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Low vision is a term that refers to vision 20/70 or worse that cannot be fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses. People with low vision fall into two groups: partially sighted (meaning they have a visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with the aid of corrective lenses), or legally blind (meaning vision is no better than 20/200 with regular correction aids).

What Causes Low Vision?

The most common cause for low vision is macular degeneration, a disease of the sensory retina. However, there are a wide variety of causes of low vision, including:

  • Birth defects

  • Inherited diseases

  • Injuries

  • Diabetes

  • Glaucoma

  • Cataract

  • Aging

Symptoms of Low Vision

A thorough eye examination is needed to diagnose causes of low vision. People with low vision may experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of central vision

  • Night blindness

  • Loss of peripheral vision

  • Blurred vision

  • Hazy vision

Treatments for Low Vision

Low vision cannot be fully corrected. However, there are a wide array of devices to help people with low vision, including magnifiers and reading prisms, large-print reading materials, high-contrast watches, and machines that talk.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. Your optometrist will advise you whether this product is suitable for you. If symptoms persist see your optometrist.