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Low Vision Glossary
Adaptive and Assistive Devices - Prescription and nonprescription devices that help people with low vision enhance their remaining vision. Some examples include magnifiers and telescopes, talking devices, and computer software.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - An eye disease that results in a loss of central, "straight-ahead" vision. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans. It makes reading, seeing faces, and performing other daily living tasks difficult.
Cataract - A clouding of the lens. People with a cataract see through a haze. In a usually safe and successful surgery, the cloudy lens can be replaced with a plastic lens.
Diabetes - A chronic disease related to high blood sugar that may lead to vision loss (diabetic retinopathy).
Dominant Optic Nerve Atrophy - Hereditary damage to the optic nerve, resulting in a loss of vision.
Eye Care Professional - An optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Glaucoma - An eye disease that damages the optic nerve and leads to vision loss. Glaucoma affects peripheral, or side, vision.
Low Vision - A visual impairment, not corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery, which interferes with the ability to perform everyday activities.
Low Vision Therapist - A vision rehabilitation professional who trains people with low vision to use optical and nonoptical devices and adaptive techniques to make the most of their remaining vision.
Ophthalmologist - A medical doctor who diagnoses and treats all diseases and disorders of the eye and prescribes glasses and contact lenses.
Occupational Therapist - A rehabilitation professional who works with persons with disabilities, including low vision, to complete the everyday activities that they need for independence and quality of life.
Optometrist - A primary eye care provider who prescribes glasses and contact lenses, and diagnoses and treats certain conditions and diseases of the eye.
Orientation and Mobility Specialist - A vision rehabilitation professional who trains people with low vision to move about safely in the home and travel by themselves.
Specialist in Low Vision - An ophthalmologist or optometrist who specializes in the evaluation of low vision. This professional prescribes magnifying devices.
Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRTs) - A vision rehabilitation professional who teaches adaptive independent living skills, enabling adults who are blind or have low vision to confidently carry out a range of daily activities.