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What is low vision? 
Low vision is a visual impairment that consists of partial sight or sight that isn't fully correctable with surgery, pharmaceuticals, contact lenses or glasses. The term low vision is most often used when referring to vision impairment resulting from such conditions macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It affects nearly one quarter of the U.S. population.

But low vision is more than just the loss of sight; it can be the loss of independence. Otherwise simple tasks, such as reading and cooking, can become a challenge for those with low vision. However, that doesn't have to be the case. With the right visual training and rehabilitation, life can be made easier for those living with low vision.

Be on the lookout…

Low vision results from the late diagnosis of an eye disease. Warning signs include:

  • Hazy or blurred vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Color confusion
  • Trouble reading, cooking or doing close-up tasks
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar faces
  • Light sensitivity (complaints that lights are too dim indoors)
  • Problems reading street signs or crossing the street
Getting Help

Although there is no cure for low vision, receiving the correct treatment is the first step for vision improvement. As symptoms begin to appear, contact an eyecare professional for a complete eye exam. After the diagnosis, the eyecare professional may prescribe treatments and services and devices, such as magnifiers, telescopes or speech synthesizers, to help restore independence.

To locate an eyecare professional that specializes in low vision, call 1-800-455-8006.

Handy Tips

Simple adjustments to your everyday living can also make a big difference in your independence. Here are a few suggestions to make live a little easier:

  • Writing. Keep broad-tipped black felt markers and bold-lined writing tablets near phones and desks. They make writing and reading notes and lists much easier.
  • Colors. Use dark colors to draw attention. For example, cover the edge of stairs with dark tape and replace light-colored plate switches and outlet covers with dark ones.
  • Lighting. Rethink the way rooms are lit. Since lighting requirements vary by disorder, ask an eyecare professional for suggestions. Quick changes include moving reading chairs away from natural light sources and placing lamps directly onto reading or close-up task materials. When you add new light sources, make sure the overall room lighting is balanced with task lighting. In other words, if you raise the level of one, increase the other as well.

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 Mascoma Eye Care, Dr. Edward C. Warren 24 Hanover Street, Suite 3A Lebanon, NH 03766   Phone: 603-448-2111    Fax: 603-448-2443   Email: Click Here
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