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What Causes Low Vision?

While commonly associated with seniors over the age of 60, low vision also affects children and adults of all ages. Certain birth defects or medical conditions – regardless of age – can cause low vision and negatively impact the quality of life. Our low vision doctors are here to help patients from all over the US and Canada with the following low vision diseases, begin to do tasks they want to do again such as read, write, make out faces, and drive.

  • Senior Couple Having Fun At The Beach
    Macular Degeneration is the most common age-related cause of low vision. It is a partial or complete loss of central vision, resulting from the macula - the most sensitive part of the back of the eye - becoming damaged. The IALVS eye doctors can provide you with various low vision devices to help with everyday tasks like reading your favorite book or driving to meet friends.
  • Happy Mature Man With White Stylish Short Beard Look
    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic eye condition that causes the retina to gradually deteriorate. It affects peripheral vision and can result in night blindness or even total vision loss. Low Vision devices such as reverse telescope glasses can help improve vision functionality and mobility.
  • eye exam senior woman
    Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, due to a buildup of pressure in the eye. Glaucoma causes a loss of peripheral vision - the ability to see to the side without moving your head or eyes. Peripheral vision is required for mobility. Our low vision glasses and other low vision aids, including orientation/mobility training can get you moving safely again.
  • Senior Runner In Nature
    Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition that occurs in diabetics as a result of high blood sugar levels. This causes leakage of blood or fluid from the blood vessels in the retina. As the disease progresses, new blood vessels develop that continue to damage the eye, resulting in vision loss. We can prescribe low vision glasses and other low vision aids to help with activities like cooking, reading, or driving, and improve their ability to recognize the faces of the people they care about.
  • Senior Patient Receiving Eye Exam
    Cataracts is a condition that causes the naturally clear lens inside the eye to become cloudy, resulting in vision impairment. This condition often causes glare, reduced acuity, change of color vision, and reduced contrast.
  • Man Examining Instructions On Medicine Bottle
    Hemianopsia occurs when the brain is damaged due to a stroke, brain injury, or tumor and vision is affected. Stroke often causes Hemianopsia, which negatively affects a person’s field of vision. Someone with Stroke-Hemianopsia may be unable to see to the left or right from their main focal point.
  • Asian Senior Elderly Man With Ring Serious Thinking And Worry Ab
    Peripheral vision, defined as side vision, is what enables you to see the objects that surround you without moving your eyes or turning your head.
  • astigmatism thumbnail
    Pathological Myopia is an eye condition where there is an extreme amount of nearsightedness which causes a major shift in the shape of the eye. Typically, the macula becomes damaged, causing central vision loss.
  • Grandmother Reading Book To Grandchildren Outdoors
    Optic Atrophy occurs as a result of damage to the optic nerve from various eye diseases as glaucoma, stroke, genetics, autoimmune conditions, or brain injury. The condition causes central vision and/or peripheral vision loss.
  • holding hands comfort thumbnail
    Albinism is a disease that causes the reduction of melanin, a natural pigment which gives color to the skin, iris of the eyes, and hair. Patients will have poor eyesight caused by a lack of pigment in the iris. They usually have impaired vision, crossed eyes, lazy eyes, and a sensitivity to bright light.  
  • Juvenile 3 thumbnail
    Stargardt Disease is a form of Juvenile Macular Degeneration that affects children and young adults. Patients have difficulty with central vision and may even have difficulty in focusing on objects in dim lighting.
  • Juvenile Ma Degen 2 thumbnail
    Juvenile Macular Degeneration affects both children and young adults and comes in various forms - Stargardt's disease, Best disease, and Juvenile Retinoschisis. Young patients with this eye condition will have problems with central vision, focusing, blurry vision, and seeing clearly in dim lighting. It can have particularly negative effects in school, during extracurricular activities, and in sports.
  • Modern Confident Woman Glasses
    Achromatopsia is a condition where this is a total or partial lack of ability to see colors. Patients see the world in grayscale. There will also be glare, reduced visual acuity, glare, and involuntary eye movement).
  • Serious Focused Lady In Sunglasses Using Mobile Phone. Grey Hair
    A Macular Hole occurs when there is a small break in the macula. Located in the light-sensitive tissue of the retina, the macular gives us the sharp, central vision we need to do tasks such as read or drive. Patients with this condition experience blurry vision or central vision loss.
  • Confident Aged Businesswoman Wearing Glasses Looking At Camera,
    Nystagmus, also known as "dancing eyes," is an eye condition that causes involuntary eye movement or shaking of the eyes. Patients will have reduced vision and difficulty focusing or maintaining balance.
  • Young Woman focused eyes
    Histoplasmosis Retinopathy is a disease caused by breathing infected airborne spores into your longs. Typically taking place when people are plowing fields or working in a chicken coop, straight lines will appear crooked and blind spots in the visual field will develop. It is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans aged 20-40.
  • Lively Older Man Riding His Bicycle, Laughs And Enjoys Life. Sen
    Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy is an eye condition where the wrong amount of fluid is being pumped into the cornea causing swelling and hazy eyesight. Patients will have a sensitivity to light, difficulty with night vision, eye pain and cloudy vision.
  • leber optic atrophy
    Leber’s optic atrophy, also known as Leber’s optic neuropathy and LHON is a genetic form of painless vision loss that usually begins during the teenage years or in a person’s twenties.
  • leber optic atrophy thumbnail
    Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive deafness and vision loss and can also interfere with balance.
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AAO Video on Low Vision

Safe Driving with Stargardt's Disease

Dr. Chris Palmer Talks Low Vision

Dr. Edward Paul Featured On PBS

Where is the Macula