Many people would consider losing their eyesight one of the worst losses they could endure. While most of us will not suffer from complete blindness, millions currently live with some form of visual impairment.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are more than 2.9 million Americans ages 40 and older that suffer from low vision.
What is Low Vision?
Low vision is a type of visual impairment that cannot be completely corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or eye surgery. It can result in significant visual field loss, which includes tunnel vision (loss of vision in the periphery) and blind spots.
Common Causes of Low Vision
Several eye diseases and conditions are a common cause of low vision. These conditions can occur at any age but are more common in seniors. However, normal aging of the eye does not lead to low vision. Examples of these diseases and conditions are:
- Cataracts, which can cause hazy or blurred vision
- Macular Degeneration, which can cause blurred central vision
- Diabetic Retinopathy, which can cause blind spots and visual distortions
- Glaucoma, which can cause poor peripheral vision
- Retinitis Pigmentosa, which reduces peripheral vision and night vision
- Light Sensitivity, which creates a loss of light contrast
- Eye Injuries, which can result in low vision
How Low Vision Impacts Seniors
Vision loss in adults and seniors can be particularly traumatic, leading to frustration and depression. Losing the ability to drive safely, read quickly, watch television, or view a computer screen can cause people with low vision to feel shut off from the world. With low vision, no treatment will give complete vision back. Instead, learning new ways to use remaining vision is vital to complete everyday tasks and maintain quality of life.
How Grand Oaks Helps with Low Vision
For residents with low vision, Grand Oaks offers recommendations for safety features such as non-skid rugs, color-contrasting friction tape on the base of the bathtub and shower floor, and a color-contrasting toilet seat. Resident’s apartments can also include a larger TV remote, larger thermostat, and talking clocks. For assistance with reading, our low-vision residents have access to an electronic magnifier reading machine to help see small print and photos.
If you or a loved one suffers from low vision or are experiencing any of the conditions mentioned in this article, please contact your family doctor to schedule a vision test. To learn more about the customized care for seniors with low vision, please call 202-349-3400 or visit the Care & Services Section of our website.