Low Vision

About 18 million people in the United States experience severe vision loss which can be classified as legally blind or partially sighted. This means that they experience a significant reduction in visual function that cannot be fully corrected by ordinary glasses, contact lenses, medical treatment, or surgery. Low vision affects people of all ages and impacts their daily activities such as reading, cooking, taking medication, or watching television.

What People with Low Vision See

Family members or friends with normal vision have a hard time understanding what someone with low vision can see. Each picture below shows two children playing on a staircase. Each picture looks different depending upon the cause of vision loss simulated.

Typical Vision 

This picture shows two children playing on a staircase

Central Field Loss

A hazy or dark hole appears in the center of objects.
Causes include macular degeneration and optic atrophy.

Multiple Field Losses

Scattered dark patches or holes appear around objects.
Causes include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinal detachment and trauma.

Tunnel Vision

Loss of peripheral vision causes a restricted field of vision. Objects in the center remain visible.
Causes include glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and stroke.

Contrast loss and glare problems

Objects blend in with the background; lights are distracting or uncomfortable.
Causes include cataracts, glaucoma, corneal disease and albinism.

Some additional symptoms may include:

Blurred vision – Objects appear out of focus.
Causes include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts or corneal disease.


Objects appear crooked, wavy or doubled.
Causes include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

Online Vision Simulations

Vision Simulation Products

Zimmerman Low Vision Simulation Kit
Fork in the Road
To be referred to any organization near you, please contact us at 314-961-8235 or use our resource directory.