Low vision is a condition that cannot be fixed with prescription, eyeglasses, surgery, or contact lenses. It is essential for you to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Low vision does not include blindness as there is some sight, although it may be limited. However, in some cases, visual aids have helped improved sight.
Low vision makes it difficult to carry out everyday activities like reading, driving, spotting things or faces, etc. It includes various degrees of sight loss. Poor night vision, blind spots, glare issues are some of them. Let us take a closer look at some of the common types of low vision.
Types of Low Vision
Albinism occurs due to the lack of normal pigmentation. It may affect the skin and hair along with the eyes. But, it may only affect the eyes as well. Sometimes, patients who suffer from albinism also have nystagmus. It is a condition where there is a shaking movement in the eyes. Thus, it is also accompanied by difficulty in seeing a bright light. Hence, it leads to a reduced ability to see small details. This condition can get better with diagnosis and treatment.
Corneal Dystrophies and Degeneration
Corneal injury or disease often results in cloudiness. It makes the clear front appear cloudy instead of being naturally clear. Some of the corneal diseases can be due to infection, whereas some are genetic. However, corneal scars are mostly due to injuries. Contact lenses are sometimes useful in dealing with corneal injury or disease.
Glaucoma is directly related to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is where the pathway between the eye and the brain starts. The biggest risk is high eye pressure. But, it is crucial that you know some people with normal eye pressures also developed glaucoma. The initial stages of glaucoma may cause low contrasts to appear washed out.
In this condition, the person loses half of the vision. Strokes are one of the most common causes of this condition, along with brain tumor and head trauma. People who struggle with this condition often bump into things as they are not able to see properly. Most often, this condition affects both eyes.
Diabetes causes damage to the small blood vessels in the eyes. This results in diabetic retinopathy. It can affect the eyes in more ways than one. For example, it can cause diabetic macular edema. In this condition, the central part of the retina swells up. Hence, it causes distortion of vision. It can also cause proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This can cause severe vision loss caused by bleeding in the eyes.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Low Vision
Once you know the various types of low vision, diagnosis and treatment become easier. Some disorders like diabetic retinopathy can be treated to maintain or restore sight. However, many other types need visual aids to get through the day.
Some of the optical aids are as follows:
- Lenses that filter light.
- Reading prisms.
- Magnifying glasses.
- Freestanding or handheld magnifiers.
- Telescopic glasses.
There are non-optical variants as well. Therefore, they have been useful in helping people with low vision.
- Text-reading software.
- High-contrast clocks and watches.
- Large-print publications.
- Books on audiocassette/DVD/CD.
- Talking clocks and watches.
- Phones and clocks with larger numbers.
Visual aids are great for those with low vision. They help in improving the quality of life. Hence, consult your doctor about getting one if you are interested.
Many eye diseases and disorders could be prevented. Early detection plays a significant role, especially when it comes to the eyes. Here are some useful tips to protect your eyes.
Tips to Protect Your Eyes
- Know the eye disease that you are exposed to. Your family history matters along with your habits and choices. Factors like the history of diabetes and high blood pressure are vital.
- If you are diabetic, make sure to monitor it from time to time. If neglected or left untreated, it could cause problems like diabetic retinopathy.
- Exercise is paramount to a healthy and happy life. Not many people are aware that it helps your eyesight as well. Did you know that walking can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 70%?
- Diet is also vital when it comes to your sight. Research shows that including antioxidants helps reduce the risk of cataracts. Incorporate plenty of green vegetables and salads in your diet. Consuming omega-3 also helps to minimize the risk of macular degeneration.
- Get your eye tested regularly. It is one of the best ways to know what is happening in your eyes. Therefore, visit a doctor if you notice any changes. It includes swelling, hazy vision, red eyes, etc.
Our eyes are critical organs of the body. Only when something bothers our vision, we realize its importance. Thus, to help maintain the vision, it is essential that we go for regular checkups. Hence, many of the diseases creep up without any noticeable symptoms. Thus, the only thing that can save us is timely diagnosis and treatment.