or head trauma
It depends, if the underlying condition is diagnosed early, such as diabetic retinopathy or cataracts, it can be prevented entirely or reversed. If low vision is caused by a genetic disease, you may be able to seek vision rehabilitation for it to protect your remaining vision.
It is important to have annual eye exams to stay on top of your ocular health. This way if an issue does arise, your optometrist can treat it quickly.
It is possible to have low vision and be legally blind. To be considered legally blind your vision is 20/200 or below out of your better eye or, your field of vision is less than 20 degrees. This means that if an object is 200 feet away, you would have to be 20 feet from it to see it clearly. Those diagnosed with low vision have a visual acuity equal to or above 20/70 vision.
Because of the two eye condition’s different diagnostic criteria, most individuals with low vision are not considered legally blind. It is possible for legal blindness can occur if the symptom is not addressed making it very important to schedule an eye exam when you start to notice changes in your vision.
Low vision cannot be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Low vision can be treated to a degree with vision aids like magnifying glasses, reading prisms, or telescopic glasses.
The following visual aids can help you improve your quality of life and maintain your independence by continuing to do the things you love to do:
High-contrast clocks and watches
Talking watches and clocks
Clocks, phones, and watches with large numbers
Books on DVD/CD/audiocassette