Low Vision and Blindness
Low vision is a visual disability. Wearing regular glasses or contacts does not help. People with low vision have already tried the available medical or surgical treatments. And no other treatments will help.
People with vision worse than 20/200, with glasses or contact lenses, are considered legally blind in most states in the US. But many people in this group still have some useful vision.
When you have low vision, you may have trouble driving, reading, or doing small tasks like sewing and crafts. But you can make changes in your home and in your routines that help you stay safe and independent. Many services are available for you to get the training and support to function independently. Two of these are the Braille Institute of America and Lighthouse Guild.
Using low Vision Aids
The type of low vision aids and strategies for daily living you use will depend on your type of vision loss. Different aids and strategies are better suited for different problems.
The main types of visual loss are:
- Central (reading or recognizing faces across the room)
- Peripheral (side)
- No light perception (NLP), or complete blindness
A normally-sighted family member or friend may need to help you set up some types of visual aids. Some options include:
- High power reading glasses
- Devices that make it easier to use cell phones and computers
- Watches made for low vision, or talking watches and clocks
- Telescopic glasses that may aid distance vision