Friday, September 11, 2015

Common Causes of Vision Loss

     These are the common causes of vision loss, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. If you experience something wrong with your eyes it is good idea to consult an opthalmologist (a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats eye diseases) or optometrist (a doctor who treats eye conditions not needing surgery) who specializes in low vision.

  • Macular Degeneration. It occurs when the macula (the central part of the retina, which is responsible for sharpness, color and daylight vision) is damaged by gradual degeneration of retinal cells or hemorrhaging of underlying blood cells into the retina. Macular degeneration destroys central vision, so magnification is necessary for most people who have this disease.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy. A complication of advance or long-term diabetic retinopathy results in peripheral and central vision loss. It is caused by leaking blood vessels that damage the entire retina, including the macula. Diabetic retinopathy affects each individual differently, but most require a variety of aids, such as magnifiers and large print books and periodicals. Vision aids that help patients administer insulin are good for those with moderate vision loss for diabetic retinopathy.
  • Glaucoma. Increase eye pressure, resulting from a build up of fluid in the eyes that damages the optic nerves. Often leads to the progressive eye disease known as glaucoma. In late-stage glaucoma, the optic nerve damage can cause an irreversible loss of peripheral vision. Although glaucoma patients typically retain their central vision, it is impaired because their ability to see contrast is significantly reduced. This makes it difficult to distinguish edges, such as those on a curb or steps. The best vision aids is to have good lighting and contrast enhancement are crucial for people with glaucoma. They usually need double or triple the amount of light that a person with normal vision would use.
  • Cataracts. Although cataracts can be surgically removed, some people must delay or even forgo surgery because of other health problems, such as stroke or a broken hip. For those cataract patients, low-vision aids can be helpful until surgery can be performed.

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