A person is said to have low vision if his vision is limited or impaired and which cannot be restored with surgery or glasses.

Low vision can have a socioeconomic impact on a patients well being. It may cause problems in daily activities such as reading newspaper, watching television, climbing stairs etc. Low vision services are a help to family carers and friends to cope with these challenges.


Causes and typical patterns of low vision which cannot be corrected include:

  • Blurred or partially obscured central vision: Macular degeneration (both, age-related, and hereditary)
  • Blind spots, blurriness and visual distortions: Diabetic retinopathy
  • Poor peripheral vision, or tunnel vision: Glaucoma
  • Poor peripheral vision, and inability to see in the dark: Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Eye injuries
  • Poor central vision which may progress to no light perception: Optic neuropathies which may be inherited or acquired (toxic)

Things You Can Do On Your Own:

Improve the lighting in your home and office.

This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.

Use high contrast for reading and writing.

Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.

Use large print books or try other media, like books on tape, disk or mp3.

Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.

Use a hand held magnifier

In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very bad. If these simple steps don’t help, or over time help less and less, it’s time to seek a professional consultation for Low Vision Rehabilitation.


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