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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.

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    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.
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    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.
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    Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve due to a buildup of pressure in the eye. Known as the “sneak thief of vision,” this condition will cause a loss of the peripheral vision.
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    This condition is caused by a complication that happens from diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy is considered the leading cause of blindness in the world.
  • 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Ocular albinism (OA) is an inherited disorder that prevents the individual from producing melanin in the eyes. As a result, those with OA have poor central vision at birth, a condition that continues throughout their lives. Fortunately, a low vision eye doctor can provide advanced tools and devices to ensure that those with ocular albinism can achieve the highest quality of life possible.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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).
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive deafness and vision loss and can also interfere with balance.
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    There are many ways to help you remain independent and keep doing the things that are important for you after you discover you have Best Disease, a genetic disorder affecting central vision. Consult your nearest low vision optometrists.
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