Low vision is an uncorrectable vision loss that makes it hard to do everyday activities. A comprehensive low vision exam helps your eye doctor find ways to maximize your remaining vision and improve your quality of life.

What is Low Vision?

Low vision refers to partial vision loss that cannot be corrected or improved with conventional contact lenses, eyeglasses, medication, or surgery. A person with low vision isn’t completely blind, they still have some vision but find it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as driving, reading, handling household chores, watching TV, or recognizing people’s faces. The most common causes are glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

Low vision can include:

  • blurry or hazy vision
  • night blindness
  • central vision loss
  • peripheral vision loss
  • glare sensitivity

What is a Low Vision Exam?

A low vision exam is different from your typical eye check-up. It’s a more in-depth exam where your eye doctor checks your current vision abilities to help them explore devices and adaptive techniques that will allow you to live independently. There are several components of a low vision exam.

Health History

Before conducting any tests, your eye doctor might start the appointment by asking questions related to your eye health as well as your general health. They’ll ask about any health conditions you have and your family medical history.

Vision History

Your eye doctor will also ask about your symptoms and how well you can see at the present. They’ll also inquire about any eye diseases you’ve had, previous eye treatments, and the date of your last eye exam. And when it comes to low vision, the optometrist will want to know when your vision problems began, how well you see objects, and the size of print you’re able to see.

Vision Tests

Next, they’ll examine the external parts of your eyes, including your pupils, eyelids, eye muscles, cornea, and tear ducts. To check your eyesight and identify your remaining vision, the eye doctor might use simple charts or high-tech machines. These often include

  • Visual field tests
  • Visual acuity tests
  • Amsler grid test
  • Color vision tests
  • Depth perception tests
  • Contrast sensitivity tests

Dilated Eye Exam

Special eye drops will dilate your pupil, which will allow the doctor to observe the inner parts of your eye. They will examine the retina, optic nerve, eye fluid pressure, pupils shape, tear film, muscles, and response to light.

What is the Treatment for Low Vision?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for low vision. In some cases, low vision aids can provide the optimum vision for your condition. These devices include:

  • Hand magnifiers
  • Telescopic glasses
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Lenses that filter light
  • Reading prisms

Low vision aids can improve sight, protect remaining vision, and help you do everyday activities more easily.

Low vision is a scary and frustrating eye problem, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Valley Eyecare Center, we provide low vision exams and options that help patients maximize their usable vision and function independently. Call us at (602) 955-2700 to schedule your next exam.