Dealing with Low Vision

posted in: Vision Impairment

Low vision refers to the significant impairment of vision that is not corrected with the usual lens correction devices. It may also refer to the significant loss of the peripheral vision. Although the condition is distributed among different age brackets, the majority of those  who suffer from low vision are 50 years and older.

Among the most common causes of low vision are cataracts, eye injury, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. For those who have low vision, objects may appear hazy, blurred or distorted.

Having low vision can have a significant impact in one’s life, especially job-related activities, self-care, and even the most common daily routines. There may also be problems with recognizing faces. Safety risks also increase since the person may have difficulty recognizing traffic signs, oncoming traffic and other related factors. Many of those affected with low vision are forced to quit their jobs since the condition affects with their job-related functions and they cannot carry their usual jobs any longer. At home, they may still have problems with the simplest activities due to the impairment of their vision. These shortcomings may affect their emotional aspect and lower their self-esteem.

People with low vision are not the only ones affected. Their significant others also related pain and trouble related to the frustrations of their loved one. But while this condition seem hopeless, there are still some things you can do to adapt to the situation. As mentioned before, low vision cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses and even surgery, so there are some lifestyle modifications and adaptations that should be done.

Firstly, a low vision specialist can evaluate the individual to determine the type and degree of vision loss and help them adapt to the condition. It is very important for the individual to overcome grief and accept the current situation before they can completely rehabilitate. Patients are prescribed magnifying aids and telescopic devices. There are also individuals who provide training in the use of different low vision aids as well as coping with a lifestyle with decreased vision. Other aids include audio recordings, text-to-speech software and special lightings to modify contrast and maximize the remaining vision of the patient.

Low vision is a very difficult and frustrating condition, but with the support and proper rehabilitation, the affected individuals will be able to adapt better. 

Jackson BarryAbout the Author:
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