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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting help for low vision & blindness

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Low vision is usually permanent. But while there may not be a cure, there are things you can do to make everyday life easier.

You can start by having a low vision assessment. This will help you to find the best strategies and support options for your individual needs. Contact your optometrist for an assessment.

If you need more specialised assessment, your optometrist can refer you to the Low Vision Clinic at Burwood Hospital.

Low-vision support includes advice on the best lighting, visual aids and technology to help you manage your daily tasks.

You might also like to investigate the services and resources available from Blind Low Vision NZ.

Low vision aids

Low-vision aids are like tools – they're prescribed for a certain task. A low-vision specialist will be able to recommend the best devices for you. You may need more than one device to help you stay independent.

You can find many of these via Blind Low Vision NZ. Blind Low Vision NZ has an office in Christchurch, which you can visit to check out what products are available or seek more advice. You can also speak to someone on the phone (0800-24-33-33) about equipment and what services are available.

You may also find the page on Disability aids helpful.

You may be able to get financial help to pay for low vision aids or modifications to your home. To find out if you're eligible for funding, your general practice team will need to refer you to an occupational therapist for an assessment.


There are several options available to allow people with low vision to use technology such as computers and phones. You can read more about these options here.

There are also mobile phone apps you can use.


When you're diagnosed with low vision, you might become depressed or anxious. You can find advice on getting help on our depression and anxiety pages.

Support groups

Blind Low Vision NZ provides information services and support for anyone with low vision.

Other support groups for particular conditions include:

On the next page: Self-care for low vision & blindness

Written by Canterbury optometrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2023.


Page reference: 121116

Review key: HILOV-121114