Low Vision and Devices: Everything You Need To Know

Low Vision

Low vision refers to a condition in which the eyesight cannot be corrected by glasses or contacts but still allows you to see. Although low vision does not mean blindness, it can be caused by a limited vision in some regions. Low vision can include blurry or difficult-to-see night vision and poor blind spots. Low vision is often caused by age-related macular damage. Visual aids can help with vision problems. They are affordable and can be used to live with the condition.

What is Low Vision?

Low vision refers to a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Low vision does not necessarily mean someone will go blind. They might still be able to see some objects and may use visual aids to improve their vision.

Low vision, also known as blindness, is the term used to describe a reduced ability to see clearly. There are many types of blindness. There are many types. American Optometric Association, differentiates between low vision and blindness.

  • “Partially-sighted: A person with vision impairments ranging from 20/70 to 20/200, while wearing normal prescription glasses.
  • A person who is legally blind has vision less than 20/200 and receives regular corrective.

The ratio measurement measures the distance between an object and you that your vision is clear. A vision ratio of 20/70 means that you need to be at least 20 feet from an object in order to see clearly what someone with good eyesight can see at 70 feet.

Low vision: Causes

There are many reasons why low vision can occur. Low vision can be caused by many factors. Macular diseases that are caused by age, diabetes, or impairment of vision are the most common causes. Vision impairment can be caused by cancer, albinism, or brain injury. These conditions, as well as those at high risk, have a greater chance of vision problems.

Low vision?

To detect low vision, your low-vision specialist will perform a special eye exam. If you have difficulty in any area, such as cooking, travel, or school, an eye doctor is a must. To determine the severity of your condition, your doctor will perform tests such as checking your eyes in different lighting conditions. To assess your visual ability, depth perception, and visual field, the doctor may also provide magnifying glasses and charts.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration can affect your retina. This is the part of your retina that focuses on images. Blurred vision can be caused by the macula, which is the main source of central vision. Some people may experience blurred vision. Others might lose their central vision entirely.

AMD (age-related retinal degeneration) can be divided into Dry AMD and Wet AMD. A macula can become irritated by abnormal blood vessels. This could cause fluid loss and bleeding. Dry AMD is more progressive and gradual than growth abnormalities.


A cataract is an eye condition that causes light to be focused on the retina differently. As light cannot reach the retina due to clouding, vision may be affected. Age, UV exposure, and trauma are the main causes of cataracts. If the eye is healthy, cataracts can be removed. Your eye will look more attractive. If you have low vision or other eye conditions, rehabilitation may be necessary to improve your vision.


Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure in the eye rises and damages the optic nerve. Fluid accumulation and insufficient drainage can cause glaucoma. Glaucoma is not usually symptomatic. However, it can cause problems with peripheral vision and night vision. Glaucoma can be treated early with medication or surgery. This can help reduce vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinal disease is a condition in which blood vessels that supply the retina become distorted and leak. This can lead to vision problems and permanent damage to your retina. Surgery can slow down the progression of this condition, but it is not possible to reverse it by controlling your blood sugar.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa can cause a gradual decrease in night vision and a significant decrease in inside vision. This is a common genetic condition and is more common in children than adults. Night blindness in the childhood or adolescent years is the first sign.

Low Vision Devices

People with low vision can use low-vision optical devices to assist them in reading, observing distances, and doing other everyday tasks. These devices include magnifying glasses, a stand, magnifying reading glasses, loupes, telescopes, magnifying magnifiers, and hand-held magnifiers. These devices offer 60X magnification power and can have different optics than normal glasses.

There are many types of low-vision optic devices that can be used to accomplish different tasks. One can be used to read, watch television, and see faces and another one could be used to sew. Your doctor might recommend glasses to reduce the glare and protect your vision from ultraviolet (UV) light.

Prescription eyeglasses for low vision are not enough to complete both close and distant tasks. To aid you in different tasks, you may need to use other optical equipment.

People with poor vision need different glasses to see from different angles. They might be different from the ones you used to see in the past, when one pair of glasses (like eyeglasses), was capable of handling close, intermediate, and farsighted eyes.

Many low-vision devices can make reading more enjoyable for people with different eye diseases, such as macular and retina pigments, tunnel vision, and macular degeneration. These devices include:

  1. Magnifiers
    Magnifying glass for reading is one of the most affordable low-vision devices. Some models are equipped with light sources to make it easier to see the print. Other models can be adjusted in height and supported by bands that wrap around your neck.
  2. Reading glasses
    These glasses can be used to aid blind people to read the small print. You can choose from single vision or Bifocals. These glasses are more durable and should be used for a few days before you feel comfortable. You must be closer to the material that you are reading. It’s worth the tradeoff.
  3. Reading Telescopes
    A reading telescope is usually attached to glasses’ lenses. The devices are best for those with low vision. However, they do require instruction in order to work correctly. You can also get the exact same device with a hand-held version.
  4. Video magnifiers
    ZoomText, or Video magnifiers for the visually impaired, is something you may have heard about. These magnifying glasses allow you to enjoy the same intimacy and level of intimacy that you would with a normal camera. To suit your needs, you can adjust the brightness, magnification, contrast, and color.
  5. Portable Electronic Magnifiers
    There are many sizes and shapes available for electronic devices that look similar to iPads. You can place them by a reader to get a better view of the text on the LCD screen.
  6. You can transfer the text to voice devices
    People with visual impairments have access to a lot of equipment, such as OrCam Read. OrCam Read can recognize text in books, phone screens, computers, and other devices. The device will then convert the text to a spoken version which can be read aloud by a computer’s microphone.