Low Vision

When someone has visual loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or medical treatment, we say they have Low Vision or Visual Impairment (VI). It may affect the central part of the vision, the macula, that is used for clear and detailed vision. In this case, reading is difficult: the sufferer will find that print is distorted, blurred, or incomplete.

Sufferers may experience difficulty recognising faces, watching television, looking at photographs or carrying out other tasks - including some hobbies they previously enjoyed. Low Vision can also affect the peripheral vision (field of vision): this makes it more difficult to cope with busy areas, obstacles and steps, and may be worse in the evening/night. In some cases, there are problems with both central and peripheral vision.

Orthoptists are part of a wider team involving sensory Rehabilitation Officers from local authorities (ROVIs), eye clinic liaison officers and local voluntary societies/national organisations. Together they provide advice and support for people with sight loss.