What is Low Vision?

Low vision is a term that describes significant visual impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.

Some examples of low vision include tunnel vision, blind spots, and legal blindness. In the US, a person is legally blind when their visual acuity is 20/200 or worse or a field of view is constricted to 20 degrees or less.

What causes low vision?
Eye diseases are common causes of low vision. Some of those diseases include:
Macular degeneration
• Cataracts
• Birth defect
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Glaucoma
• Eye injuries
• Retinitis pigmentosa
• Light sensitivity

What can people do about low vision?

If you or someone you know has a visual impairment that impacts everyday living, we recommend seeing an eye care professional for a complete exam. If the vision cannot be corrected, that professional will refer you to a low vision specialist. You may also refer yourself. Low vision physicians provide comprehensive exams at our facilities on select days—call to schedule an appointment.

Low vision specialists help people with low vision determine the type and degree of vision loss and recommend low vision aids. About Us. In our Community Low Vision Centers, the physicians work closely with our low vision technicians who teach people to use these devices at no charge.

Woman tries out magnifier while Asheville CLVC Associate looks on

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration: What it is, ways to adapt.

Macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans—more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. It typically affects people 55 and older and becomes more common as you age.

While there is no cure for macular degeneration right now, there are things you can do to slow its progression and continue living a full and independent life.

Wide-ranging resources for daily life.

If you’re having trouble reading, recognizing faces or colors or seeing objects in fine detail, there are a world of products that can help.

Hand-held magnifiers, closed circuit TV magnifiers, large-print materials, special lighting and more are all designed specifically for low vision, and they’ll help you return to the activities and independence you’re used to.

We speak from experience.

All associates at the Community Low Vision Center have some form of low vision, and for many of us, this includes macular degeneration. This means that we’ve tried out these products first-hand. We also understand the worries and frustrations that can come with this diagnosis.

Whatever your questions or concerns, we’re here to help.


Are you or someone you love struggling with macular degeneration?

The first step is easy. After you’ve talked to your eye doctor or care provider, call one of the Community Low Vision Centers. We’ll ask a few questions to better understand your situation, and then we’ll set you up with an appointment.

When we meet, we’ll continue the conversation to learn more about your current lifestyle, the changes you’re experiencing and what you’re looking for. You’ll be able to try out adaptive devices as we work together to make a plan for adjusting and getting back to life as usual.

You might have questions about your device or about macular degeneration in general after you get home. We can help with that, too. Our associates are ready to provide answers and support and connect you to others experiencing this form of low vision.