Low vision is a condition caused by a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinopathy, in which your eyesight is 20/70 or lower in your stronger eye. It is a broad term that can mean a significant or total loss of your central or peripheral vision, hazy or blurry vision, poor low-light vision, loss of light sensitivity and/or loss of contrast. Reading, writing, watching TV, driving, or even recognizing the faces of loved ones may be difficult or even impossible for a person with this common condition. Dr. Yount specializes in helping those affected by this difficult situation. Dr. Yount comments, “Although this condition usually impacts the elderly, it can really affect anyone of any age. Combine this with the fact that it cannot be fully remedied by eyeglasses, contacts, medicines or eye surgery, and you have a situation that can seriously affect a person in a very negative and debilitating way.”
Children who have low vision, often because of injury or a birth defect, can have significant challenges in learning and require special instruction in order to learn properly and become a productive member of society as he/she grows. Vision loss in adults can be quite traumatic. Losing the ability to drive safely, read efficiently, or recognize their loved ones can cause adults and elders with low vision to feel cut off from their world. They often feel that they are a burden on others because they may require help for simple things like shopping for groceries or finding their way around town.
Since low vision cannot be fully corrected, a person with low vision must learn ways to continue to function independently with the sight still available to them. Dr. Yount comments, “Many people with low vision become very dependent on friends and family, and become ashamed of their increased inability to do things for themselves. It is important for you to know that even if you suffer from low vision, there are options for you to regain and maintain your independence.”
Dr. Yount teaches his patients to utilize devices and techniques that allow those with low vision to use their remaining sight to remain as independent as possible. Dr. Yount explains one of the most common and useful of these devices, “Magnifiers are among the most useful and helpful devices in a person’s arsenal to help fight the consequences of their low vision. These can include low vision reading glasses, magnifiers mounted on your regular eyeglasses, video camera magnifiers, and telescopes. To know which magnifiers are best for your particular circumstances, visit your eye doctor and he’ll discuss with you the details of your situation.”