Living With Low Vision Loss (Challenges, Tips)

The following article addresses the many challenges low vision patients face in living with this condition with suggestions for improving quality of life and the ability to perform tasks.

Coping Options For Low Vision

People with low vision face many challenges as they learn to live with their condition. The difficulty of coping with diminished vision can be emotionally devastating for independent people, and it is critical that people with such a diagnosis, as well as the individual’s support system, learn to take advantage of all available resources.

An effective intervention plan for maximizing the remaining vision of low vision patients and improving their overall quality of life addresses all of the challenges of living with this condition.

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Coping Options For Low Vision

Critical factors to consider include the following:

  • Emotional Well-being: Perhaps the greatest challenges are the emotional ones, as people learn to cope with diminished vision and a loss of independence. It is critical that people with this diagnosis, along with their support system, learn to identify the signs of depression, and to seek the appropriate mental health counseling to attend to these emotional challenges. A strong emotional support system of friends, family, and professionals is vital and invaluable for anyone living with this condition.
  • Americans With Disabilities Act: People with low vision should educate themselves on their civil rights as articulated in this law, which prohibits discrimination and prejudice against american citizens with disabilities. 
  • Low vision Occupational Therapy: An occupational therapist certified in low vision provides therapy that  enables the patient to learn how to adapt to life after vision loss. 
  • Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation: This type of therapy takes place at our office to improve the neurological processing of visual information in the specific areas the patient is struggling with.This can include balance, color contrast, and expanding their field of vision among other skills. 

Additional Resources: There are many advocacy groups, organizations, and online forums providing educational material, vision services, and other resources. People with low vision should take advantage of the many useful outlets for gaining information about low vision.

Specific Aids and Devices

  • Vision Aids: Prescription vision aids such as optical and non-optical devices, specialty glasses, magnifiers, video enlargement systems, and telescopes are all effective for improving low vision deficits.
  • Lighting Options: Lighting is essential for enabling people with low vision to maximize their remaining vision. There are many types of lighting for people with visual impairment. The challenge is to find lighting that provides sufficient illumination without causing eye strain. It is recommended to use full spectrum lighting or lights with 90+ CRI, with LED lights offering the highest brightness and the most options.
  • Audio Books: Audio books and large-print books enable book lovers to continue to enjoy their love of reading and literature. 
  • Assistive and Adaptive Technology Products and Software: These include programs that read the computer screen, speech to text and text to speech software, and magnifying programs.
  • Digital Device Settings: Sensible use of settings for digital devices m
Specific Aids and Devices

Common Questions

No. Low vision treatment is a specialty field. A low vision optometrist has a degree in optometry, as well as extensive training and clinical knowledge in all aspects of low vision. This includes the use of special lenses, high and low tech visual aids, and vision rehabilitation. An ophthalmologist is a medically trained doctor with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of the eye, including the ability to perform surgery. While some ophthalmologists specialize in specific fields of low vision, their focus is on the medical treatment, while the low vision optometrist has more expertise in the latest tools and methods of maximizing remaining vision aspect of the field.
A low vision optometrist will help find the best options to maximize your remaining vision. It is not always possible to resume everything that you were able to do, even if you have all the devices. Much of it depends on your particular condition and the severity of vision loss. Furthermore most devices are specific to certain needs, so a low vision optometrist will help you to identify what activities are most important to the patient and the kinds of devices that will help the patient achieve independence for those activities.
Common signs include difficulty or loss of vision with distance, peripheral and central vision, light and glare sensitivity, night-blindness, blurred vision, and difficulties with tasks that require precise vision for close-up work.
Low vision often occurs secondary to degenerative eye diseases that lead to irreversible vision loss affecting visual acuity and field of vision. These disorders include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt, ocular albinism, strokes, and other conditions. In some instances low vision may be congenital (from birth) or secondary to a traumatic or acute brain damage.One of the most common causes is age-related macular degeneration.
Dr. McBryar cartoon

Living A Fulfilling Life With Low Vision

Many low vision patients are told that there is nothing they can do to improve their vision. This is untrue. Many low vision patients are benefitting from the use of specialized visual aids and rehabilitation therapy, under the guidance of low vision optometrists. Contact us today at (423) 710 3965 to find out more about the many ways low vision patients are enjoying life with the ability to engage in normal daily activities. 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.

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Testimonials


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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