Low vision refers to the condition where you have poor vision that prescription eyewear and surgery cannot correct. Low vision is not complete blindness because the patient usually has some vision. Eye doctors can also still improve visual ability through other visual aids.

What Are The Aspects Of Low Vision?

There are several degrees of vision loss included in low vision. They are:

  • Poor night vision
  • Issues with glare that may lead to complete loss of vision
  • Blind spots

According to the American Optometric Association, you can divide low vision into two categories:

Partially Sighted: A partially sighted patient will have visual acuity ranging between 20/70 to 20/200 when using traditional prescription lenses.

Legally Blind: A legally blind patient, with conventional correction, has visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200. They could also have a field of vision restricted to 20 degrees or less.

What Are The Causes Of Low Vision?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The macula is the retina’s center responsible for the sharp focus of objects close to our eyes. When the macula deteriorates due to age, it affects several visual abilities. You will have difficulty driving, reading, recognizing faces, or performing work with fine detail. Patients experience these effects because macular degeneration casts a blind spot right in front of the eyes.


Glaucoma is a series of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve in the back of the eye. It occurs when the fluid in the eye builds up and applies pressure to the internal ocular structures. The fluid buildup can result from excess fluid production or drainage issues. It is the second cause of blindness in the United States. It may also cause low vision in some patients.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

This group of eye conditions destroys the rods and cones in the retina which are the eye’s light-sensitive cells. Damage to these cells affects night and peripheral vision in a patient. RP is a hereditary disease; the first signs usually manifest during the teenage years or young age. Usually, patients with RP will progress to total blindness in their 40s.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy causes slow damage to the retina and may lead to complete blindness if untreated. It has a high prevalence of up to 45 percent of people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar begins to damage the capillaries in the retina. The blood vessels in the retina will begin to leak blood and other fluids, causing the retina to swell. In turn, the vision of the patient becomes blurry.

For more on the main causes of low vision, visit Village Optical at our New Hyde Park, New York office. Call (516) 352-2316 to schedule an appointment today.


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