Low Vision is a specific type of eye examination that looks into solutions for people that have reduced amounts of vision that even with glasses is still reduced quite a bit. This type of examination is not for people who can be corrected to 20/20 or close to 20/20. This type of exam is designed for patients that have difficulties seeing centrally or if they have issues with their side or peripheral vision. This type of exam can be done for patients that are visually impaired or are legally blind.
Many people will say they are legally blind without their glasses which is not really true. The true definition of “legally blind” is someone who can not be corrected to 20/200 or better in their better eye or if someone has 20 degrees or less of peripheral vision. Here is a chart from the AOA (American Optometric Association) website that breaks down the different levels of vision and vision impairment:
- 20/30 to 20/60 is considered mild vision loss, or near-normal vision
- 20/70 to 20/160 is considered moderate visual impairment, or moderate low vision
- 20/200 to 20/400 is considered severe visual impairment, or severe low vision/legally blind
- 20/500 to 20/1,000 is considered profound visual impairment, or profound low vision
- less than 20/1,000 is considered near-total visual impairment, or near total blindness
- no light perception is considered total visual impairment, or total blindness
What the doctor will do during a Low Vision exam is find out what your vision impairment is and what activity you would like to improve upon to improve the quality of your life. They then can try different low vision devices which include magnifiers, telescopes, reading aids including CCTV’s, and more designed to help a specific type of vision impairment. Through the dispensing of these devices, patients are able to perform daily activities they thought they could never do again due to their loss of vision. If you meet the criteria, the doctor can sign you up for services that can give you more help with your daily activities. The Connecticut Board of Education Services for the Blind (BESB) can be of great help to people that are legally blind.
If you have or know someone who has had vision loss that can not be corrected with glasses alone, please call (860) 233-2020and request a Low Vision examination from one of our Low Vision specialist doctors.