Think about your day and all that you do…checking your alarm in the morning, reading your mail, preparing meals. The list goes on and on. Now, picture doing these activities with limited or no vision.
Low vision occurs when a certain amount of eyesight has been lost and someone cannot see well enough to do everyday tasks – even with glasses, contacts, medicine or surgery. Eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes, eye cancer and eye injuries can play a role in the causes of low vision. These causes can occur at any age but are more common in older people. There are many signs of vision loss, including finding it difficult or impossible to read, write, shop, drive a car, or recognize faces. With low vision, picking out and matching clothes may be difficult and lights may seem dimmer than they used to so household chores can be more challenging. The most common types of low vision include loss of central vision, loss of peripheral (side) vision, night blindness, and blurred or hazy vision.
Low vision is not a normal symptom of aging. If you or someone you love notices changes in vision, see an eye doctor right away. There are tests designed to check vision and check for eye diseases. With low vision, there are no treatments to restore it, but there are options. Losing vision does not mean giving up activities but it does mean applying new ways of doing them in order to maintain a good quality of life.
The eye doctor may not be able to restore vision, by low vision services can help make the most of what is remaining. For over 100 years, The Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired has been assisting people with visual impairment or blindness. ABVI offers their clients an avenue to independence. They offer hope and help. The provide rehabilitation and vision aids. Clients learn new ways to perform the daily tasks that the sighted take for granted.
Vision loss can be a traumatic experience. The key is not to delay use of low vision services. To learn more visit abvimichigan.org.