Submitted by Lighthouse Volunteer, Caryl Melancon
Don’t let low vision get in the way of your normal activities. Visit our website to learn about vision rehabilitation.
February has been designated as Low Vision Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness about low vision. Only 16% of adults over the age of 18 have heard of low vision, therefore awareness campaigns are essential for people to learn about disease, prevention and services that can help.
Low vision is defined as vision that is 20/70 or worse that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or by medical or surgical therapy. While low vision interferes with daily activities, it is not the same as being blind. People with low vision usually have some useful sight but few know about services that can help.
While low vision may occur at any age, the elderly are primarily affected. It is estimated by Lighthouse International that one in six Americans 45 or older have some form of vision impairment but for Americans age 75 or over that estimate rises to one in four. But, contrary to what many people think, low vision is not a natural part of aging. The normal changes in our eyes as we get older usually don’t lead to low vision. The common causes of low vision include macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes. As with all eye impairments, early detection of the problem makes treatment more effective.
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