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How Do I Know If I Have Low Vision?

July 29 2022

Have you ever walked into a room and not been able to see the person you were looking for? Or maybe you’ve seen a person in a crowd but couldn’t tell who they were. That’s what low vision is like—and it’s something that can happen to anyone, at any time.

Read on as a Marysville, WA optometrist discusses low vision and the various signs and symptoms associated with this condition.

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision is the term used to describe a range of eye conditions that can make it difficult to see. The term is also used to describe conditions that affect your ability to focus on objects or use your eyes.

As we age, our eyesight gets weaker and weaker, which means we have less ability to see objects in our environment. We might notice this loss of vision in everyday life when trying to read an important document or watching TV with poor quality resolution, but low vision can also make it harder for us to do things we take for granted—like drive safely or read street signs while driving on unfamiliar streets.

Symptoms of Low Vision

The following are some of the symptoms of low vision:

  • Blurry or hazy vision. This can happen when your retina has been damaged by disease or injury, as well as with normal aging.
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light. This occurs because the retina is damaged and it no longer sends information to the optic nerve correctly.
  • Poor peripheral (side) vision. Even if you have good central (straight ahead) vision, you may still be unable to see objects on either side of your field of view very well because the nerve pathways for peripheral vision are usually different from those for central vision.

Who’s Most at Risk?

It’s not just older people!

Low vision is more common than you might think—and it affects people across the age spectrum. In fact, the incidence of low vision increases with age, but it can also occur at any age due to disease or injury.

People who are at high risk of low vision include those who:

  • Have diabetes or other retinal diseases
  • Have had a stroke
  • Have macular degeneration or other eye diseases that cause loss of central vision
  • Have glaucoma or cataracts that cause blurred vision

The good news is that there are treatments available to help people with low vision maintain their independence and quality of life. The first step toward treating your low vision is getting a proper diagnosis from an eye doctor.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, please feel free to call our Marysville, WA optometry office anytime.

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:30pm
Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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