Low Vision

A person is said to have low vision if his vision is limited or impaired and which cannot be restored with surgery or glasses.

Low vision can have a socioeconomic impact on a patients well being. It may cause problems in daily activities such as reading newspaper, watching television, climbing stairs etc. Low vision services are a help to family carers and friends to cope with these challenges.


A person is said to have 6/6 or 20/20 vision when he or she is able to read from a distance of 6 meters what a normal individual would be able to read from 6 meters.

Hence a person with low vision might be able to read from a distance of 18 meters or more what a normal individual reads from a distance of 6 meters.

Talking in legal terms a person is considered blind if they are not able to read from a distance of 60 meters what a normal person reads from 6 meters or their field of vision is less than 20 degrees in diameter.


It is expected and common for a patient with low vision to have disbelief, apprehension or even depression once they are diagnosed with a condition which causes extensive vision loss.

It takes time to adjust to new circumstances and a low vision is one of them.

It is important to detect and understand the disease course early as it can bring about positive outcomes.

For starters it is important to talk to your eye care doctor and low vision service provider about your needs and concerns.


A number of eye conditions can lead to low vision which can be mild to start with and progress gradually over time.

There are certain conditions whose progression cannot be stopped, such as Genetic diseases on the other hand there are also some which if treated the vision loss can be stabilized.

To name a few conditions

  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Various Retinal Dystrophies

Vision can be affected in different ways depending upon the type of eye diseases. The impact of these is dependent on the level of vision and visual field loss

Many areas of a persons life can be affected, overall it is an interplay of various factors which include :

  • Social
  • Psychological
  • Economic
  • Functional
  • Vision

Understanding how a Low Vision is affecting a particular individual is a good starting point towards rehabilitation

Learning the best possible way to utilize the remaining vision and having a positive approach and mindset can help achieve desired outcomes


One must consider the following tips

  • Not to make any quick decisions regarding current job, future plans or lifestyle
  • Take time to calmly sort out the pathway that will lead to most favorable outcomes
  • One must keep themselves engaged with social and recreational networks
  • If you experience any feeling of anxiety or depression –seek immediate support or help from your doctor

The more a person is informed about their condition and its effects, various options of dealing and coping with it, the more in control they will feel.




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