The term low vision applies to individuals who have experienced such significant changes in vision that they cannot be addressed by glasses or contact lenses. Low vision can make it difficult or impossible to perform normal tasks and can be caused by a variety of conditions, including congenital diseases. Our team at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, PC in Philadelphia, PA, can help you maximize your remaining sight and cope with vision loss in your daily life. 

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision is the permanent loss of vision that cannot be improved with corrective lenses, medications, or surgical intervention. If you are diagnosed with low vision, this means there is no treatment that will restore your lost vision. However, there are methods of enhancing your remaining vision to maintain your quality of life. 

Symptoms of Low Vision

Low vision can affect a range of everyday activities. You may notice lights seem dimmer than before or find it difficult to manage glare. Vision loss can also make it difficult or impossible to perform normal tasks, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Watching television
  • Shopping
  • Driving
  • Sewing
  • Cooking

Low vision can also make it more difficult to recognize faces and match colors. If you have experienced any significant changes to your eyesight, contact our office right away. Catching vision loss early is the most effective way to prevent more serious issues.

A blurred photo of a group of children.
Low vision can make it challenging to recognize faces.

Causes of Low Vision

Vision loss is more common in older people, but can happen at any age. There are many conditions that can lead to vision loss, including:

If you have any of these disorders, you are at a higher risk of developing low vision. Injuries to the eye can also cause vision loss. 

Types of Vision Loss

Low vision can manifest as several types of vision loss. You may experience loss in your central vision, which is the vision used when you look directly at something, or in your peripheral vision, which is how we see things at the edge of our line of sight. Other types of low vision can affect your contrast sensitivity, depth perception, or visual processing. 

Being diagnosed with low vision can be a discouraging experience. Our team is here to help you gather the tools and techniques you need to navigate your world after vision loss.

How Is Low Vision Diagnosed?

Low vision is most often diagnosed during regular medical eye exams. However, if you notice changes in your vision, you should schedule an appointment at our office right away so your doctor can perform a comprehensive eye exam. During this type of examination, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and any vision problems you are experiencing. They will also perform tests to assess your vision and check for any eye disease. 

Maximizing Your Remaining Vision

Our team can help you enhance the vision you still have so you can maintain your independence and continue performing everyday tasks as much as possible. Vision rehabilitation can teach you new techniques to manage your world with low vision. In addition, there are a range of low vision aids available to facilitate your everyday life. Examples of low vision aids include:

  • Magnifying spectacles 
  • Hand magnifiers
  • Telescopes
  • Stand magnifiers
  • Video magnifiers

We can also recommend low vision devices designed to help with everyday tasks. Talking items and devices with large-sized numbers can all help you navigate your world with reduced vision. 

Find the Support You Need

Being diagnosed with low vision can be a discouraging experience. Our team is here to help you gather the tools and techniques you need to retain your independence after vision loss. For more information about our eye care services, contact us online or call (215) 672-4300 to speak to a member of our team.

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