What Causes of Decreased Visual Acuity (Low Vision)

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z



The eye plays an important role to live a quality of life, a decreased visual acuity or low vision also decrease the quality of life. There are various causes of decreased visual acuity which we are going to describe here. In general language Visual acuity (VA) is known as clarity of vision. Actually, visual acuity is based on optical and neural factors, these factors are:


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  • The sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye


  • Health and functioning of the retina, and


  • The sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.




What does Decreased Visual Acuity Mean?




Visual Acuity also called low vision. It is a number which indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision. A Low vision measurement of 20/70 means that a person with this vision who is 20 feet from an eye chart sees what a person with proper (or 20/20) vision can see from 70 feet away.



What is Good Visual Acuity?


The term 20/20 is used to express normal visual acuity measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have a vision of 20/20, you can see clearly at the distance of 20 feet.



What Affects Visual Acuity?



Visual acuity is limited by aberrations, diffraction, and photoreceptor density inside the eye. Apart from these limitations, a number of factors also affect visual acuities, such as refractive error, illumination, contrast, and the location of the retina being stimulated.




What are the Causes of Decreased visual acuity?



Eye diseases or conditions can cause of decreased visual acuity. Some of the more common causes of decreased visual acuity are:



Macular Degeneration.


It is a disorder that affects your retina, light-sensitive lining at the back of your eye where images are focused. The macula-the area on the retina is responsible for sharp and central vision-deteriorates, which causes blurred vision. This can lead to difficulty while reading and, for some, a blind spot in the central area of vision.



The most common form of age-related macular degeneration is also called as non-exudative (dry) form, in which vision loss usually progresses slowly. The rapid and severe vision loss comes from the exudative (wet) form, of macular degeneration. In this form, the abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak blood and fluid.




Diabetic Retinopathy.



People with diabetes can experience vision changes in their day-to-day life and/or visual functioning as a result of the disease. Diabetes can cause blood vessels tiny which nourish the retina to develop, abnormal branches that leak. It can affect the vision and, by the time, may severely damage the retina. Laser and surgical procedure can reduce its progression, but controlled blood sugar is the most important step in treating diabetic retinopathy.




Retinitis Pigmentosa.



It gradually destroys the night vision, over time reduces side vision and can result in total vision loss. It is an inherited disease, its first symptom is night blindness and usually occurs in childhood or adolescence.


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In amblyopia, the visual system fails to develop normally during childhood. The blurry vision that results in any eyes is not easily corrected with normal glasses or contact lenses alone.




Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).



Retinopathy of prematurity happens in infants who born prematurely. It can be caused by the excess oxygen in incubators during the crucial neonatal period.




Retinal Detachment.



In retinal detachment, the retina detached from its internal layer. It can lead to total vision loss in the affected eye. Causes of retinal detachment include eye trauma, holes in the retina, infection, blood vessel disturbance or a tumor. If diagnosed timely, most separated retinas can be surgically reattached with completely or partially restored vision.







A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, partly or completely. It interferes with light reaching the retina at the back of the eye, then it results in a general vision loss. Cataracts causes include aging, long-term exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, injury, disease, and inherited disorders. If the eyes are healthy, a cataract can be removed surgically. generally, an intraocular lens implant is inserted in the eye, and vision is restored.







It causes damage to your optic nerve. Usually, it occurs due to increased pressure in the eye due to problems with the flow or drainage of fluid within the eye. It can also occur when the internal pressure of the eye does not increase in the form of stress, but there is less blood flow of blood to the optic nerve. There are no early symptoms of glaucoma.




Acquired Brain Injury.



Vision can also be lost or damaged as a result of head injuries, brain damage and stroke. Signs and symptoms can include reduced visual acuity or visual field, contrast sensitivity, blurred vision, eye misalignment, poor judgment of depth, glare sensitivity, confusion when performing visual tasks, difficulty reading, double vision, headaches, dizziness, abnormal body posture, and balance problems.







In the above blog, we have discussed different causes of decreased visual acuity. As we all know our eyesight is very important to live a quality life. If you are dealing with an eye related problem then I don’t ignore and consult your doctor on a priority basis because eyes are important.


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