Today we are going to share some information about low vision, low vision eye care, and how our eye doctors can help address your low vision needs.
To begin with, even though “low vision” or “legally blind” sound like general terms, there are actually specific vision requirements that belong to these categories. Both low vision and legal blindness are determined by how well a person can see WITH their glasses or contact lenses on. If you want to know the exact classifications of vision impairment, check out the bolded text below, from The American Optometric Association:
Anyone with noncorrectable reduced vision is visually impaired, and can have a wide range of problems. The World Health Organization uses the following classifications of visual impairment. When the vision in the better eye with best possible glasses correction is:
- 20/30 to 20/60 is considered mild vision loss, or near-normal vision
- 20/70 to 20/160 is considered moderate visual impairment, or moderate low vision
- 20/200 to 20/400 is considered severe visual impairment, or severe low vision
- 20/500 to 20/1,000 is considered profound visual impairment, or profound low vision
- less than 20/1,000 is considered near-total visual impairment, or near total blindness
- no light perception is considered total visual impairment, or total blindness
There are also levels of visual impairment based on visual field loss (loss of peripheral vision). In the United States, any person with vision that cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in the best eye, or who has 20 degrees or less of visual field remaining, is considered legally blind.
So, what might cause low vision?
Well, many eye diseases can lead to low vision, and they can each cause different visual problems. Some common examples are tunnel vision from glaucoma and central blind spot from macular degeneration. If you pursue treatment, a low vision specialist at our Nashville location will evaluate the severity of vision loss, and make recommendations of special low vision devices and techniques to maximize your remaining vision. These solutions can often greatly improve quality of life and independence. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with low vision, we would welcome the opportunity for our low vision specialist to see you, and help you get the very best vision you can.
Stay tuned for a post highlighting some of the low vision devices we offer at our Belle Meade (Nashville) location.