Low Vision at a Glance

A visually impaired man standing on a street corner with a guide dog.

Low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to do. When you have low vision, eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery may not help. Activities like reading the mail or a newspaper, working on a computer, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be hard to do.

Things to know and remember:

  • Low vision is a vision problem that makes it hard to do everyday activities like reading, watching television or driving.
  • Low vision is more common in older adults because many of the diseases that can cause it are more common in older adults. Aging doesn’t cause low vision on its own. Eye and brain injuries and certain genetic disorders can also cause low vision.
  • Low vision is usually permanent. It can’t be fixed with glasses, contact lenses, or other standard treatments like medicine or surgery.
  • Vision Rehabilitation is usually the treatment of necessity. A low vision specialist can help you learn how to live with your vision loss. This can include things like magnifying devices for reading, better lighting in your home, setting up your home so you can move around easily, and community resources for low vision persons.

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