The major causes and effects of vision impairment are:
age-related macular degeneration – causes distortion or loss of central vision in older people, resulting in difficulties with activities such as reading and recognising faces.
diabetic retinopathy – symptoms include blurring and patchiness in vision. The underlying cause is diabetes.
glaucoma – causes tunnel vision and affects safe mobility and driving.
cataracts – cause blurring of vision and increased sensitivity to glare, but can be corrected by surgery.
refractive error – half of all vision impairment in Australia is due to under-corrected refractive error which covers long-sightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. Refractive errors can be improved by wearing glasses.
vision loss in children – there are many diseases, defects, malformations, infections and disorders that can affect the visual system in babies and infants.