The National Eye Institute defines low vision as a degree of visual loss or impairment that cannot be corrected with typical eyeglasses, contact lenses, or with various surgical procedures. Low vision can often affect how a person functions—not just how a person “sees.” Low vision does not refer to a total state of blindness since some vision remains, but vision challenges may affect one’s central vision, peripheral vision, or ability to see in low light conditions. Low vision can be caused by eye diseases, genetic disorders, or trauma to the eye or brain as with an injury. In most cases, assistive technology can aid a person to maintain independence through enhanced visual functioning and experience a greater and fuller quality of life.
People with low vision experience a range of greater needs than individuals with healthy vision and must therefore have access to the tools and services they require to meet their unique needs. Adapting to a life with low vision oftentimes requires rehabilitative services with professionals who specialize in low vision and visual rehabilitation who can care for the low vision patient’s condition and help improve the system of care for patients to achieve overall quality of life and life satisfaction.