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Living with low vision

Understanding your vision condition and how to best use your vision, can help you feel confident and enable you to live more independently. That’s why we’re committed to helping you learn strategies, discover new technology, get support, and take advantage of products designed to help you.

Our team of experts is here to help, and can work with you to develop tailored techniques and routines giving you support to live life on your terms.

What is low vision?

Vision loss is different for everyone. But low vision is usually defined by:

  • Low vision that cannot be corrected to normal vision by regular spectacles, contact lenses, laser, medical treatment or surgery
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks
  • Vision loss severe enough to put someone at risk

Low Vision in Australia is considered to be less than 6/12 (best corrected vision) which is less than legal driving limit.

World Health Organisation’s classification is 6/18 or less (best corrected vision).

Learn about the types of eye conditions that can cause blindness or low vision.

What to do post diagnosis?

Coming out of the doctors office after receiving a diagnosis is overwhelming. You might be left wondering “what next?”

When you’re ready, there are many services you can access and some government benefits on offer.

Hearing how others have dealt with their diagnoses is a great start.

Vision assessments tailored to you

From simple tips to high-level techniques, as part of Vision Australia’s low vision assessments, we’ll give you the tools to make the most of your vision. We’ll cover things like:

  • Breaking down what your eye condition means, and how you can best use your vision in everyday tasks. 
  • Explore aids and technology to identify small tasks/objects.
  • Understanding the effects of glare and how to manage it. 
  • Figuring out the best use of lighting around your home or workplace. 
  • Developing techniques to help your everyday vision.

How this can help

  • Knowledge is power. Having all the facts is the best way to start thriving with low vision and communicating this to others. 
  • Care and support. Understanding your eye condition with expert advice can open up brand new possibilities and opportunities – helping you live life on your terms. 
  • Safety and security. Understanding the full range of services and products available to you gives you the confidence to conquer the everyday. 

  • Discover products that can best assist you, such as magnifiers and reading lights or lamps, and appliances. 
  • Try out new technology like reading software and apps that can assist with independent living. 

How this can help 

  • Better equipped. Finding the right product to aid your vision can increase wellbeing, social connections and find or maintain employment. 
  • Stay up to date. Staying current with the latest technology and techniques allows you to stay more connected and engaged with the ever-changing world. 

Get specialised advice from our low vision team

Our orthoptists are qualified allied health professionals specialising in low vision who'll work with you to maximise use of your functional vision.

For older Australians, the Know Your Vision clinic is also designed to support you better manage significant eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

They will work hand in hand with your eye specialist to monitor your vision and ensure any changes are assessed and managed.

Cheryl wearing a painters apron stands in front if colourful painted canvases.

Speak to professionals, because they’ll tell you about what’s available – and whatever you do, don’t stop what you are doing!

— Cheryl, Vision Australia client

Cheryl’s fight to remain independent

Real stories

When Cheryl lost her sight, the biggest challenge was also losing her independence. She said of her experience: “The biggest impact was the day I had to hand in my driver’s licence”.  

But she decided to be positive and proactive, and reached out to Vision Australia for support. Something that she would recommend anyone with a similar experience to do. 

Listen to Cheryl’s story

Technology and products

View all products

Frequently asked questions

They are highly recommended because vision assessments at Vision Australia take into account your lived vision experience in addition to standard clinical eye tests.

A vision assessment enables our low vision specialists to determine your functional vision, that is how you best use your vision in everyday life.

Vision Australia's eye professionals investigate functional vision and restorative care for everyday life through tailored recommendations such as strategies, magnification and lighting.

Vision Australia provides services for people who are blind or have low vision. A person is considered to have low vision when they have permanent vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses and it affects daily functioning. Low vision can affect people of all ages and can have an impact on many aspects of a person's life. It may result in falls and cause problems recognising faces, reading the newspaper, dialing the telephone or seeing road signs

Yes, services provided by Vision Australia incur a cost. There are several ways you can fund the support, services and products including via the Commonwealth Home Support Program, Home Care Packages, DVA and Medicare for optometry services. We can support you with your funding application. Please contact us on 1300 84 74 66 to discuss your funding options. In some circumstances, a service will require a minimal client contribution.