What Is Low Vision?

When you have low vision, you can't see well enough to get around or do daily activities. Regular glasses or contact lenses may not help. Your central or side (peripheral) vision, or both, may be reduced.

What causes low vision?

Low vision can be caused by a number of diseases in the eye. An injury to your eye can also result in low vision. And some people are born with low vision.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of low vision depend on the cause of your vision loss and where the problem is in your eye. Symptoms can include:

  • Blank spots, dark spots, or wavy lines in the center of your vision

  • Blurred, hazy, or cloudy vision, or double vision

  • Loss of peripheral vision or color vision

Cross section of eye viewed from front and slightly to side. Iris is colored part of eye with clear cornea covering it. Lens is behind iris. Retina is lining of inside back of eye where light is focused. Blood vessels nourish retina. Macula is spot in center of retina at back of eye where sharp vision occurs. Optic nerve at back of eye carries signals from retina to brain. Possible causes of low vision: Closeup of weak blood vessels leaking fluid into eye. Closeup of macula breaking down, causing loss of central vision. Closeup of optic nerve damaged by increased eye pressure. Damaged nerve unable to send messages to brain.