February is Low Vision Awareness Month. According to the National Eye Institute, approximately 135 million people worldwide have low vision. A myriad of diseases and health conditions can cause low vision, so it’s crucial to monitor your vision health by having regular eye-exams.
What is Low Vision?
Low Vision is the loss of eyesight that is not correctable with glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. The impairment may make everyday activities such as reading, writing, watching television and recognizing faces difficult. While low vision can occur at any age, most people diagnosed are 65 and older.
Causes and Symptoms
Typically low vision is a result of eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or retinitis pigmentosa. Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty matching colors of your clothes
- Loss of peripheral (side) vision
- Night blindness
- Blurred vision
Your ophthalmologist or optometrist will be able to determine if you have low vision based off your medical history and results of a comprehensive eye exam. Upon diagnosis, they should also be able to offer/suggest resources that will help utilize your remaining vision.