If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with low vision, you might not quite understand what this diagnosis means, or if this is a common problem. According to the Vision Council, it is estimated that between 3.5 and 5 million Americans are suffering from low vision, which can greatly impact a person's quality of life. Here is some vital information about low vision, including what you can do to make you or your loved one's life a little better:
What Is Low Vision?
According to WebMD, a patient is diagnosed with low vision when they suffer from an eye condition that cannot be corrected with eye glasses, contact lenses or surgery. One of the conditions associated with low vision is blindness – but there are several others, including
Diabetic retinopathy: The high blood sugar associated with diabetes can lead to vision damage or loss, which is called diabetic retinopathy.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when there is an increased pressure in the eye. Over time, this increased pressure can lead to severe vision problems or even blindness.
Cataracts: When an individual develops cataracts, the lens becomes clouded, which makes it difficult for light to reach the retina.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration: According to the American Ophthalmology Association, nearly 2 million Americans who are over the age of 50 suffer from AMD, or age-related macular degeneration. When a person suffers from AMD, they have trouble with their central field of vision.
What Are the Treatments For Low Vision?
Unfortunately, there isn't generally a surgery that can completely cure an individual suffering from low vision. However, in many cases, there are treatments or procedures that can lessen the impact of the disease, which will improve the patient's quality of life.
For example, an optometrist may prescribe eye drops to a patient suffering with glaucoma, which can help lessen the increased eye pressure. In more advanced cases of glaucoma, laser surgery can also provide the patient with some relief.
In the case of diabetic retinopathy, the symptoms associated with this common condition can often be alleviated if the patient keeps their blood sugar under control.
If you've recently been diagnosed with low vision, work with your optometrist to find a treatment that works best for you.
What You Can Do At Home
Suffering from low vision can make it very difficult for an individual to perform the simplest tasks, both in and out of their home.
Luckily, there are several things a person who suffers from low vision can do to make their life easier and more fulfilling, including:
Invest in a light bulbs with a higher wattage. The higher the wattage, the brighter the light is produced, which can make it much easier for an individual suffering with low vision.
Ask your optometrist about viewing accessories. If you're suffering from a condition that makes it difficult to read, a spectacle magnifier or hand held magnifier can make it easier to read a cookbook or novel. If you have trouble seeing objects at a distance, there are also options, including mounted monocular telescopes. These small telescoping lenses can be directly attached to eye glasses and used when the patient needs to focus on an object in the distance.
If you have trouble reading, look for books with larger print, or choose a digital book so you can scale the text size up.
Invest in technology that has a talk feature. There are a number of everyday objects and gadgets, from watches to kitchen scales, that have this feature, which will make it much easier for the patient to perform everyday tasks.
For the million of individuals suffering with low vision, performing the simplest daily tasks can be challenging. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with any of the above-mentioned conditions, don't hesitate to talk with an optometrist to learn what you can do to improve your or your family member's everyday life. Visit websites like http://allabouteyes.com to get started.