February is Low Vision Awareness Month

Low vision is when even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people have difficulty seeing, which makes everyday tasks difficult to do. Activities that used to be simple like reading the mail, shopping, cooking, and writing can become challenging.

Most people with low vision are age 65 or older. The leading causes of vision loss in older adults are agerelated macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.

Among younger people, vision loss is most often caused by inherited eye conditions, infectious and autoimmune eye diseases, or trauma.

For people with low vision, maximizing their remaining sight is key to helping them continue to live safe, productive, and rewarding lives.

Since it is unusual to be able to restore vision once it is lost, screenings can help preserve the vision you have and help you access adaptive lenses and devices if you need them. While there is not a cure for low vision, your specialist can help you adapt and if needed, create a vision rehabilitation program designed to meet your specific needs.

The first step is to seek help

What causes low vision?

Many factors contribute to low vision, including age. Some common causes of low vision are as follows:

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the retina. It causes spots in the center of the eye, resulting in blurry and uneven vision. This disease prevents you from seeing straight ahead, which is why you face difficulty in doing different tasks.

Macular degeneration is a common reason for low vision in people above the age of 55. Early diagnosis is critical to prevent further vision loss.

Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to many eye problems because of how the condition leads to changes in the eye blood vessels. These changes can disturb the vision.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common reason for blindness in adults. It damages the retina and diagnosis is usually after permanent vision damage.

This condition can occur in diabetic patients of any age. If you are diabetic, it is important to undergo regular eye screening to avoid the risk of problems with your vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma can damage the optic nerves. This nerve connects your retina to the brain, allowing you to see. The damage can lead to vision loss and blindness if it is not diagnosed early. Also, you can’t restore vision damaged due to glaucoma.

There are no current treatments for glaucoma, but you can prevent it from damaging your vision. Glaucoma occurs mostly in adults as opposed to young people. Pressure in the eyes and high blood pressure also increase the risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is difficult to detect, and most people are diagnosed after suffering from vision loss. To prevent the problems, regular screenings or eye exams can help you to reduce the risk of vision loss.

How many people have low vision?

    • It’s estimated that 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired.
    • Visual impairment is among the top 10 disabilities in the U.S.
    • Over the next couple of decades, the current number of blind or visually impaired Americans will double.

Help for Vision Problems

While Low Vision Awareness Month is the ideal time to learn about this condition and about the risk factors you could be facing, you should get in touch with a low vision specialist any time you have concern about your eyesight. Any time you notice a change in vision, if you receive a new diagnosis or have one or more of the risk factors detailed above you should schedule an appointment right away.

If you have concerns now or any time of year, contact us for an appointment and to learn more about your vision. You’ll get peace of mind that comes from knowing you are taking proactive measures to protect your health and vision, and if needed, the adaptive tools you need to resume your favorite activities and routines.

Make your appointment today

To make your appointment, simply give us a call (760)-948-3345Low Vision Awareness Month, February is Low Vision Awareness MonthorLow Vision Awareness Month, February is Low Vision Awareness Month

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, all eyewear services are currently by appointment only. Please call to make an appointment.

At Golden Eye Optometry, we view good vision care as front line protection at every age. A routine eye exam can detect more than poor vision. It can shed early light on glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetes.

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