What is Vision Loss2019-07-31T09:48:03+00:00

Understanding Vision Loss

What is Vision Loss?

Vision loss is an eyesight condition where you start to lose your ability to see things clearly. Also commonly known as an impairment of vision, it can be caused due to various eye diseases or some form of damage to your eye. Not restricted to one eye, many individuals may experience vision loss at different rates in each eye, which may allow them to function quite normally with one eye until the second eye begins to lose function as well. Low vision can potentially handicap a person in performing day to day activities such as reading, driving, or recognizing faces. Why not find a solution to battle vision loss before it’s too late?

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Living with Vision Loss:
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How Does Vision Loss Occur?

Vision loss occurs when a part of the eye is damaged by some disease or an abnormality. Depending on the specific eye disease, functional vision can be impaired in different ways. Vision loss can occur at any age, even from birth due to congenital diseases, such as congenital glaucoma or cataracts. Vision loss in mid-life can be caused by diseases such as diabetes or glaucoma. There are also rare inherited retinal diseases such as Stargardt disease or Retinitis Pigmentosa that cause vision loss. For people in later years of their life, vision impairment due to eye diseases are more common, such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is termed as the number one cause of vision loss around the world for those aged 65 and above. Other eye diseases causing vision loss such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and inoperable cataracts are also highly prevalent in ages 50 and above.

What are the Most Common Types of Vision Loss?

There are two types of vision loss: Central vision loss and peripheral vision loss. The type of vision loss you get will depend on the type of eye disease you have. Mostly, one of the above, i-e central or peripheral vision, is affected, but there have been cases where vision loss was found in both forms at the same time.

In some eye diseases, the central and peripheral vision may get damaged in unison and with different damage progress rates.

Having said that, there are other vision problems that come with the territory as well. Problems such as sensitivity to light, reflections or glare, trouble focusing or adjusting to different light contrasts, having increased difficulty in reading letters or words; for instance words may look gray or faint instead of dark or black, finding it hard to distinguish between different colors (color deficiency).

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Common Cause of Vision Loss in Adults

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that damages the central area of the retina, called the macula, responsible for sharp central vision. AMD may progress very slowly. At its advance stage, it can rob a person of a great portion of their central vision, but it does not affect the peripheral vision.

Macular degeneration is the most frequently occurring eye disease in persons over the age of 65. Research shows that 1 in 6 persons aged 65 or above, 1 in 5 persons aged 75 or above, 1 in 4 persons aged 85 or above has some form of macular degeneration.

There are two main types of macular degeneration

When abnormal blood vessels start to grow under the retina, it is characterized as wet macular degeneration. These new abnormal blood vessels can leak fluid or blood, compromising your vision. The wet form can be treated if caught early with an injection of anti-blood vessel growth factor. Your retina specialist will then closely monitor the treatment and recommend further treatment protocols for you. Treatment can be very helpful for many in keeping the disease stable.

When drusen (yellow deposits under the retina) starts to collect excessively on the macula, it is diagnosed as the dry form of macular degeneration. An effective treatment for the dry from is yet to be found. Slowing the progress is the only option for this type of macular degeneration.

Any person with macular degeneration may not know of it’s presence in the beginning. That is why, yearly eye exams are extremely important.

When you visit your eye doctor, requesting a medical summary letter for yourself and your family will be helpful. You can manage your vision loss better if you take charge yourself. So, make your own medical file and keep it for future reference.

The file should include the visual acuity measurement of each eye, a description of the appearance of the retina, and the appearance of the macula. It should also include the tests performed as well as a prognosis and diagnosis or treatments recommended for vision loss. A well maintained file will be immensely in tracking your progress and finding new vision rehabilitation services.

Here are some useful questions to ask during an eye exams:

  • How does the retina look?
  • Do I have any drusen?
  • Are the drusen small or large?
  • Do I have more drusen than the previous year’s appointment?
  • What is the appearance of the macula?
  • Is there any sign of abnormal blood vessel growth under the retina?

Macular degeneration is just one eye disease causing vision loss. There are countless others, such as Retinitis pigmentosa, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Optic Nerve damage and the list goes on. During any stage of any vision loss disease, it is highly recommended you seek low vision services. Research has shown early intervention in learning to use low vision aids and devices can prevent patients from becoming discouraged or depressed. Learning new skills at an earlier stage and using vision loss aids helps to avoid a lot of uncalled for problems and pain points.

So why wait any longer? Make life easier and brighter by using low vision aids at the right time and live a fuller and independent life.

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Get your IrisVision today and experience low vision aids like never before. Contact us at IrisVision or drop us a message, and our technology experts will assist any query you have.
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