All About Low Vision

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Low vision is a term that is used for patients that have visual acuities ranging from 20/70 or lower and can’t be fully corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. Patients with low vision are different from patients who are blind because low vision patients have some useful sight. However, many low vision patients are not able to perform daily tasks such as reading, driving, or even differentiating colors and shapes from a distance.

There are a variety of causes of low vision. Some of the most common causes of low vision are:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Birth Defects
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Injuries
  • Inherited Diseases
  • Aging

The loss of vision can be devastating for some patients; especially once they learn that their vision can never be restored. It is important for patients to see an eye care professional if they experience symptoms of vision loss. Some symptoms of vision loss are:

  • Not being able to read
  • Not being able to write
  • Having a hard time watching television
  • Not being able to shop
  • Being unable to drive
  • Having a hard time recognizing faces
Another symptom low vision patients may encounter is known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This is when patients see things that are not really there. This is not a mental issue. This is simply the brain trying to replace images that the eye can’t see. These symptoms can often startle or upset patients. However, it is important to remember that patients with low vision have support groups, visual aids, and other resources available to them. For more information on low vision resources, click here.

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