As the title of this blog indicates February is “Low Vision Awareness Month”. Low vision is very common and easy to explain. Low vision occurs when an individual’s eyesight is impaired such that participation in daily activities such as reading, or meal preparation is problematic. Eye doctors explain that it falls outside the scope of normal vision loss that comes with age.
Low vision may leave the sufferer unable to maintain their independence and is not correctable with eyeglasses or contacts. Too, as with many vision problems, once the vision is lost it is difficult if not impossible to restore. There are a variety of causes for low vision. They include, but are not limited to, such common eye health ailments as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration. There are also health conditions that can instigate low vision such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
As is noted in many of our blogs the most important thing you can do to protect your eye health is to get regular eye exams. While many experts claim you need to have your eyes checked once every two years, there is no question that as you age – and your eyes are more likely to become a victim of any number of health issues – an annual checkup is the better option. Eye exams are the key to doctors identifying any vision problems that are on the horizon. Early intervention is then possible with new methods of treating eye problems becoming more available.
Equally as important to combatting low vision is to practice positive health habits all year round. Exercise, weight control, and proper diet and nutrition will help you enjoy not only your sight but all of your senses for years to come.
Finally, an eye exam is the first step towards being fitted for vision aids that will enhance your ability to see more clearly. Your optometrist may recommend eyeglasses, adaptive devices to improve your vision such as magnifiers, and/or a variety of medications.