What Causes Low Vision?

What Causes Low Vision?

What Causes Low Vision?

What Causes Low Vision?

Few people have complete vision loss since most people who are blind still have some elements of sight. A more accurate description of such people refers to them as having low vision. Low vision is when you lose vision and no eyewear or surgery correction options are available to correct it.

Legally, you refer to people with low vision as visually impaired. Because of several developments, eye doctors can rehabilitate low vision. People with low vision can significantly have a better quality of life and experience improved visual function.

Low vision can come in several different forms or various degrees. Besides, visual acuity is not a reliable way to diagnose vision problems. You may have good visual acuity but struggle to function normally. On the other hand, someone may have poor acuity and function normally.


What Are the Categories of Low Vision?

According to the American Optometric Association, there are two primary categories of low vision.


Legally Blind

A legally blind person has visual acuity of 20/200 or worse. They also have a limited field of vision of 20 degrees wide or less.


Partially Sighted

A person with this low vision has visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with traditional prescription eyewear.


What Causes Low Vision?


Age-Related Macular Degeneration


The retina is the part of the eye responsible for receiving the image acquired by the eye. It is light-sensitive and is at the back of the eye. The retina's center is the macula, and it is responsible for sharp focus on objects right in front of the face.

As you age, the macula may deteriorate, causing blurry vision. Macular degeneration creates a blind spot at the front of your vision. It makes it impossible or difficult to do activities like driving, reading, recognizing faces, or performing detailed work. It is the primary cause of about 50 percent of all low vision cases.



Glaucoma is a family of eye disorders that negatively impact the optic nerve. Their impact is significant when the conditions develop fully. However, the conditions usually develop gradually, and symptoms only start to show when it is too late.

It is the second leading cause of blindness after macular degeneration. The primary cause of glaucoma is the buildup of ocular fluid pressure. It can occur due to a lack of drainage or the production of excess fluid in the eye.

You must check your ocular pressure to detect the disease early for successful treatment. Eye doctors can develop a treatment plan involving medication or surgery to manage it. The treatment will control the ocular pressure or slow the loss of vision.


Retinitis Pigmentosa

RP is an inherited group of diseases that damages the light-sensitive cells in the retina, the rods, and the cones. It causes the progressive destruction of peripheral and night vision. The first symptom to present is night blindness, which happens in teenagers and young adults. Most patients with RP will usually have total blindness by 40.



Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, usually develops in affected kids at about age six. It occurs due to poor central vision development in one eye. With early diagnosis and treatment, eye doctors can reverse the effects. Eye doctors advise that children should have the first exam at six months old and a second at three years old.


For more information on what causes low vision, contact Chroma Optics at our office in Burlington, Vermont. Call (802) 497-1676 to book an appointment today.

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