Common Types of Low Vision

  • Loss of Central Vision. The loss of central vision creates a blur or blind spot, but a person's side (peripheral) vision remains. This makes it difficult to read, recognize faces and distinguish most details in the distance. With side vision intact, however, mobility is usually unaffected.

  • Loss of Peripheral (Side) Vision. People who lose their peripheral vision cannot distinguish anything to one side or both sides, or anything directly above and/or below eye level. Central vision remains, however, making it possible to see directly ahead, read and see faces. Typically, loss of peripheral vision affects mobility. If it is severe, it can slow reading speed because the person can only see a few words at a time. This is sometimes referred to as "tunnel vision."

  • Blurred Vision. With blurred vision, both near and far vision is out of focus, even with the best possible correction with eyeglasses.

  • Reduced Contrast Sensitivity. People with loss of contrast sensitivity, have a loss of vision quality. They tend to feel that there is a generalized haze with a sensation of a film or cloudiness. 

  • Glare Light Sensitivity. Occurs when standard levels of light overwhelm a person's visual system, producing a washed-out image and/or a glare. People with extreme light sensitivity may suffer pain or discomfort from relatively normal levels of light.

  • Night Blindness. People with night blindness cannot see outside at night or in dimly lighted interior areas such as movie theaters or restaurants.

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