Low Vision

Understanding Low Vision

Low vision is a term for limited eyesight that cannot be corrected with medication, surgery or eyeglasses. It can result from a range of diseases, hereditary factors or injuries that affect the eye. Low vision can range from poor nighttime vision to almost complete loss of sight. The American Optometric Association defines low vision as two categories: “Partially sighted” refers to individuals with visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with conventional prescription lenses. “Legally blind” refers to individuals with visual acuity no better than 20/200 with conventional correction and/or a restricted field of vision less than 20-degrees wide.

Eyeglasses on an eye chart

Eye Care for People with Low Vision

It is extremely important for people with low vision to see an eye doctor on a regular basis. While low vision cannot usually be improved, worsening can typically be prevented through proper eye care. If you have a condition that increases your risk but do not yet have symptoms, careful management can help maintain the sight that you have.

Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

Most of the things that are good for the rest of your body are also good for your eyes, such as:

  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking
  • Taking medication as directed
  • Managing blood sugar and blood pressure levels

If you have an eye condition, your eye doctor can speak to you about specific things to focus on for managing that disease.


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