Low Vision

Many people with greatly diminished vision can now be helped to improve their quality of life.  In fact, very few people are “blind” in the sense that they cannot perceive anything.  When someone has reduced vision that cannot be corrected with standard methods such as glasses and contacts, they may encounter problems functioning in everyday life and are said to have low vision.

In the state of Tennessee, a person with vision that cannot be corrected beyond a visual acuity of 20/200 is considered legally blind. It is important to remember, however, that visual acuity is not a complete indication of visual function.  A person with good visual acuity may have other visual deficits that hinder them from functioning well.

What causes low vision?

There are many causes of low vision. Some of the more common causes are listed here.

  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Brain Injuries

What are some types of low vision?

Low vision can take many forms depending on the cause of the reduction.  Some of the more common causes are listed here.

  • Loss of central vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Hazy vision
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Night blindness

How is low vision diagnosed and cared for?

  • Diagnosing an individual with low vision begins with a comprehensive eye health examination at Shanks Family Eye Care.
    • During this exam, your eye doctor will use special testing methods to pinpoint the cause of the low vision.
  • Eye doctors can work to maximize vision through a series of rehabilitation and special devices designed for those with low vision.

For more information on low vision, please visit Lighthouse International and the American Optometric Association