The Facts About Vision Loss And Quality Of Life
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is encouraging everyone to take charge of their eye health and preserve their sight by being proactive to take care of their eyes. In the United States, a person loses their vision every seven minutes. This results in an economic loss of approximately $51.4 billion annually. But most importantly, there is an invaluable impact on our families and quality of life. Vision problems can turn ordinary pursuits like driving or reading into impossible tasks. Damage to sensitive components of the eye can contribute to vision loss. In most cases, a person with 20/20 vision has a “Healthy Vision”. An individual with 20/20 vision means that they can stand 20 feet from an eye chart and see what a “normal” human sees. A majority of people can see the chart clearly 20 feet away.
Approximately 37 million adults in the United States have age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma. All can cause visual impairment or blindness. Studies have shown that making healthy choices and getting regular eye exams can reduce the risk of vision loss. Since vision loss can be a gradual process, regular eye exams and vision screenings must be a part of every individual’s personal wellness routine. Several vision problems are blurred vision (called refractive errors), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and age-related macular degeneration. The three most common vision problems are myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
How Do You Know If You Have Healthy Vision?
- Pain reoccurring around the eyes
- Severe and sudden eye pain
- Seeing a “curtain” coming down over your eyes
- Seeing rainbows or halos around lights
- Floating “spider webs
The American Acadamy Of Ophthalmology has identified 14 steps to a lifetime of healthy vision (https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/healthy-lifestyle-now-good-vision-later)
- Know your family history: It plays a big role in your vision
- Watch children’s eyes carefully as they grow.
- Eat well and exercise
- Stop smoking
- Keep our health conditions under control
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors
- Minimize eye strain at work
- Sports eye injuries can happen at any age
- Care for your contact lenses
- Do not share makeup, may spread infections
- Expect eye changes during pregnancy
- Pack sunglasses, prescription glasses, and other eye care necessities when traveling
- Pay close attention to vision changes if you are 65 or older
- Do not assume that vision change is an inevitable part of getting older, it is not
Your eye doctor can do a comprehensive dilated eye exam that focuses on visual sharpness, depth perception, eye alignment, and eye movement to determine if there are any eye diseases in the early stages. Early detection of the diseases with treatment is most effective and can prevent vision loss. Some of the vision problems are blurred vision (called refractive errors), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and age-related macular degeneration. The three most common vision problems are myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
Blurry vision may occur due to a wide range of issues ranging from dry eyes and eye strain to hereditary focusing problems. Chronically dry eyes may make the visual field appear blurry, as well as not able to focus in the cornea or lens known as astigmatism. In some cases, patients recovering from eye surgery may experience blurry vision path perception,
Double vision is the perception of two overlapping images that occurs when the two eyes cannot bring their separate images into a straight line. It may be the result of dry eyes, cataracts, eye surgery complications, or other issues. In some cases, a nerve injury or disease may create double vision.
These visual symptoms occur when some irregularity in the lens, cornea, or other parts of the eye interferes with the normal passage and refraction of light. Cataract sufferers, for instance, typically see halos around automobile headlights at night. Other aberrations may include starburst patterns, poor night vision, blurring of images, and uncomfortable glare.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the inability to view close objects in focus. It is usually the result of an abnormal eyeball shape that causes incoming light to reach a focal point that would extend beyond the back of the eye.
Nearsightedness occurs when the distance between the front and back of the eye is too great or the cornea has too much curvature. This causes incoming light to reach a focal point before it hits the retina and causes distant objects to appear out of focus.
Peripheral vision loss
Loss of vision around the outer edges of the visual field may occur due to glaucoma, nerve damage, a detached retina, concussions, strokes, and other conditions.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
“Lazy eye,” occurs because one eye does not develop its keen sight as thoroughly as the other. It is a common childhood issue and can often with therapies can strengthen the eye.
Contact us immediately if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. We are here to help you protect your eyes and maintain your quality of life.