Low Vision may be defined as visual acuity, after correction, that is not sufficient enough to allow a person to do the things he or she wants to do.
Legal blindness can be defined as a corrected visual acuity of 20-200 or less in the better eye, or a visual field restriction of less than 20 degrees. This term is used for a federal definition pertaining to taxation and benefits.
A person with low vision may be legally blind but able to function with visual aids that enhance the remaining vision. With the assistance of magnification, and adaptations of the special low vision aids that are useful for certain daily tasks, the visually impaired person can function with less difficulty.
There are many services available for the person with low vision. These services are designed to benefit a person's daily life activities, which may be hindered by the visual loss.
• Evaluation by a team of professionals
• Specific training with the low vision devices for the activities of daily living
• Counseling and Education concerning the particular problem
• Referral to Agencies for supplemental assistance such as talking books, radio reading, vocational rehabilitation or other community resources
• Low Vision Support Group has monthly meetings to provide additional social activities and education
• Golf School for the Visually Impaired, providing golf instruction and course play throughout the year for all ages
• Common eye disease, accidents or other physical conditions can cause low vision. In the child, congenital eye problems, heredity or injury may result in a visual loss. In the older adult, common aging and hereditary eye diseases, as well as possible injury-related loss, can cause a reduced visual acuity that keeps that person from being able to do some of the visual tasks that are needed for employment, leisure activities or daily requirements.
Cataracts cause cloudiness, decreased visual acuity, squinting, photophobia or sensitivity to light, constriction of the visual field and nearsightedness. Surgery is usually required to correct cataracts.
Myopia or nearsightedness, is decreased visual acuity that causes blurriness of far vision and can often be treated with magnification.
Glaucoma causes excessive tears, photophobia or light sensitivity, poor visual acuity and constricted visual fields. Eyedrops, laser surgery or invasive surgery may be prescribed. Blindness may occur if glaucoma is not treated.
Macular Degeneration causes decreased visual acuity, central vision loss or deficient color vision. Optical aids and other magnification are often recommended.
Diabetic Retinopathy causes double vision, fluctuating vision, loss of color vision, visual field loss, refractive errors, hemorrhaging of the retina's blood vessels or retinal detachment. Laser surgery, retinal repair surgery, diet control for diabetes and regular ophthalmology visits are often recommended.
The goal of the Liz Moore Low Vision Center service team is to assist the person with low vision to use functional vision to the utmost capacity.
Liz Moore Low Vision Center
50 Medical Park East Drive
Birmingham, AL 35235