Do you experience visual impairment that’s affecting your everyday activities?  If you’re having difficulty seeing, you may have low vision. With low vision, it can be hard to do many of the things you love to do, which can be frustrating. But there are coping methods and technologies that can help you get the support you need. Here we look at low vision and what you can do if you have this type of visual impairment.

What is Low Vision?

If you suffer from low vision, you may experience permanently reduced vision that cannot be easily corrected with regular eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. It’s best described as not having enough vision to do whatever it is that you need to do. Generally, the person will have loss of best-corrected visual acuity (BVCA) to worse than 20/70 in the better eye. And it also includes conditions such as tunnel vision, blind spots, and legal blindness.

Causes

Many vision impairment cases are caused by eye diseases, like cataracts or glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa that can reduce your vision. It can also be caused by eye cancer, albinism, and brain injuries. In many cases, low vision can also be caused by simple eye injuries, so always take care to protect your eyes.

Impacts

Low vision may cause people to have issues with learning and problem solving. Children are the most affected, as they may lose out on socializing with others or learning important concepts at school. Adults on the other hand, commonly experience depression and frustration with the condition. They lose their ability to do many of the things that they love, like driving, reading, and seeing their loved ones. They may also have difficulties with mobility, which can impact their ability to work.

What to Do

If you suspect that you suffer from visual impairment, talk to your eye care professional immediately. They can provide a full eye exam to determine your visual condition. They can also provide the next steps necessary, which may involve speaking to a low vision specialist who can better assess the degree of vision loss that you are experiencing. Vision specialists can also prescribe low vision aids that you can use to help you get around. And if you are experiencing depression, you should also seek counselling and consider joining a support group for low vision impairment.

Technology

New technological advancements in software and vision aids have recently been developed that can help people with low vision impairment. Nifty gadgets like handheld digital magnifiers, tinted UV filter eyewear, and text-to-speech features are available to help you cope with this condition.

Low vision can make a person feel alone, but you don’t have to feel this way. Talk to your optometrist today and they will help you get the support you need.

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