Keep Up With Low Vision Care

A thorough eye exam performed by an optometrist is an overall assessment of your ocular health. Some eye conditions, if left untreated, can lead to extended vision loss or even blindness. This is a notable reason to discuss the importance of regular eye check-ups and care with your elderly family members. As we age, it becomes even more crucial to keep up with low vision loss

Low vision is a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses or contact lenses. It includes partial sight, such as blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision. Low vision can impact people of all ages, but is primarily associated with older adults.

Causes of low visions include trauma, disease, genetics, or it can simply develop over time due to aging. Here are 5 of the most common visual impairments that lead to low vision:

  1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD/ARMD) is a painless disease affecting the macula which is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It blurs the sharp, central vision you need for focusing on activities straight-ahead, as opposed to your peripheral vision.
  2. Glaucoma is a strongly hereditary degenerative eye disease found mostly in those at age 60 and older.
  3. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens that is mostly a result of aging.
  4. Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease affecting 30% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes. Directly related to high blood sugar, the damage it does to blood vessels can lead to retinal detachment.
  5. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina. They are generally due to a lack of protein production or the creation of abnormal or toxic protein.

Low vision is irreversible, but it is treatable. There are several treatment options.

  • Prescription glasses and/or contacts
  • Specialized optical systems
  • Therapeutic filters
  • Video magnification
  • Medical rehabilitative therapy

The Vision Council released their report Vision Loss in America: Aging and Low Vision in order to further educate the elderly and their caregivers about low vision and aging eye disease. For more information on how to speak with your elderly family members about their ocular health, feel free to contact us.

What is Low Vision Care?



Many senior citizens experience problems with their eyesight. It is important to know that low vision requires different approaches to care because there are various causes of the condition. Some individuals develop it over time as their eyes age or they may have a genetic predisposition to a certain eye disease. Other people may experience a sudden trauma to their eyes and the results are a loss of vision or vision impairments. The low vision care involves a thorough examination by an eye doctor who does tests to determine your current vision status and recommends an appropriate treatment plan.low vision

Your regular eye doctor can perform an exam, and if there is an indication that you may have low vision he/she can refer you to a low vision specialist. During the specialist exam, they will gather information about your medical history and your optical history. After an assessment of your  eye doctor may then measure the following:

  • Visual acuity
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Depth perception
  • Ocular response to glare

The 2 main types of treatments available are surgical and pharmaceutical.  For example, if you have macular degeneration, there are several injectable medicines that can help prevent further vision loss and even improve your vision. Other treatment plans are:

  • Prescription eyeglasses
  • Optical systems
  • Therapeutic filters
  • Medical rehabilitative therapy.

Each plan is designed to give you the ability to perform activities of daily living. You can also maintain a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that can help improve vision.

For more information please contact us.