The Top 3 Early Signs of Macular Degeneration

Affecting more than 11 million people throughout America, it can be difficult to know exactly if you are afflicted with macular degeneration. While it is mostly age-related, macular degeneration can come in all shapes and forms and can be prevented and strengthened if caught in its early stages. The Low Vision Centers in Charlotte, NC are proud to serve the local community by providing effective and professional eyecare services.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a common condition that affects the eyes and causes the eventuality of complete vision loss. Macular degeneration is concerned with the area of the retina, which is known as the macular. When the macular breaks down or degenerates, it prevents the retina from absorbing light – which is the primary way that your eyes perceive sight and vision. Macular degeneration is more commonly age-related, which is one of the primary causes of close-up or fine vision impairment in those aged 65 and over.

Top 3 Signs of Macular Degeneration

Although macular degeneration can sometimes creep up, there are various signs and symptoms that a professional should review.

Reduced Central Vision

One of the earliest signs of macular degeneration will be small blind spots in your central vision. Your central vision is used to look straight ahead and is contrasted with your peripheral vision.

Visual Distortions

You will experience haziness and blurriness in your vision. Age-related macula degeneration also may cause lines of text or straight lines to wave and bend.

Adapting to Low Light Levels

Macular degeneration reduces the amount of absorbed light in the retina, which will cause adaption to light levels to be much slower.

Your Local Quality Eyecare Professional

During your appointment with Dr. Edward Paul of Charlotte, NC you will receive the proper care and recommendations that you need to prioritize the health of your most precious sense, which allows you to enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.

Top 3 Common Causes of Low Vision (And How to Correct Them)

Low vision is a common issue that causes a lot of discomfort to many Americans for various reasons. While this may largely be due to aging, some common eye diseases or injuries can contribute to the rapid degeneration of your eyesight.

The Low Vision Centers of Charlotte, Wilmington and Asheville, NC, provide full and professional eye care services that can reduce degeneration and help to restore eyesight regardless of the issue.

What is Low Vision?

Low vision is more than just deteriorating eyesight, it is characterized by impaired vision that cannot be fixed with common methods, such as prescriptive lenses, medication, or surgery. Common causes of low vision are through certain eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts.

How Low Vision is Often Formed

Aging

Low vision is attributed to aging but can go above and beyond this characterization. For example, certain acquired diseases such as glaucoma can develop throughout one’s life. Low vision can also come as a result of eye injuries, such as blunt trauma or infections.

Genetics

There are various diseases that are congenital ( present at birth) or develop throughout one’s life due to genetics. Common congenital diseases are cataracts, which are present at birth but may not become fully pronounced until later on in life. Optic atrophy is a condition that weakens the optic nerves within the eye and is mostly due to genetic inheritance.

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle has a large effect on low vision diseases. The most common one is macular degeneration, which is a loss of central vision. This is more common in those over 50, and those who eat diets high in saturated fat and have high blood pressure.

Low Vision Centers of Charlotte, Asheville and Wilmington, NC

Low vision does not go away on its own and becomes more pronounced the longer you hold off treatment. An appointment with the Low Vision Centers of Charlotte, Asheville or Wilmington, NC, ensures that you have the professional advice necessary for proper recommendations on your unique situation.

 

Treating Binocular Vision Disorders  

Binocular vision disorders are relatively common. The good news is that Dr. Edward Paul, OD, PhD, diagnoses and treats binocular vision disorders at the Low Vision Centers of North Carolina.

Treating Binocular Vision Disorders

Vision therapy is an eye-exercise regimen that helps reduce, or eliminate, the symptoms people with binocular vision experience.

These symptoms include:

  • Double vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.

Personalized Binocular Vision Treatment Programs

Top North Carolina Optometrist, Dr. Edward Paul, creates binocular vision treatment programs that are geared towards improving a patient’s visual skills by strengthening the communication signals between his or her eyes and brain. These treatment programs may include vision aids and therapy.

Prismatic Eyeglasses for the Treatment of Binocular Vision

Dr. Edward Paul, DO, PhD, may use prismatic eyeglasses to treat binocular vision.

Exercises to Improve Binocular Vision

At the Low Vision Centers of North Carolina, patients perform their vision therapy exercises to improve the coordination between their eyes and brain. Dr. Edward Paul, DO, PhD, may also recommend that his patients perform their vision therapy exercises at home.

At-home binocular vision exercises include:

  • Around the world

While sitting comfortably with his or her eyes looking directly ahead, the patient needs to:

Move both eyes upward for 3 seconds, downward for 3 seconds, to the right for 3 seconds and then to the left for 3 seconds.

Next, the patient looks towards the upper left for 3 seconds and then the upper right for 3 seconds.

The last part of this exercise involves rotating the eyes clockwise for two turns and counter-clockwise for two turns.

  • Pencil push-ups

The patient holds a pencil in front of his or her face and focuses on one of the letters on the pencil.

While focusing on the chosen letter, the patient slowly brings the pencil closer to his or her face until the letter looks double. At this point, start the exercise over again.

The length of time and frequency of each therapy depends on the patient’s diagnosis (e.g., ocular albinism) and needs. Dr. Paul provides the patient with this information following his or her consultation.

Contact Your North Carolina Dentist Today

If you are in the Charlotte, Wilmington or Asheville, North Carolina area, and you need treatment for binocular vision, please contact one of the Low Vision Centers of North Carolina today.

To make an appointment at your nearest location, please call:

  • Charlotte location: 910-208-9010
  • Wilmington location: 910-208-9012
  • Asheville location: 910-720-4187

 

Understanding and Treating Low Vision

Low vision makes it challenging to engage in everyday activities such as reading, driving, using the computer, and recognizing people’s faces. Traditional solutions for improving vision, such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, are ineffective in the treatment of low vision. Dr. Edward Paul offers low vision diagnosis and treatment in Asheville, Wilmington, and Charlotte, NC for people who have not responded well to traditional optometry solutions.

What Causes Low Vision?

Low vision typically occurs due to a medical condition affecting the eyes, such as macular degeneration. Dr. Paul is a well-respected authority on the diagnosis and treatment of this age-related eye condition. Macular degeneration is a disease of the eyes that causes blurring of the central vision. Other conditions that can lead to low vision include:

  • Cataracts: This condition develops when clumps of protein gather in the eye. Cataracts cause cloudy vision and are common as people age.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes affects the blood vessels in the retina, and the condition can lead to significant vision loss or blindness if not detected and treated early.
  • Glaucoma: Damage to the optic nerves in the back of the eye causes this slowly progressive eye disease. One of the first symptoms is the inability to see people or objects to the side very well.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Vision

The first step in diagnosing a low vision condition is to undergo a dilated eye exam with Dr. Paul. He then explains your specific condition and learns more about your vision goals. Possible treatment options include using adaptive equipment to compensate for low vision, completing vision therapy, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, and modification of your home and work environments.

Living with a low vision condition can be frustrating, but The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina are here to help. Please schedule a low vision assessment in Asheville, Wilmington, or Charlotte, NC today.

 

How Does an Eye Doctor Test for Low Vision?  

Low vision is defined as a retention of vision coupled with a loss of acuity. Low vision assessments are usually conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist with the goal of understanding how low vision is impacting the person’s day-to-day life. Unlike the standard Snell test (also known as a letter eye chart), though, your doctor will likely use a logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) to determine the next steps. If you’re concerned about low vision in Wilmington, NC, we look at the details behind the disorder as well as what you can expect if you stop by for an exam.

What Is a LogMAR Chart?

A LogMar chart may look somewhat familiar to a patient who’s used to seeing the standard Snell chart (commonly defined by the large E on the top row). The difference is that it was developed in the 1970s to test more for acuity than for vision. The eye doctor is essentially trying to see how well you can discern certain details and then measuring them against a base-10 scale. There are typically five letters in each line to ensure that they have enough data to work with.

Find an Eye Doctor in Charlotte, NC

At the Low Vision Centers of North Carolina, serving Asheville, Wilmington, and Charlotte, NC, you can expect our doctors to test for everything from depth perception to color vision, so we can develop the right treatment for you. Our goal is to help anyone who’s found their vision changing over time. Millions of Americans over the age of 40 have some degree of low vision, and it can affect their lives in any number of ways. Whether you’ve noticed you have difficulty driving at night or your eyes are just feeling more tired lately, contact our https://dredwardpaul.com today.

 

Can I Stop My Low Vision From Getting Worse?  

Low vision can have a big impact on your quality of life! By forcing changes to your lifestyle and personal habits, low vision can make hobbies and other beloved activities difficult or impossible.

If you know what causes low vision, and take steps to stop low vision from getting worse, you may help preserve your preferred lifestyle. If you believe that you have low vision, talk to your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC. Getting treatment is important!

What Causes Low Vision?

Low vision is caused by a variety of eye diseases. These conditions include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal detachment
  • Amblyopia

Because different conditions can cause low vision, it always manifest the same in every patient. For example, some patients lose their peripheral vision, while others lose their central vision. Your eye doctor can help you identify the cause and type of low vision that you’re suffering from.

How Can You Stop Low Vision From Getting Worse?

The way your low vision is treated depends on the cause. Seeking treatment for the eye condition that you’re suffering from can help you maintain good vision for many years. In some cases, low vision can even be reversed.

For example, cataracts can be treated with a surgical procedure, if the condition becomes severe enough. Other types of low vision are permanent. One example of this is glaucoma, a condition that causes blindness if not properly treated. Once vision has been compromised by glaucoma, the damage cannot be reversed.

Get Treatment for Your Low Vision

Do you have low vision? Seek low vision treatment in Wilmington, NC. At Dr. Edward Paul, OD, PhD, we can help. Call today to make an appointment.

The Different Types of Low Vision and the Best Ways to Treat It

Do you have low vision? An optometrist in Wilmington, NC will be able to look at your eyes and know immediately what issues you are having. It’s possible you have low vision, or you could be experiencing something else.

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision is when you have vision loss that can’t be corrected using traditional methods such as glasses, contact lenses, or even surgery. However, low vision isn’t considered blindness since you still have some level of vision.

Some of the symptoms of low vision might include blurred vision, poor night vision, or blind spots. And the most common causes of low vision are glaucoma, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration. There are, however, visual aids available that can help those with low vision.

What Are the Different Types of Low Vision?

There are several types of low vision. The most common types of low vision are as follows:

  • Central Vision Loss – this is when you have a blind spot in the center of one of your eyes.
  • Loss of Peripheral Vision – peripheral vision is your side vision, and this is when you can’t see anything to either side, below, or above eye level; however, you still have your central vision intact.
  • Night Blindness – this is your inability to see in low light areas such as anywhere at night or in a movie theater, etc.
  • Blurred Vision – this is when everything you see near and far is blurred.
  • Hazy Vision – this is when all your vision appears as if it has a hazy film or glare on it.

What Are the Best Ways to Treat Low Vision?

Some vision disorders are treatable, and some are not. However, finding the right optometrist is key to getting cutting-edge treatments that work for most people. Dr. Edward Paul is such a doctor and is widely known for finding treatments for many so-called “incurable” eye diseases. Keep reading to find out how to contact Dr. Paul.

Contact an Optometrist in Wilmington, NC

If you are having low vision problems in Wilmington, NC, and need an optometrist’s diagnosis, we would be happy to help Contact The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina today.

What is Night Blindness?

Night blindness (nyctalopia) is a condition in which you are unable to see well at night or in dim light. It is frequently linked to difficulty in swiftly adjusting from a well-lighted to a dimly lit environment. It is a sign of an underlying eye condition, such as low vision in Wilmington, NC, rather than a disease in and of itself. Night vision problems are widespread in persons who are myopic. However, this is not related to retinal disease, but rather to optical impairments.

What Goes on Inside the Eye in Low Light?

Your eyes adjust to light on a constant basis. When there is little or no light, your pupils dilate, allowing more light to enter your eyes. The retina, which is a tissue at the back of your eye that houses all of the rod and cone cells, receives this light. Color vision is aided by cone cells. Rod cells aid with night vision. You can’t see as well or at all in the dark if those rods aren’t operating properly due to a disease, injury, or condition.

Symptoms of Night Blindness

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of night blindness:

  • When driving after dark, your eyesight becomes blurry
  • When driving at night, you have unusual difficulty adjusting to the darkness
  • Having trouble seeing in dimly lit environments, such as your home or a movie theater
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Reduced sensitivity to contrasting colors
  • Transitioning from bright to dark settings is slow and difficult
  • Walking at night and not being able to easily see pedestrians

Remember, night blindness is not a condition in and of itself. Frequently, it is a symptom of low vision. Visit The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina if you have symptoms related to night blindness or are having difficulties seeing in low light.

How Is VR Being Used to Treat Low Vision?

When people think about virtual reality (VR), they’re likely to think about the technology being used in video games. However, VR offers more than just simulations. It can actually show the real world to people with poor eyesight. If you’re experiencing low vision in Charlotte, NC, see how these devices work.

Wearable Headsets

The headsets, which are currently similar to those used for video games, can be worn over the eyes and used for everyday activities. People with severe macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, or glaucoma may be able to use them to watch TV, visit with loved ones, or read a menu at a restaurant.

The technology has a digital magnifier and an Optical Character Recognition feature that can read words aloud. These are revolutionary benefits in a world where most people might need an organ transplant to have this kind of functionality. A qualified eye doctor in Charlotte, NC can tell you more about VR and how it’s progressing in the medical world.

That being said, the technology is still in its infancy, meaning there’s still some road to travel before the headsets become more universal. The good news is that there are companies working on incorporating this technology into standard sunglasses, glasses, and contacts, though again, much of this technology is still being developed.

Visit an Eye Doctor in Charlotte, NC

For anyone who suffers from low vision, new aids like VR can offer hope to anyone who wants to maintain their sense of independence. At The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina, our staff is here to assist patients who want to learn more about their options. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you might have about your low-vision and how our selection of aids might be able to help.

What Is Ocular Albinism?

Ocular albinism is a genetic condition that affects the color of the eyes. Occurring mainly in males, it essentially reduces the pigmentation of the iris and retina, which in turn affects vision. We’ll look at the mechanisms and prognosis for this disorder and why an eye doctor in Wilmington, NC may be able to help.

Symptoms of Ocular Albinism

The major characteristic of ocular albinism is a loss of both visual depth and sharpness. People may also experience rapid, involuntary eye movements, increased sensitivity to light, or two eyes looking in opposite directions. The vision loss is unfortunately permanent, though it’s worth noting that it typically does not worsen as people age.

Does Ocular Albinism Affect Other Parts of the Body?

No. In general, the condition only affects the color and functionality of the eyes. There may be some degree of lightening of the skin (compared to immediate family members), but the variances are usually subtle. In rare cases, ocular albinism may be associated with hearing loss though.

How Is Ocular Albinism Treated?

Type 1, sometimes called Nettleship-Falls, is typically treated with filtered glasses or sunglasses to control for light sensitivity. In some cases, surgery may be needed to help align the eyes and restore the body’s control over their direction. This is the most common type of this condition and other forms may require additional treatment or services.

Ocular Albinism in Wilmington

Ocular albinism in Wilmington, NC may not have an official cure per se, but there are options available to help manage the symptoms. The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina has an innate understanding of the condition and how it affects individuals. If you have questions or concerns about the disorder, contact the office today to make the first move.