About Visual Impairment
Someone is Visually Impaired when one’s eyesight cannot be corrected to a “normal level”. When someone’s eyesight is almost or completely gone, we refer to Blindness. When the Visual Impairment is moderate or severe, we refer to Low Vision.
The causes of Visual Impairment
Visual Impairment can be caused by the brain, damage of the optic nerve or from the eye itself. According to the World Health Organization, the most common causes of Visual Impairment worldwide are uncorrected Refractive Errors, unoperated Cataracts and Glaucoma. Other disorders that may cause visual problems are Age related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy.
About 65% of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises only about 20 % of the world's population. More people will be at risk of visual impairment due to chronic eye diseases and the ageing processes.
What does it mean to be Visually Impaired?
Visual impairment may cause difficulties in everyday living, think of doing household chores, homework or work. Communication can be difficult because it’s easy to miss the visual cues in non-verbal information, especially because a large part of our communication exists of facial expressions and gestures. It is also notable that Visually Impaired people walk in a insecure manner or bump into things. Furthermore, Visually Impaired people encounter reading difficulties, or cannot read at all.
Coping with Visual Impairment
Compared to others, a Visually Impaired person often uses tips and tricks to cope with everyday living. They strongly rely on their memory and other senses. It is notable that people who become Visually Impaired at a later stage in life encounter more difficulties than when they were born with it, or became Visually Impaired at a young age. The use of assistive devices and aids could be a good coping strategy and give someone more confidence.
At Optelec, we are dedicated to making a difference. Our goal is to spread awareness so that aids for the Visually Impaired are readily available. With the right tools, one can perform daily activities, continue doing hobbies, read, write, maintain employment and stay in touch with friends and family.
In our Low Vision webshop, you will find a wide selection of Low Vision aids: Magnifiers, Lamps, Text-to-Speech solutions and many more products that can assist you in your daily tasks with Visual Impairment.
The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) believes in LIFE AFTER VISION LOSS. The IALVS brings new hope and sight to those with macular degeneration and other vision limiting conditions. The IALVS can bring back the enjoyment of life after vision loss. The IALVS is a group of optometrists who are specially trained in low vision.
Visit the Optelec webshop