What is Low Vision?

What is Low Vision?

Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Low vision can make a person unable to perform everyday activities like reading the newspaper, recognizing faces or seeing the television despite wearing eyeglasses.

Mobility is another issue. A person may have limited side vision that could put him or her at risk for falls. This vision condition may make it difficult or impossible to drive or even take a walk around the neighborhood.

What Causes Low Vision?

The most common causes of low vision are from age-related conditions or can be caused by genetic factors or injury. Some of the most frequently diagnosed causes are:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Stroke

Can Young People Develop Low Vision?

There are genetic conditions that cause low vision among young people. Juvenile forms of retinal dystrophy such as Stargardt's Disease or retinitis pigmentosa can progress slowly, resulting in poor vision and/or restricted visual fields. Children with infantile cataract, glaucoma, albinism, and/or nystagmus may also lower vision. This can affect their ability to read, use a computer or drive later in life.