It’s Low Vision Awareness Month!
February is low vision awareness month, and it’s worth becoming aware of what low vision is because it’s likely that you or someone you know will have low vision at some point in their life. But what is low vision? Simply put, low vision is a reduction in visual acuity or visual field which cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. This reduction in vision is likely to cause a negative impact on your life, as it affects you ability to carry out essential every day tasks.
Low vision is an increasing problem as it is correlated with age, and an aging population means a higher incidence of low vision. Macular Degeneration is the worst offender in this regard, being the leading cause of vision loss for people over 65 in America. Macular Degeneration is a progressive disease which causes the loss of photoreceptor cells in the macular, the area of the retina responsible for your most detailed central vision. Unfortunately, this is the area which is used for the detailed tasks which we all need to do every day such as reading, writing, watching television, identifying people’s faces and so on.
With this loss of function often comes depression and a struggle to adapt to the new visual reality. People who develop low vision often don’t know where to turn and how to deal with the loss of such an important sense. The good news is that there is plenty of help available if you know where to look!
Firstly, there are professional who can help you to learn how to maximize your existing vision. Low vision doctors can look at your vision and then work with occupational therapists to show you tools, devices and techniques to carry out those important every tasks. There is a way to do almost everything, and the key is simply finding out how! Additionally, there are support groups where you can share your best and worst moments with other people going through the same thing. Being able to speak to people who really understand what you’re going through can be hugely beneficial and make the coping process that much easier.
And last but not least there is assistive technology for vision loss – technology designed specifically for people who are blind or low vision to help with those important every day tasks. There are a huge array of technologies that can assist with reading, writing, watching television, seeing people’s faces and so on, and it’s highly recommended that you meet with an assistive technology professional who can help match you to a technology to meet your needs (you can schedule an appointment with us here https://vision-forward.org/requesttecdemo/).
Vision Forward offers all of these services and more, all housed under one roof. You can visit us online at https://vision-forward.org, or call us to find out what services we offer at 414-615-0100. Make sure to check out our YouTube Channel as well, where we release new videos on every Friday about assistive technology devices: https://youtube.com/infocustechnology.