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.

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.

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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. McBryar 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 Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.


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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