Introduction to Low Vision
Low vision is a condition which is caused by eye disease, in which visual acuity is 20/70 in the better-seeing eye and cannot be corrected with regular spectacles. It can also be defined as losing of eye-sight which do not cope with prescribed eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgical procedure. Though, this type of vision loss does not consist of complete loss of sight, as there is still some sight present with the possibility of being improved with the use of visual aids. Low vision includes different levels of sight loss, from blind spots, poor night-time vision and difficulties with stare to complete loss of sight. The American Optometric Association explains low vision in two categories:
- Partially Sighted: It includes the person with visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with standard prescription lenses.
- Legally Blind: It includes those who have visual acuity no better than 20/200 with usual correction and restricted field of vision fewer than 20 degrees wide.
Person at Risk
Low vision is associated with h multiple conditions and can be caused in the result of many injuries hence anyone can be affected by low vision. Low vision is more common in age-related disorders like macular degeneration and glaucoma, and in adults over age 45 and even more frequent in adults over age 75.
Types of Low Vision
Loss of central vision: Presence of blind spot in the centre of a person’s vision.
- Loss of peripheral (side) vision: loss of sight to see anything to either side, beyond, or beneath the eye level. Though, central vision remains intact.
- Night Blindness: The person is unable to see in poorly lit and dull areas like theatres, and outside at night.
- Blurred Vision: Presence of both, short sight and long sight. Objects appear out of focus and seem blurry.
- Hazy Vision: The entire field of vision appears to be hidden with a film or glare.
Management of Low Vision
Adequate vitamins and minerals play an important role in low vision management. Vitamins A, C, E, and the mineral zinc include antioxidants which help in preventing macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula (the part of the eye that controls central vision) weakens. These nutrients are found in many food sources which includes colourful vegetable and fruits such as:
- Red Peppers
- Sweet Potato
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for better eye health and improving vision, such as salmon and flaxseed,.
Importance of Carotenoids
Other nutrients that are also important in improving eyesight include lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids found in the retina. They are also present in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, zucchini, and eggs. lutein and zeaxanthin are also used as a pplement. They help to protect the macula by improving pigment density and absorbing ultraviolet and blue light.
Physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are not only helpful in waistline but also improves eye health. Type 2 diabetes, which is more common in obese people, can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. his condition is called diabetic retinopathy which causes the very small arteries in the retina leak blood and fluid into the eye, harming your vision. Routine checkup of blood sugar levels, staying fit and slim can reduce your probabilities of acquiring type 2 diabetes and its complications.
Manage Chronic Conditions
Not only diabetes is responsible for affecting a person’s vision but other conditions, such as high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis, can also affect your eyesight. These conditions are associated with chronic inflammation, which can affect health from head to toe. For example, optic nerve inflammation can cause pain and complete vision loss. While on other hand, disease such as multiple sclerosis cannot be prevented, but a person can try to manage it with healthy habits and medicines. Hypertension can be effectively treated with a heart-healthy diet, physical activity, and antihypertensive drugs.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Appropriate eyewear plays an important role in protecting eyes whether playing racquetball, working in your garage, or doing a science experiment in school. moreover, it is also essential to have tough and protective eyewear if there is a chance of chemicals, sharp objects, or materials such as wood shavings, metal fragments, or even a wandering elbow during a basketball game, entering your eye. everal protective goggles are made with polycarbonate, which is tougher than other forms of plastic.
Wearing shades is one of the most important steps which helps in improving eyesight. Sunglasses should be blocked out 99 to 100 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation from sunlight.
It helps in protection of eyes from damaging several parts which include cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium
Follow the rule of 20
Usually, yes work hard during the daytime and require a break especially in intense work which could belong sitting work at a computer. To comfort the burden, 20-20-20 rule is helpful which means a person should stop staring at a computer and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Smoking is bad for lungs, heart and overall health which also includes eyes. Significant smoking increases the chance of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. But restriction of smoking helps in recovery of eyes, lungs, hearts and all other body parts and the longer the person avoid smoking, the more blood vessels will help, and infection will ease off through eyes.
Sometimes eye conditions can also occur because of hereditary and is included in family history. These hereditary conditions include:
- retinal degeneration
- age-related macular degeneration
- optic atrophy
- Understanding your family history can help you take early precautions
Keep your hands and lenses clean
Human eyes are especially vulnerable to germs and infections though even little things may cause irritation and affects vision. Because of this, it is always recommended to wash hands before touching eyes or handling contact lenses and disinfect them as instructed because germs in contact lenses can also lead to bacterial infections of the eyes.
Low Vision Facts
Maximum surveys and studies reveal that in the ed States, the majority of the people with vision loss in adults who are not completely blind, instead, they have been referred to as low vision. Moreover, several terms like “partial sight” or “partial blindness” or even “poor vision” are also used to describe the vision. However, these are no longer in general use.