What to Know About Low Vision from Our New Hyde Park, NY Optometrist
Low vision is an issue that can hinder your ability to drive, recognize faces, or even read. It occurs when you have minimal vision, but your vision is not reduced enough to qualify as total blindness. Even with contacts or glasses, you can still suffer from the ill effects of low vision. At Village Optimal, serving New Hyde Park, NY and the general vicinity, you can find a specialist to diagnose and address your low vision.
General Information About Low Vision
Low vision is a term eye doctors use to describe a condition where a person has a significant amount of vision loss. If you have it, contacts or glasses will not correct your vision enough for you to have nearly perfect vision. Generally, a person with low vision has a visual acuity of less than 20/70 with glasses. Often, even with glasses or contacts, a person with low vision does not qualify to receive an active driver's license, although laws vary from state to state.
Low vision does not just affect a person's visual acuity. Many times, it may also interfere with your color, night, and peripheral vision. Some individuals experience issues seeing the computer or television screen. You may struggle with daily tasks because of your vision deficit.
Causes of Low Vision
Low vision may occur as you age, although as you get older, there is not a guarantee you will suffer from low vision or even have a vision deficit. Conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy all cause low vision, and these issues tend to affect you as you age.
Eye and brain injuries can cause low vision and so can genetic disorders.
Diagnosing Low Vision
To diagnose this condition, our eye doctor will begin with a standard vision examination. You look through magnifying lenses that displace different levels of magnification. You identify which one appears the clearest to you. Based on this part of the exam, our optometrist can determine the severity of your vision loss.
The next part of a check-up to evaluate you for low vision includes a dilation exam. Our eye doctor uses eye drops to dilate your eyes and then uses a specialized magnifying device to look into your eyes to examine your eyes for problems that could cause low vision.
Treating Low Vision
Once your vision worsens to a point where you have low vision, standard correction measures are not effective. The only way to correct the problem is to address the underlying cause of your vision problems. For instance, if you have cataracts, you may need a lens replacement. Glaucoma, on the other hand, can be controlled via prescription eye drops in some cases. An optometrist can also educate you on ways to manage your vision difficulties at home.