Eye diseases affect vision in different ways and the impact of each is connected to the level of loss in visual acuity, the visual field and contrast. This will vary from person to person.
When first diagnosed with low vision, people experience different feelings of disbelief, apprehension and even depression. Yet with some slight adjustments, what may seem insurmountable for someone newly experiencing vision loss can become just another aspect of daily life.
Low vision can affect many areas of a person's life, however the overall impact of low vision can depend on the interplay of various factors:
Vision: symptoms and conditions
The type of eye condition will determine how vision is affected. Visual acuity, visual field and contrast sensitivity will determine the extent of vision loss.
Social isolation can occur because of loss of mobility or depression.
For the newly diagnosed, blindness and low vision can bring about feelings of helplessness, confusion and anxiety. There is a risk of developing depression.
Low vision can affect a person’s level of functioning in everyday life because their mobility and independence may be affected.
If a person is required to leave paid employment this can have a significant impact on the individual and their family.
Understanding the ways in which low vision can affect a person provides a good starting point in determining possible areas of assistance.
Learning how to make the best use of remaining vision and learning how to adapt to the new circumstance with a positive approach can help achieve good outcomes.
Low vision services are available to help a person with low vision, their family, carers and friends cope with these challenges.