Low vision means that a person's vision cannot be fully corrected by ordinary prescription lenses, medical treatment or surgery, but there is still some usable vision. It affects both children and adults. Low vision may be the result of cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, or stroke. While changes in vision are a normal part of aging, these changes are usually correctable with glasses or contact lenses. If they are not, a low vision specialist should be consulted.
Low vision specialists can provide a low vision evaluation and prescribe special adaptive devices to help maximize the remaining vision. They might include hand-held magnifiers, high-intensity lamps, pocket-sized telescopes for distance vision, or closed-circuit television, which magnifies and projects printed materials onto a television screen to make reading easier.
People with low vision can also benefit from rehabilitation services provided for people who are blind and visually impaired. These services teach people with vision loss alternative strategies for performing daily activities, and may also include training in how to get around safely, within the house and in the community.