When ordinary eyeglasses, contact lenses or corrective surgeries do not provide clear vision, one is said to have low vision. Not to be confused with blindness, people with low vision still have a degree of useful vision that can be often improved with low-vision devices.
Low vision can be caused by
- birth defects
- inherited diseases
- macular degeneration
The most common form of low vision is categorized as reduced central or reading vision, however an individual can have low vision in their peripheral vision, or a loss of color vision or contact sensitivity. The most common ocular diseases that cause low vision are macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
The goal of a low vision examination is to determine which low vision aid (either optical or non-optical) will work best to provide the greatest functional vision for the patient through magnification. Low vision devices or aides are available in optical and non-optical types. Optical devices use lenses to provide magnification. The most popular low vision devices available at Center for Sight include:
- Hand-held magnifiers (low to high powered)
- Stand magnifiers
- Closed circuit television-provides high-powered electronic magnification
- Hand-held electronic magnification
After obtaining low vision devices, it is important to be trained on how to properly utilize them. Center for Sight is dedicated to fully training patients on low vision devices and integrating their use to allow enhanced functional vision for our impacted patients.