Low Vision That You Shouldn’t Ignore

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(Newswire.net — November 2, 2021) —

Low Vision is an encompassing term that refers to a reduced ability to see objects using the eyes. People with low vision can see, but only in a reduced manner and not as well as those with normal vision. The vision can be reduced because of disease or disorders, like glaucoma, or injury to the eye. The use of corrective lenses and glasses does not change the definition of low vision.

Things you should know about low vision

You may have heard people say they are “seeing better than ever before.” But what if your vision isn’t actually improving? What happens when you need more help seeing things around you? If your sight has been compromised for some time now, there could still be many ways to improve your visual abilities. There are also several types of low vision devices available today: magnifiers, scopes, electronic readers, etc. These devices might seem complicated; however, they do offer great assistance and even make life easier! This article will discuss some common symptoms of low vision, how to recognize them, and possible treatments.

What causes low vision?

Low vision occurs due to damage to the retina caused either by hereditary factors, trauma, infections, diabetes, or diseases affecting the nerves connecting the brain to the eye. When discussing the cause of low vision, we refer to the location of the problem within the body. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disorder that results in progressive degeneration of retinal cells, causing a gradual decrease in sharpness of vision over time.

Glaucoma is another condition resulting in optic nerve damage leading to blind spots and tunnel vision. Other examples of retinal pathology are macular degenerations, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, retrolental fibroplasia, and congenital cataracts.

Trauma can result in detached retinas, hemorrhages, and vitreous floaters. Visual impairment can also arise from neuropathies involving the central nervous system, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, traumatic brain injuries, and strokes. In addition, tumors and inflammations located anywhere along the optical pathway can negatively impact overall vision.

The different types of low vision (Night Vision, Color Blindness)

There are two main categories of low vision – night blindness and color blindness – both of which affect one’s ability to distinguish colors. Both require treatment by a professional ophthalmologist who specializes in treating patients suffering from impaired vision. Night-blind individuals often experience problems with their peripheral vision while color-blind ones face issues distinguishing between certain shades of blue and green. Treatment options for each type vary depending upon the severity and individual needs, therefore it is best to seek medical advice.

Low vision and driving

It is important to note that low vision affects vision differently depending on where you look. For example, someone looking straight ahead sees fine, whereas someone turning his head toward something else would likely struggle. A person with low vision must consider this fact when attempting to drive safely. Additionally, having trouble focusing on specific parts of roadways can lead to accidents.

Low vision and computers

Computers are incredibly useful tools, yet they pose unique challenges to anyone with poor vision. To prevent computer frustration, there are numerous programs designed specifically to assist users who find themselves struggling with operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, etc. Some features include screen magnification software, high contrast settings, text enlargement, and hardware access keys.

Low vision and reading

Reading is essential to our daily lives, whether through books, newspapers, magazines, television shows, websites, eBooks, or other printed materials. However, people who suffer from visual impairments will find reading difficult if they cannot clearly view print. This may mean holding more than one book at once or wearing sunglasses when outdoors. There are many strategies available to help readers with low vision read effectively, including magnifying devices, audio recordings, and larger fonts. While these methods work to some degree, most do nothing to compensate for the loss of depth perception.

Treatment Options for Low Vision

As previously mentioned, there are various Low vision aids available for people suffering from low vision. Magnification is probably the most commonly used tool. However, other methods exist such as prisms, filters, video cameras, and even wearable technology. Here are a few of these technologies:

A handheld device known as a “microscope” provides magnification up to 20 times. Microscopes come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from pocket-size models to large stands. They usually feature adjustable brightness levels, allowing the user to adjust light intensity according to environmental conditions. Handheld microscopes aren’t very effective though. Someone with low vision should never try to focus through a microscope directly. Instead, he/she should hold the instrument close to the object being viewed and keep moving until the image becomes clear enough to read.

Prism Glasses / Sunglasses
While prism glasses won’t replace regular eyeglass prescriptions, they can provide partial relief for astigmatism and myopia. Prism glasses have two lenses, which allow each person’s refractive error to be corrected separately. If both lenses are set correctly, their combined effect results in clearer images. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t correct farsightedness or nearsightedness. Also, while prism glasses might seem ideal for driving, they don’t offer safety benefits over standard prescription glasses.

In addition to prism glasses, another option involves fitting your existing spectacles with special colored filters. Filters reduce glare by filtering out certain wavelengths of visible light. Reducing blue light reduces sensitivity to bright sunlight, while yellow filters eliminate green reflections off water and trees. These types of filters also improve night vision without affecting daytime performance.

Wearable Technology
Technology has advanced greatly since the beginning of the last century. In particular, the development of smartwatches and fitness bands makes it easy to track health status and exercise habits. Many of these gadgets incorporate infrared sensors designed to detect movement. This helps users monitor how much time they spend sitting down versus standing, walking, etc. Wearable tech may help you live longer too! Check out our article about how wearables could extend the human lifespan.

With many different tools available, it shouldn’t take long before someone finds something suitable for them. It’s worthwhile to note that some of these solutions cost money, which means they will require upkeep. Fortunately, maintaining your own home remedies isn’t difficult either. All it takes is patience, practice, and determination. With proper care, anyone with low vision can lead more fulfilling lives despite visual impairments.