Low Vision FAQs Answered by a Sacramento Optometrist
Our Low Vision optometrist Dr. Shephali Patel treats patients who have a wide variety of eye conditions that can lead to serious issues with vision. For instance, our patients who have low vision sometimes have another underlying problem that limits their visual potential. And no matter why it occurs, we have solutions that maximize our patient's visual potential.
1. What is Low Vision?
Low vision describes a visual limitation in which the best corrected vision with a standard pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses is significantly less than 20/20. It can cause you to experience difficulty when performing normal day activities. It affects approximately 135 million people throughout the world, and it doesn't respond to medicine or surgery.
2. What Causes Low Vision?
Low vision oftentimes stems from conditions like glaucoma, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration causes nearly 45 percent of all cases of low vision in people around the world. Sometimes, low vision is caused by diabetic retinopathy, a condition that occurs as a result of less than adequately controlled diabetes.
3. How Common is Low Vision?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., age-related diseases cause low vision more than any other issue. In fact, about 18 percent of adults who are 70 years old or older had a problem with their vision that affects their capability to complete tasks. Additionally, 15 percent of individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 had a visual impairment while 26 percent of people over the age of 75 had some type of visual impairment.
4. How is Low Vision Diagnosed?
At Arena Eye Care, our optometrists Dr. Krister L Holmberg and Dr. Shephali Patel perform comprehensive eye exams to determine the state of your eye health. If one has reduced vision despite an accurate glasses prescription, then the cause and limitations are identified. To diagnose low vision, your low vision eye doctor will rely on visual acuity and/or visual field deficit testing.
5. Why Doesn't Contacts or Glasses Correct it?
When we see light enters the eye and is supposed to be focused on the retina. The light absorbed by the retina is then sent to the brain for processing. Oftentimes the eye and greater visual system are healthy, but the optics of the eye are not focused on the retina. Contacts or glasses deal with that and we see well. Sometimes the problem is not the focusing system or optics of the eye but a medical problem with the visual system. If that’s the case, then glasses may not get us to 20/20. The cause of reduced vision can exist in the eye, but it can also exist in the part of the brain that processes vision. Determining the cause and effect of the visual loss not only helps preserve existing vision but also helps Dr. Patel maximize the use of your remaining vision.
6. How Can You Tell if You Have Low Vision?
You might experience difficulty recognizing the faces of your friends or family. If you're cooking, reading or fixing items, you might find it difficult to see. Even simple tasks like matching your clothes become a struggle if you have low vision. Keep in mind, you might not be able to drive as a result of low vision. If you are able to drive, you might have difficulty reading signs.
7. How is Low-Vision Treated?
After your evaluation, we'll be able to advise you on ways you can attempt to live life normally despite having low vision. We may start you on the correct path to the vision recovery process. You may require occupational therapy or independent living skills training.
8. Can Any Lifestyle Changes Help Me See?
You may need to use magnifying devices that connect to the device you're using or a standard magnifying glasses. You may also benefit from a closed-circuit television or adjust the light accordingly. Objects with large numbers can help you to determine the time and help you use the phone. Prescription eyeglasses may help you see up close while large-print publications can allow you to find out what's going on around the world without the struggle.