Low vision is when you have lost a partial amount of eyesight. If you have low vision, it will be difficult to read, drive and manage other tasks. You also might find that you have a difficult time differentiating between colors, and lights might seem dimmer than usual.

Some people with low vision experience seeing lifelike images that are not real. This is not a loss of mental capacity, but rather an occasional symptom of vision loss.

Low vision can be caused by macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, eye cancer or even some brain injuries. Low vision is not a normal cause of aging, and it is a permanent condition. However, low vision can be managed.


Low vision can cause difficulty in completing everyday tasks, however, several aids, devices and rehabilitation techniques are available to help.

Rehabilitation helps you learn to do tasks in new ways – whether that means finding a new way to visualize objects when you have a blind spot, or learning to use low-vision aids.

Low-vision aids include tablets that provide voice commands and adjustable text and lighting, talking watches and other talking items, magnifying spectacles, and other devices that assist with your daily activities.

At Illinois Glaucoma Center, we take a holistic approach to the treatment we offer to our patients. Here are a few organizations that give hope to visually disabled patients and their families: 

The Chicago Lighthouse is a social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services.

The Illinois College of Optometry, under the Chicago Vision Outreach program, provides eye care to the city’s under-served and uninsured populations.

The Chicago Lighthouse
Illinois College of Optometry