Low Vision Awareness Month
February is Low Vision Awareness Month. Over 3 million Americans live with low vision and according to the National Eye Institute, that number is projected to exceed 8 million by the year 2050. This month is dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of low vision and the great power of vision rehabilitation.
What is low vision?
Low vision is an all encompassing term we use to describe impaired vision that cannot be corrected by glasses, contacts, surgery or medication. Low vision cannot be repaired or improved through standard treatments and interferes with everyday life in various ways. People who suffer from low vision have difficulty reading, recognizing their loved ones, seeing, driving, and navigating daily life. Many cases of low vision stem from age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, or glaucoma. Other causes of low vision result from inherited eye conditions, infectious and autoimmune eye disease, or trauma.
What are the symptoms of low vision?
A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to diagnose low vision. People who suffer from low vision experience –
- Hazy or blurred vision
- Loss of peripheral or central vision
- Nyctalopia (night blindness)
Low Vision Treatment
Unfortunately, low vision cannot be cured, but there are treatments available. Some common and easily available options include tinted eyewear to assist with light sensitivity, magnifiers, large print materials, and accessibility features on technology devices.
However, one of the most impactful forms of treatment is low vision therapy, also known as vision rehabilitation. Low vision therapy starts with an evaluation of a patient’s visual abilities. This information is used to build a visual rehabilitation plan that identifies, plans, and strategizes treatment for each person’s particular needs. Therapy consists of the prescription of low vision devices and training on how to use them to improve quality of life. Low vision therapy is beneficial for helping patients develop new strategies for navigating their world with impaired vision. It also gives those suffering support they need through the naturally challenging changes.
Life with Low Vision
While there is no cure for low vision, there are various ways we can equip people with the confidence, skills, and ability to tackle everyday obstacles. Vision rehabilitation and the use of low vision devices can not restore eyesight, but they can help to maximize existing vision, resulting in living a more independent, safe, productive, and rewarding life!
Schedule an Eye Exam
We want our patients to have the best vision possible, and that starts with yearly comprehensive eye exams. You alone cannot predict when your eyes will go bad. That’s why annual eye exams are so important, no matter how old you are or what type of vision you have. Exams can detect eye diseases before symptoms arise and save your ability to see. Schedule an eye exam with one of our qualified eye doctors in Lincoln today.