All About Low Vision & Treatment
Low Vision refers to the condition of having reduced visual abilities. In contrast with blindness, people with Low Vision maintain some degree of functional eyesight. Yet, typical daily tasks may be a challenge, which can make life into a frustrating experience. Our experienced eye doctors understand the difficulties of living with low vision, and we offer various methods of low vision assistance to the NYC metro area. With the right strategies and tools, we can help enhance quality of life for people with low vision.
Who develops low vision?
A primary cause of low vision is eye disease, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinitis pigmentosa. These eye diseases are typically associated with aging, which is why low vision occurs frequently amongst the elderly. A brain injury or eye injury may also lead to low vision, and sometimes family genetics are to blame.
What are the symptoms of low vision?
The classic symptom of low vision is having visual acuity less than 20/70, blind spots, blurry eyesight, tunnel vision, diminished sensitivity to light, or vision loss in your entire visual field. As a result, routine activities may become impossible, such as reading, cooking, driving and watching TV.
In general, eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery and medication are not able to correct these problems sufficiently. That’s why low vision assistance is essential! With the right low vision devices, people can optimize their independence by making the most of their remaining eyesight.
What is low vision assistance?
Although there is no cure for low vision, there is a wide range of low vision devices and aids on the market. With so many choices, it can be overwhelming to figure out which visual aid is right for you. Our compassionate and knowledgeable eye doctors keep current with all that’s available, and we’ll match your needs to the most appropriate visual aid.
Some low vision devices use magnifiers or telescopes to enlarge the object you want to view. Other aids will help tone down glare and enhance visual contrast, so you can see more clearly.
In addition, there low vision aids that add non-visual cues, such as sound or touch. This can improve your ability to identify objects accurately.
Every patient is unique, with a unique lifestyle – and our low vision assistance is personalized. As we get to know each of our patients personally, we will recommend the most helpful low vision devices.
How can I help myself cope with Low Vision?
We encourage people with low vision to practice various self-help strategies, in addition to using low vision devices. Not only is it gratifying to know that there effective ways to help yourself, but joining forces with your eye doctor by investing your own efforts is the most powerful way to maximize your quality of life!
Our eye care specialists advise the following tips and aids for coping with low vision:
Magnifying tools: Depending upon your needs, hand-held and stand-alone magnifiers are often helpful. There are also eyeglass mounted magnifying lenses.
Lighting: It may be worthwhile to install new lighting in your home. Experiment with various lights and powers to determine which ones improve your vision.
Lens tints: Specialized tinted eyeglass lenses may provide low vision assistance if you have hypersensitivity to light, such as cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa
Large-print books: Reading materials with x-large font can restore your ability to read a book, and digital readers are another good option, since you can enlarge the font as necessary
Audio books: When reading printed text is impossible or too hard, digital recordings and mp3s are a great alternative
Apply high-contrast stripes: Contrasting lines on staircases and in between different flooring can prevent falls and accidents. Use light stripes on dark colors and black stripes on light steps.
Whether Low Vision is caused by eye injury, macular degeneration, cataracts or a different eye problem, reduced eyesight can lead to reduced independence. This need to depend upon others for many daily tasks often spirals into depression. Our NYC eye doctors are here to help prevent that from happening! By matching you with the ideal, optically advanced low vision devices, we’ll help you see the world and enjoy life to its fullest.