Curious about the health of your eyes? Continue reading to learn an eye doctor's perspective on common myths about eye health. There are many myths about eye health and vision, so knowing the actual facts can help a patient get the proper treatment needed for optimum eye health.Here are some common misconceptions about vision and…
Low Vision Treatment
The term low vision refers to a person having 20/70 vision or worse. When a person's vision is this bad, vision aids like contact lenses and prescriptions lenses are not enough to restore the patient's vision. People who need low vision treatments are typically partially sighted – which means their vision is between 20/70 to 20/200 when using corrective lenses. People with vision worse than 20/200 with corrective lenses are considered legally blind.
How people who need low vision treatment receive a diagnosis
Optometrists can easily spot low vision during an eye exam. A patient with 20/70 vision or worse will have a hard time reading letters off a Snellen chart. Low vision is a medical term that refers to a person's sight being 20/70 or worse. Many patients cannot correct low vision completely by using prescription glasses or contact lenses. Patients with low vision can be either partially sighted, or legally blind. Fortunately, there are a few treatments that can improve the quality of life of people with low vision.
What causes low vision
Low vision can be caused by a variety of eye conditions and diseases. Some of the more common culprits include:
- Macular degeneration: This disorder affects the retina, leading to blurred vision and a blind spot
- Diabetic Retinopathy: This occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels that supply the retina with blood
- Retinitis Pigmentosa: This condition inhibits peripheral vision and can lead to night blindness. Its first symptoms begin to show up during childhood
- Amblyopia: This leads to blurry vision in either eye or both
- Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP): This can occur in premature babies
- Retinal Detachment: Damage to the eye leads to the retina separating from its bottom layer. It can lead to vision loss and permanent blindness
- Cataracts: Cataracts can cloud the lens in the eye affecting a person's vision
- Glaucoma: This damages the optic nerve. It can lead to vision loss
- Brain Injuries: Severe brain damage caused by trauma or medical conditions like a stoke can inhibit a person's vision
Low vision treatment options
Given the vast variety of eye disorders and health conditions that can lead to low vision, the treatment options the optometrist typically recommends are those that address the cause of the patient's poor eyesight. These include:
- Injecting the patient's eyes with medication. This can help to prevent vision loss and improve the person's vision
- Surgical treatments. For example, a person with cataracts clouding their lens can improve their vision by having their natural lens removed and replaced with a prosthetic one
- Prescriptions eye drops can be used to treat conditions like glaucoma
- Low vision aids can help to magnify images and improve the patient's vision
- Proper eye nutrition can improve a person's vision. The optometrist can advise the patient about Selenium, Zinc, and other vitamin supplementation
While low vision can be a permanent condition, there are many treatments and aids that allow the patient to still enjoy a good quality of life.
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