What causes low vision?


If your vision makes it difficult to do everyday things like cooking, reading, or watching TV -- even if you wear glasses or contact lenses -- you could have low vision. Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and diabetes are a few conditions that may cause low vision. See your eye doctor as soon as you notice vision changes to help protect the sight you do have.

Low vision can be caused by eye injuries or by diseases such as:

  • Macular degeneration;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Diabetic retinopathy;
  • Retinitis pigmentosa.

These conditions can occur at any age but are more common in older people. Normal aging of the eye does not lead to low vision. Regular medical eye exams by an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) are important to diagnose eye diseases, treat those conditions that can be helped, and start the process of vision rehabilitation for people with low vision.

Continue Learning about Visual Impairments

Visual Impairments

Optical issues with the eye are quite common, possibly because we started as cavemen who did not have to read tiny letters on a computer screen as you may be doing right now. Conditions that may be corrected with optics include as...

tigmatism, near and far sightedness and some forms of visual field distortion. Some eyes have trouble seeing color the way other's do. This is called color blindness, and is more common in men. As we age there are common diseases and concerns including cataracts and glaucoma. Having diabetes can make you more likely to develop retinopathy, when blood vessels in the retina break and leak into the eye. Some conditions may lead to partial or total blindness. Legal blindness is a legal term more than a medical one, but meeting the standard for legal blindness can qualify you for special help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.