Living With Low Vision Loss (Challenges, Tips)

Published on
March 8, 2022

This blog discusses the challenges low-vision patients face in living with this condition and offers tips and suggestions for improving their quality of life and performing tasks.

What is low vision?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines low vision as vision loss that cannot be corrected by medical or surgical treatments or conventional eyeglasses. A person with low vision must learn to adjust to this traumatic change and their family members must understand how to assist them in minimizing the difficulty from their vision loss.

What are some of the challenges a person with low vision might face?

  • Poor lighting - A person with visual impairment may find that what was normally enough light is now too dim for optimal vision. Lighting is important for improving our eyes' ability to see, much in the same way that a camera’s lens will have a hard time taking a good photo in poor lighting. At home, look to increase lighting in specific areas, such as on the kitchen counter, on the stairs, over the  table, and over their favorite reading chair or desk. Many times the general lighting in the house should be upgraded to stronger lights or new lights should be added. Keep in mind that going out to poorly lit places may not be comfortable, for example  it may be difficult to go to a restaurant. People might have difficulty seeing their food or reading the menu if the lighting is poor inside the restaurant and the contrast is poor on the menu.
  • Contrast - A person with vision loss may have difficulty seeing when two colors are similar. Simple tips like using a black plate for white food, or having the tablecloth be a stronger color that clashes with the silverware, cups, and plate, can eliminate potentially frustrating situations. Different low vision devices can also improve contrast, these include lighting, cctv’s, and filters.
  • Glare - Another issue that people with low vision experience is disability or discomfort glare. When you're in the retail store and the fluorescent lighting is very bright and there's a lot of glare, or the floor is shiny and there are a lot of reflections, an indoor absorptive filter may be very helpful with this. In addition to reducing glare, this will allow the patient to traverse from inside to outside or from outside to inside without having to adjust and transition.
  • Poorly marked or contrasted flooring - Poorly contrasted flooring is another challenge for people with low vision. There can be stairs or curbs on that floor where there is a change in depth so that would require good depth perception. Getting assistance from an orientation mobility instructor is extremely helpful in this case.
  • Organization - When someone loses their vision they may have a hard time seeing things and rely more on their memory. Therefore try to maintain their organization of the home, as moving things around will increase the stress of an already stressful situation.

What low vision aids are most commonly used?

  • Vision aids: Optical or digital devices can help the individual in many different situations. For example at a restaurant with low lighting they can take the device in and read the menu. They can also use a small flashlight or spotlight to help increase the contrast.
  • Lighting options: People with low vision need adequate lighting to maximize their remaining vision. There are various types of lighting for people with vision impairments. We recommend full spectrum, high cri, adjustable color temperature lighting, with adjustable focus so that it can be set in a way that is most comfortable for the person with vision loss.
  • Audio books: Book lovers can continue to enjoy their love of literature and reading with audio books and large-print books
  • Assistive and adaptive technology products and software: This includes reading programs on the computer screen, converting voice to text, and text to speech software. There are many applications on phones that are also very helpful for a person with vision loss.
  • Digital device settings: Using settings on your computer or phone will allow you to adjust the contrast, magnification, brightness, color tone, and more. 

Schedule a low vision evaluation with Dr. Heather McBryar today by calling our office at (423) 710 3965


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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