Eye Care Services » Low Vision

Low Vision

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Affecting nearly 14 million Americans, low vision is more than just impaired vision. The term is actually used to describe vision that is so poor that it cannot be corrected fully by any known treatment, including glasses, contact lenses, medications or surgery. The official classification is ​​​​​​​vision that is 20/70 or worse. Such poor eyesight can have a profound effect on your ability to get the maximum enjoyment out of life, as everyday activities such as watching television, driving, reading and knitting, may be difficult if not impossible.

We are pleased to be able to offer the expertise and experience of Kerry Keely, Doctor of Optometry, who will work with our patients with low vision, to help them achieve the best quality of sight possible so that they can continue to live life to the full.

Causes of low vision

Low vision has been attributed to many different causes, but particularly the following eye diseases.

- Macular degeneration (when the central part of the retina, known as the macular, deteriorates with age)

- Glaucoma (the accumulation of pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve)

- Diabetic retinopathy (when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina)

- Retinitis pigmentosa (a term used to describe a group of eye problems that affect the retina, gradually causing vision loss)

Although these conditions can affect any one of any age, they are more commonly seen in people of the older generation, and for this reason, low vision is also more commonly diagnosed in people of senior age.

Other possible causes of low vision include injury to the eye, brain injury, albinism or ocular cancer.

Symptoms of low vision

Aside from loss of vision, other symptoms of this condition include:

- Colors that look faded

- Difficulty driving at night

- Difficulty managing glare and light

- Difficulty reading, even while wearing eye glasses or contact lenses

- Light seems dim

- Straight lines appear wobbly

- You struggle to judge the depth of kerbs or steps

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Patterns of vision loss

Not every patient with low vision will experience vision loss in exactly the same way and how your sight deteriorates will largely depend on the underlying problem causing the condition. For example, macular degeneration affects the vision in the center of the eye, while glaucoma affects the peripheral vision first. Diabetic retinopathy can affect central or peripheral vision.

Other problems you may experience could include struggling with depth perception, which could make negotiating steps and kerbs, or picking up objects difficult, and contrast sensitivity. This is where it is difficult to make out minor changes in tone, which can affect your ability to identify facial features.

Helping patients with vision loss

Although low vision cannot be fully corrected, there are a number of therapies that can be used in combination with one another which will help patients to achieve a greater level of independence and improved quality of life.

Our low vision specialist, Dr. Kerry Keely, will create a treatment program for you that will include vision training, rehabilitation and visual aids. She will also identify whether treating underlying conditions that are contributing towards your vision loss is both possible and suitable. For example, prescription eye drops which can slow the progression of glaucoma, or lens exchange surgery for patients with cataracts.

Dr. Keely may also recommend that you make nutritional changes to your diet, as certain supplements can be beneficial in promoting healthy eyes and vision.

Want to Know More?​

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Keely, or to discuss low vision with one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members, please telephone or drop into our offices.

GET IN TOUCH WITH US

914-948-5157

Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday11:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday8:00am - 5:00pm
SaturdayBy Appointment Only
SundayClosed
Available for Emergencies
Please contact us if you have a question, or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.