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Overview of Low Vision

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Low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to do.  Reading the mail, shopping, cooking, seeing the TV and writing can seem challenging because of a lack of clear vision.

Low Vision is not just a normal change in vision as a person ages.  Most people develop low vision because of eye diseases and health conditions like macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma and diabetes.  Your eye care professional can tell the difference between normal changes in the aging eye and those caused by eye diseases.

After an ophthalmologist completes any medical or surgical treatments and determines that such treatments will not improve your vision, a low vision evaluation is the next step. 

People with low vision have some functional vision that can often be enhanced with visual devices such as prescription strength magnifiers, prisms, telescopic lenses, binoculars and CCTVs.  During a low vision evaluation, a specially trained optometrist or ophthalmologist can help determine what low vision aids are most appropriate for you.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) has a basic questionnaire that may help determine if you have low vision.  To access the questionnaire, go to www.nei.nih.gov/health/ and click on “Low Vision”

BCABVI operates a low vision clinic in Newtown which is open to the public. To schedule an appointment, call (215) 968-1035.

Last Updated on 23 May 2016