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Warning Signs of Low Vision

by Dan Roberts, Vision & Eye Expert
December 02, 2016

Question: What are warning signs of low vision?

Answer: The pathological condition called “low vision” is a reduction of eyesight uncorrectable with glasses. It usually begins with a decrease in any or all of the following:

•    acuity (clarity)
•    contrast (distinction between black and white)
•    scotopic (dim light) vision
•    color perception
•    photophobia (intolerance to bright light)
•    dark or missing areas in the visual field
•    appearance of a “curtain” over the visual field, sometimes accompanied by “sparkles” (requires immediate attention)

These symptoms can be caused by genetics, disease, illness, medication, or injury. A dilated eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist should be scheduled to determine what action might be taken to rectify the condition or slow the progression of vision loss.

In cases of chronic low vision, Low vision rehabilitation will help to develop strategies to maximize or substitute for diminished sight in order to maintain independence and a sense of self-worth. For more information, see

Dan Roberts is Founding Director of MD Support, Inc. and the International Low Vision Support Group. He is the editor-in-chief of “Living Well with Low Vision”. He is also the author of “The First Year–Age-Related Macular Degeneration” and contributing author to “Occupational Therapy Intervention for the Older Adult with Low Vision”.

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