Common Symptoms of Low Vision

The following article discusses various symptoms of the medical condition known as Low Vision, which refers to irreversible visual deficits which cannot be corrected with standard methods.

Common Symptoms of Low Vision in Olympia

Low Vision

This is a medical term for irreversible eye complications affecting visual acuity and/or visual field. With these deficits, conventional interventions such as prescription glasses, contact lenses, corrective surgery, and medical treatments don't work.  Such types of impairment may be congenital, due to injury to the optic nerves, acquired brain injury, or in the majority of instances, the result of a degenerative eye disease. These include Diabetic Retinopathy, Age-related Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Glaucoma. 

"Treatment" isn't treatment in the sense that the deficits will go away. It involves judicious use of visual aids and devices along with rehabilitation therapy to maximize remaining eyesight and enable people to live productive, active, and meaningful lives.

American Family Vision Clinic

Common Symptoms

There are many symptoms of this condition.These include the following impairments (in part or in total):

  • Blurriness: This impairment involves the eye's inability to focus causing blurred images. This occurs regardless of the object's distance. In such instances, watching TV would be difficult regardless of how close or far you sat from the screen.
  • Central vision loss: This loss forms a blind spot in your central field forcing reliance on peripheral eyesight. Central vision is responsible for the sharpness and detail of our eyesight and it is critical for seeing colors and detecting shapes. Such a deficit makes it difficult to recognize faces.
  • Contrast difficulty: This is a problem relating to the overall quality of one's eyesight.Images may appear hazy or cloudy.
  • Depth Perception difficulty: These problems involve difficulties in perceiving the relation of space, both of the person himself and with the surrounding area and objects. Climbing a ladder or accepting change from the outstretched hand of a cashier would present difficulties for a person with this deficit.
  • Light/glare: Many people experience discomfort and even pain when looking at strong lighting, or the glare that is emitted from such lighting. Proper lighting for such people provides good illumination without straining or stressing the eyes.
  • Night blindness: This deficit manifests as difficulty or an inability to see during the night, or in situations of low levels of light such as a darkened theatre, hallway, or low-lit restaurant. Also known as night blindness.
  • Peripheral vision loss: This deficit creates a tunnel effect akin to looking through a narrow tube. Peripheral eyesight is important for mobility and in detecting movement. Loss of this peripheral faculty can affect the ability to play physical sports or to safely drive a motor vehicle.

What Interventions Are Available?

Interventions include the use of optical and non-optical devices, such as a wide variety of specialized telescopes, binoculars, prisms, specialty glasses, magnifiers, assistive technologies, and rehabilitation therapy. Rehabilitation therapy is a holistic approach incorporating different methods and procedures to learn new skills and maximize remaining eyesight.

What Interventions Are Available?
Living With Low Vision

Living With Low Vision

One misconception is the idea that there is nothing that can be done to help people with these deficits. It's difficult enough for people with these optical deficits to process their diagnosis when they first learn of it. What can be more upsetting than hearing from a professional that there is NO hope?

The good news is that they are wrong. Regardless of the deficit, there are many effective interventions to maximize remaining eyesight and to improve a patient's quality of life. Many patients can attest to this.Thanks to advances in medical technology and research, people lead active, fulfilling lives today, including the resumption of many activities they thought were no longer feasible.

Low vision optometrists specialize in all aspects of evaluating, detecting, and implementing measures for people with this disorder. This includes the challenges of the deficiencies themselves as well as the emotional aspects of living with this condition. With a proper plan, there are a wide variety of devices, technologies, and rehabilitation programs that have given people renewed confidence in their ability to enjoy life and participate in routine activities, as well as many favored recreational activities.

If you have low vision or suspect that you may have this condition, contact our low vision optometrist to Book an Appointment . With a proper intervention plan, you or your loved one, can continue to enjoy a high quality of life.

Living With Low Vision

Central Vision Loss

The following article addresses various aspects of central vision loss with an overall look at the causes, signs, effects, and available interventions for people living with central vision deficiency.

See link


Peripheral Vision Loss

The following article addresses general issues of peripheral (side) vision) loss, with a look at the causes, signs, and interventions to maximize remaining vision and improve the quality of life for those living with this impairment.

See link


Blurriness, Reduced Contrast Sensitivity, Glare Sensitivity, and Night Blindness

See link

Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Common Symptoms of Low Vision

The following article discusses various symptoms of the medical condition known as low vision, which refers to irreversible visual deficits which cannot be corrected with standard methods. Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.

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Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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