Vision Loss Treatments
What is vision loss?
Vision loss, or low vision, is a general term used to describe impaired vision caused by age related diseases or conditions of the eye, or by head injuries. Vision loss is different from blindness in that it refers to impaired vision, rather than a complete loss of vision. Patients with low vision will have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as writing, reading, cooking and shopping.
Symptoms of sight loss
Some common symptoms of vision loss include:
- Double or blurry vision
- Seeing flashes of light, floaters or “spider webs”
- Seeing halos or rainbows around lights
- Sudden decrease in vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
Vision loss can be detected with annual eye exams that include pupil dilation, visual acuity test, a measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP), and an evaluation of the visual field (peripheral vision).
Vision loss usually occurs due to one of several eye diseases. These include:
- Cataracts: This eye condition is characterized by a clouding of the lens of the eye. This clouding occurs when protein begins to clump together in the lens.
- Glaucoma: This eye disease occurs when elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) causes damage to the optic nerve.
- Macular Degeneration: This degenerative eye disease is characterized by a loss of central vision. It occurs when the macula (a tiny area on the retina) becomes damaged.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: This degenerative eye disease occurs in patients with diabetes and is characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth. This can eventually lead to a detached retina and blindness.
- Presbyopia: This eye condition occurs as a person ages and the lens of the eye becomes less flexible and loses its ability to focus on objects up close.
Vision loss can also occur due to head injury, brain damage, and stroke.
Vision loss can usually be treated and, in some cases, vision can be restored. The type of treatment will depend upon the condition that causes the vision loss. The following are some commons types of treatment methods.
- Corrective lenses. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are one of the most common methods used to treat vision loss.
- Medication: Eye drops or supplements may slow the onset of certain eye diseases.
- Laser eye surgery: LASIK, PRK, LASEK, etc.
- Surgery: Traditional cataract surgery, etc.
- Photodynamic therapy: Uses a laser and a special medicine that works when exposed to a certain type of light.
If detected early, further vision loss can usually be prevented, but for those whose vision cannot be restored, low vision aids such as large print books, magnifying glasses, and telescopic lenses can help patients resume normal activities.
Tips to prevent vision loss
Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things your can do to keep your eyes healthy and make sure you’re seeing your best.
- Routine eye exams
- Eat healthy & well balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintain blood sugar levels
- Wear protective eye wear / sunglasses
- Don’t smoke
- Give your eyes a rest
Take the next step
If you or someone you know is suffering from vision loss, contact a qualified vision loss specialist to learn more about your condition and the treatment options available.