Low vision is a level of vision impairment where the person is not totally blind but vision is less than normal. People with low vision are best helped using rehabilitation techniques that maximize the vision that remains. This is most often accomplished with low vision devices such as large print, magnifiers, and illumination.
Low vision may result from a variety of different ophthalmologic and neurological disorders and low vision is an impairment that may interfere with a person’s ability to carry out daily living and leisure activities, as well as the ability to work and earn a living at their chosen profession. Therefore, the ability to maximize visual function can restore some quality of life and the social, psychological and economic benefits that come with it.
Generally, low vision describes any condition of reduced vision that cannot be fixed by standard glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery that disrupts a person’s ability to perform common age-appropriate visual tasks.
Low vision is best addressed through a low vision rehabilitation program designed by a doctor who assesses a patient’s visual abilities and designs a training program to maximize the vision that remains or to maximize the patient’s use of the healthy part of his or her eyes. This may involve the use of technology, low vision devices, behaviour and environment assessments and more.