Sport and low vision: keeping body and brain in shape

27 August 2021
Acuity digital

With the Paralympics underway in Tokyo, Kathy Oxtoby reports on how patients with low vision can enjoy exercise and sport, and the benefits that go beyond keeping limber.

For people with low vision, sport and physical activity can be “an effective catalyst ensuring a healthier and happier lifestyle”, says the charity British Blind Sport (BBS) (BBS, 2016). Sport can also provide many opportunities for those with low vision, from local competitions to international events such as the Paralympic Games.

Given the many benefits that sport can bring, it is important to encourage people who are visually impaired to get involved in sport and physical activity. Optometrists can help by offering support, advice and information to their patients.

Many different eye conditions can cause low vision, but the most common causes are macular degeneration, which causes a loss of central vision; cataract, which causes blurred or cloudy vision; diabetic retinopathy, which results in floaters and blurred vision; and glaucoma, which causes a loss of peripheral vision (BBS, 2016).

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The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a new framework to support low vision clinics.

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