Keep Up With Low Vision Care

A thorough eye exam performed by an optometrist is an overall assessment of your ocular health. Some eye conditions, if left untreated, can lead to extended vision loss or even blindness. This is a notable reason to discuss the importance of regular eye check-ups and care with your elderly family members. As we age, it becomes even more crucial to keep up with low vision loss

Low vision is a visual impairment that is not correctable through surgery, pharmaceuticals, glasses or contact lenses. It includes partial sight, such as blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision. Low vision can impact people of all ages, but is primarily associated with older adults.

Causes of low visions include trauma, disease, genetics, or it can simply develop over time due to aging. Here are 5 of the most common visual impairments that lead to low vision:

  1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD/ARMD) is a painless disease affecting the macula which is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It blurs the sharp, central vision you need for focusing on activities straight-ahead, as opposed to your peripheral vision.
  2. Glaucoma is a strongly hereditary degenerative eye disease found mostly in those at age 60 and older.
  3. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens that is mostly a result of aging.
  4. Diabetic Retinopathy is an eye disease affecting 30% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes. Directly related to high blood sugar, the damage it does to blood vessels can lead to retinal detachment.
  5. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina. They are generally due to a lack of protein production or the creation of abnormal or toxic protein.

Low vision is irreversible, but it is treatable. There are several treatment options.

  • Prescription glasses and/or contacts
  • Specialized optical systems
  • Therapeutic filters
  • Video magnification
  • Medical rehabilitative therapy

The Vision Council released their report Vision Loss in America: Aging and Low Vision in order to further educate the elderly and their caregivers about low vision and aging eye disease. For more information on how to speak with your elderly family members about their ocular health, feel free to contact us.