What is Low Vision?



In Australia, a person with low vision is regarded blind if they are permanently blind in both eyes. This occurs where there is:
- total loss of sight,
- visual acuity in the better eye after correction of less than or equal to 3/60,
- in the written opinion of an Opthalmologist, visual fields deficits and/or combination of deficits in a visual impairment which is the equivalent of a corrected visual acuity measure in the better eye of 3/60 or worse.

As its criteria for the Disability Support Pension, the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) defines legal blindness as:
- visual acuity on the Snellen Scale after correction by suitable lenses of less than 6/60 in both eyes,
- a field of vision that is constricted to 10 degrees or less of arc around central fixation in the better eye irrespective of corrected visual acuity (equivalent to 1/100 white test object)
- or a combination of visual defects resulting in the same degree of vision impairment as that occurring above.

Low Vision Assessments are highly dependent on the needs of each individual patient.The important issues addressed in a low vision assessment are:

1. What does the patient want?
2 What possible strategies, such as prescribing low-vision devices and other low-vision services, can be developed to assist the patient.

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