Approximately 93 million U.S. adults face a high risk of vision loss. If you want to avoid or prevent further eyesight degradation, now is the time to seek professional eye care. From glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy, Specialty Eye Institute is leading the industry in low vision and visual rehabilitation treatments. Schedule an appointment with us today to get one step closer to clear sight.
What Is Low Vision?
Someone with low vision has 20/70 eyesight or worse in their better eye. This condition makes daily tasks—like reading, driving, and watching television—more difficult to complete. It often develops due to an underlying eye condition and can’t be corrected fully with treatments like prescription glasses or contacts, medication, and surgery.
Poor eyesight impacts people of all ages but is most prevalent in those over the age of 40. That’s because the root causes of eyesight degradation are conditions that primarily affect older adults. Below are the four different types of low vision one can develop:
- Central vision loss
- Peripheral vision loss
- Night blindness
- Blurry eyesight
What Causes Low Vision?
People with underlying eye conditions face a higher risk of developing low vision as they age. Glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are all considered to be leading causes of blindness in the U.S.
According to the CDC, glaucoma is the “second leading cause of blindness worldwide.” Glaucoma encompasses a group of eye diseases that are characterized by excess intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits images from the retina to the brain, allowing you to see things clearly. This increased intraocular pressure damages optic nerve fibers, which causes poor sight. Learn More About Glaucoma.
A cataract forms when the eye’s natural lens gradually wears down and becomes cloudy, resulting in poor sight. Cataract symptoms often don’t present themselves until the later stages when visual clarity has already decreased. Learn More About Cataracts.
3. Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is characterized by damage to the macula, a part of the retina that enables the eye to perceive details. It weakens one’s central vision over time. This eye disease is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration because it primarily affects people over the age of 55. Learn More About Macular Degeneration.
4. Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is present when damaged retinal vessels damage nerve cells in the eye, which causes eyesight degradation. Diabetic retinopathy is the most prevalent diabetic eye disease, taking place as the leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. Learn More About Diabetic Retinopathy.
Checking for & Diagnosing Low Vision
Early diagnosis of low vision is crucial to preserving your current eyesight. The only way to diagnose low vision is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam, which is an eye exam that includes dilation. Dilation enlarges the pupil to offer a more detailed view of the eye.
When you come in for your appointment, one of our low-vision specialists will perform an eye exam to measure your current level of visual acuity and determine whether you suffer from this condition.
Low Vision Treatment Options
Although low vision can be slowed and even stopped, it can’t be reversed. Once sight is lost, it’s lost permanently. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. That’s why it’s so important to get low vision diagnosed and treated early on in its development.
Thankfully, treatments like prescription glasses and contacts, medication, and surgery can improve sight and prevent it from deteriorating further. Ask your doctor what visual rehabilitation treatment option is right for you at your next appointment.
4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Remaining Eyesight
Here are four practical ways you can protect your current eyesight.
- Schedule annual comprehensive eye exams
- Wear glasses and/or contacts to avoid straining your eyes
- Wear sunglasses outside to avoid UV damage
- Use brighter lights indoors to improve visibility
Your Local Eye Care Experts
If you suffer from low vision, Speciality Eye Institute is the name you can trust to provide long-term eye care solutions. Our board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists will help you develop a customized treatment plan for your low vision and any underlying conditions that caused it. Take the first step today by scheduling a dilated eye exam.