Low Vision is the term used to refer to poor vision that is not correctable with surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses or contact lenses. It is often characterised by partial sight, such as blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision. Low vision can impact people of all ages, but is primarily associated with older adults.
Causes of Low Vision
Some of the most common visual impairments that can cause low vision include the following:
· Age-Related Macular Degeneration
· Retinitis Pigmentosa
There are also many additional causes of low vision, including strokes, traumatic brain injury, albinism and retinopathy of prematurity.
Low Vision Care
Instances of low vision require different approaches to care because the causes of each individual case of low vision may differ. Some people develop low vision over time due to aging eyes or genetic predisposition. Other people suffer sudden trauma to the eyes which result in a loss of vision.
A thorough examination by an eye care professional, which may also include scans/tests to establish a baseline of current vision status, will determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment plans can improve vision and include one or more of the following:
· Specialized optical systems
· Therapeutic filters
· Video magnification
· Computer monitor enhancement, such as increasing font size and contrast
· A holistic approach when the vision is very poor, or if blind, includes self-care, dressing, grooming and cooking.
Low Vision Devices
Near vision magnification – mainly hand held magnifiers
Intermediate magnification – mainly head-worn magnifiers
· Computer work
· Playing music
Devices for distance tasks
· Watching TV
· Sporting events
· Spotting street signs