What Can I Do to Prevent Low Vision?

Low vision can impact your quality of life, so preventing it from occurring is the best thing you can do. While some people have a natural predisposition to develop low vision later in life, there are still many lifestyle habits you can assume that could help you avoid problems with low vision in later adulthood. Here’s what you need to know about preventing a problem relating to low vision.

Protect Your Eyes At Work

If you work in an environment that could be hazardous to your eyes – maybe because you’re regularly exposed to chemicals or flying debris – protect your eyes with proper protective equipment. Your employer will likely provide you with this protective equipment, and will probably train you to use it. If not, there are many guidelines on OSHA’s website that can provide you with instructions on how to protect your eyes in the workplace.

See the Eye Doctor Regularly

See the eye doctor on a regular basis to catch vision problems before they become severe. Make annual appointments to get an eye exam, even if you don’t currently need to wear glasses.

Don’t Smoke

You probably know that smoking is bad for your lungs – but did you know it’s bad for your eyes too? Research shows that smoking is linked to age-related macular degeneration. Avoid smoking to protect your vision.

Protect Your Eyes From the Sun

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Wear quality sunglasses that indicate they block the sun’s rays.

Concerned You Have Low Vision? Contact Your Eye Doctor

If you have symptoms of low vision, make an appointment to get a low vision evaluation from Dr. Edward Paul. Call today to schedule your exam and get low vision treatment that can improve your quality of life.

 

Most Common Causes of Low Vision

Low vision is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In Wilmington, NC, low vision impacts people in all different walks of life, of all ages. Sometimes low vision is genetic, but other times, it develops over time. If you can possibly prevent low vision from developing, you should, since low vision is often not reversible. Here are some common causes of low vision to be aware of.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition where pressure is placed on the eye and vision is reduced or lost. Glaucoma has no symptoms, so it’s essential that you have regular eye doctor visits, where you’ll receive a non-invasive glaucoma test.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

This is one of the causes of low vision that is inherited. It’s a condition that means the optic nerves are abnormally small. While optic nerve hypoplasia can’t be treated, there are ways that your Wilmington eye doctor can help improve your life with low vision.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

This is a condition that affects the color of the retina and causes low vision. It’s an inherited condition and is not treatable. However, if this is the case of your low vision, talk to you Wilmington eye doctor about your options for improving your quality of life.

Eye Injury

Traumatic eye injuries can cause low vision. In some cases, these injuries may heal and full vision may be restored. In other cases, eye doctor intervention is needed and certain treatments may help to bring back full vision.

Macular Degeneration

This can come on due to aging or a related condition such as diabetes, obesity, or other reasons. If caught early enough, treatment may halt the progression of low vision.

If you suspect that you are developing low vision, please contact our office in Wilmington, NC. We have a variety of options available to make life with low vision more manageable.

What Causes Low Vision?  

If you have low vision, your eye doctor may have informed you that it is the kind of vision that can’t be corrected with traditional treatments like glasses or contact lenses. While not technically blindness, low vision can greatly impair your quality of life.

What Causes Low Vision?

Low vision can be caused by one thing or by multiple factors. Common causes include:

Diabetes

One of the main symptoms of diabetes is having too much blood sugar. When diabetes is not managed, this chronic condition can lead to diabetic retinopathy. What happens is that the excess sugar in your blood damages the retina. Blood goes to every organ in your body, including your eyes. The presence of excess sugar is very damaging to blood vessels, including the ones in your eyes. This is why diabetes is considered one of the causes of low vision.

Macular Degeneration

Your eyes age along with the rest of your body. Sometimes older folks experience macular degeneration, which is a condition where the vision slowly deteriorates. Lifestyle factors like drinking and smoking and obesity can increase the odds of macular degeneration. Regular visits to your eye doctor can help to catch signs of macular early. Sometimes progression can be thwarted or at least slowed.

Other causes of low vision include:

  • Eye trauma
  • Inherited conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa
  • Brain injury
  • Eye cancer
  • And more

Help For Low Vision

In most cases, low vision cannot be reversed. However, there are some helpful, specialized options available that your eye doctor can help you acquire. These include:

  • Telescopic eyeglasses
  • Special light-filtering lenses
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Computer screen magnifiers
  • Reading prisms
  • And more

Your eye doctor has extensive experience helping those with low vision to enjoy a higher quality of life. Book an appointment now to learn more.

 

What to Expect During a Low Vision Evaluation

How do you know you could benefit from a low vision exam? A low-vision eye exam is specifically suited to individuals who have certain signs they are suffering from low vision, such as eye fatigue and trouble seeing close-up items. Here are a few questions you may have about what to expect during your low-vision exam with us at the office of Dr. Edward Paul, OD, Ph.D.

How long will the full evaluation take?

In general, you can expect your low vision exam to take about an hour. Part of that time will be spent discussing your family medical history, your medical history, and your existing and prior optometric health concerns. In order to get a full understanding of what could be affecting your vision, we take our time to get to know your eyes and you.

What aspects of your vision will be tested?

Several types of visual tests will be performed during the low vision exam. In many cases, tests will be individualized depending on what we suspect could be causing your issues. A few examples of tests that may be performed during your low vision exam include:

  • Depth perception tests to examine how your eyes are perceiving depth from various angles
  • Visual field tests to detect issues in either your central or peripheral vision
  • Color vision testing to accurately reveal issues with color perception
  • Visual acuity tests to determine vision capabilities from various distances

By the end of your full exam, we will have a much better understanding of how you see and how we could potentially help.

Contact Us for a Low Vision Evaluation in Charlotte

Low vision issues can affect your quality of life, but we may be able to help. Contact us at the office of Dr. Edward Paul, OD, Ph.D. to schedule an appointment for your low vision evaluation in Charlotte, NC.

A Look at the 5 Optical Elements of E-Scoop Contrast Enhancing Glasses for Low Vision

Low vision issues can be hard to avoid as you age, but the number of available aids is ever-growing as new optical solutions are discovered. E-scoop contrast-enhancing glasses are a good example; these glasses are designed to provide a clearer, larger view of the world around you. Here is a look at the five optical elements of E-scoop glasses and how they can be beneficial for people with vision problems.

1. Base-Up (BU) or Base-Down (BD) Prism

Base-up and base-down prism refer to where the central point of the lenses should be located in reference to the position of the eye. E-scoop contrast lenses are carefully created by taking specific measurements to determine where the BU or BD prism should be situated on each lens.

2. Base Curve

The base curve refers to the direct curvature of the lens itself. For example, someone with certain visual problems may need a more concaved base curve to support better vision.

3. Specific Thickness

The thickness of lenses can enhance and even shift what is being viewed through a lens. With e-scoop contrast-enhancing glasses, the specific thickness will be determined according to your usual glasses prescription.

4. Custom Tint

Custom tint allows you to pick and choose the type or shade of tint that best clarifies what it is that you see through a lens. For instance, an individual with diabetic neuropathy may have issues in bright sunlight, but may not see well through dark-tinted glasses.

5. Anti-Reflective Film

An anti-reflective coating on the outside of lenses helps to reflect some of the UV rays outward away from the eye. However, this feature also helps to thwart issues with glare, which can generate vision problems for some low-vision patients.

Let’s Talk About Low Vision in Charlotte, NC

Low vision issues can have an effect on your life, but there may be ways we can help. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Edward Paul, OD, PhD to schedule an appointment for help.

A Closer Look at the Leading Causes of Low Vision in Seniors

Roughly one out of every three people will have some type of issue that lowers their visual abilities by the time they reach the age of 65. As an aging adult, getting proactive about your visual health is important because of that fact. Here is a look at some of the leading causes of low vision in seniors.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma creates undue stress on the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness and changes to vision. Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among seniors, but may not always lead to vision loss or blindness.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss for individuals who are over the age of 60. When caught early, the condition can oftentimes be slowed with attentive treatment. However, the disease can cause permanent changes to your vision.

Cataracts

Roughly half of all adults will have cataracts by the time they reach the age of 80. Cataracts are a collection of proteins that can cause cloudiness on the lens of the eye. Your vision may appear hazy or blurred, and you may have problems seeing well in direct sunlight or in low lighting.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects as many as 7.7 million adults in the United States and can be more prevalent among seniors with diabetes. Unstable blood sugar levels can cause blood vessels at the back of the retina to leak fluid into the eye, which affects visual abilities.

Look for Low Vision Rehabilitation in Charlotte, NC

Even though low vision can affect your day-to-day life, there may be solutions available that can help. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Edward Paul, OD, Ph.D. to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Can I Drive at Night With Low Vision?

Low vision is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world. Living with low vision is possible, but when it comes to driving, taking certain precautions is necessary for safety. Your eyesight should meet a certain standard for safe driving. You should be able to read all the road signs and see pedestrians as you drive during the night. Here are some of the measures you can take to drive safely at night if you have low vision problems:

Avoid Staring at Oncoming Lights

Looking at light sources directly is a major concern while driving at night, especially if you have low vision. Staring at the lights causes the contraction of the pupils, making it hard for drivers to see in the dark. The phenomenon is known as bleaching of the retina. It results in a decreased sensitivity to light. Therefore, ensure you shift your gaze to avoid being blinded by oncoming headlights. Additionally, make sure you aim the exterior mirrors to enable you to move the head away from the light reflected in them.

Wear Specially-Tinted Glasses

If you have low vision, you will experience reduced sensitivity, making it hard to separate objects from a background. As a result, it may be harder for you to see some road signs. Some eyecare professionals may recommend wearing specially-tinted glasses, which help to avoid contrast issues.

Ask Someone to Drive You

One of the things you can do to ensure you are safe is by simply asking a friend or family member with better eyesight to drive. You can inform them in advance so that they can include that in their plans so that neither of you is inconvenient.

Approach Roadblocks With Caution

As a person with low vision, it may be harder for you to spot roadblocks. Ensure you always drive at the set speed limits and be especially careful when you encounter road construction areas.

If you have suspect that you have low vision, please contact our office to book an appointment with one of our eyecare professionals.

 

Telescopic Eyeglasses: What Are They and Who Could Benefit

A large portion of the population relies on eyeglasses to see and get around. However, for some people, just glasses are not enough, and for some, even bifocal or trifocal lenses are also not enough. In these cases, it may be worth looking at telescopic eyeglasses as a possible option.

Telescopic Eyeglasses Explained

Telescopic eyeglasses are specially designed prescription glasses that have miniature binoculars or a monocular mounted in certain positions on the glasses. These glasses are created using an in-depth examination of the patient’s visual abilities, with the telescopic parts of the glasses designed to help the patient see more clearly when performing certain actions. For example, the telescopic components may be used when:

  • Driving
  • Watching television
  • Reading
  • Watching wildlife

The glasses usually have the telescopic monocular or binocular positioned in just the right position so the individual wearing the glasses can adjust their head position to look through the lenses.

Who Could Benefit from These Unique Glasses?

Anyone who has a hard time performing certain tasks because of visual limitations could benefit from telescopic eyeglasses. With just a simple adjustment of the head position or eye direction, the individual can better see what it is they are peering at because they are looking through the telescopic lens. For instance, if someone normally has a hard time reading a fast-food menu, the patient could simply peer at the menu through the telescopic lenses.

Talk to Us About Telescopic Glasses in Charlotte, NC 

The eyes and the visual capabilities of every person can be so unique, and, sometimes, it takes a unique solution to help someone see better. If you believe you could be a good candidate for telescopic eyeglasses, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Edward Paul, OD, Ph.D., a skilled and caring eye doctor serving Willmington and Charlotte.

How to Make the Most of Your Remaining Vision

It can feel devastating to receive a professional diagnosis of low vision. You may be worried about your ability to perform your daily activities such as driving, supervising little ones, reading or even cooking. However, with the tips listed below, you can make the most of your remaining vision.

Decorate With Contrasting Colors

Discerning between colors is a common problem for those with low vision. If you decorate with contrasting colors it will make navigating your home much easier.

Use Bigger Fonts

When working on your computer, use the tools available to make all of the fonts larger. This will reduce eyestrain and help to protect your remaining vision.

Invest In Magnifying Lenses

Keep a few magnifying lenses around your home and in your purse or pocket. When you shop for groceries or need to read the small food labels or recipes in your kitchen, the magnifying lens will be your best friend.

Keep Everything In Its Place

If you always keep certain items in the same place, you won’t have to struggle to search for them around your home. Do the same thing with your automobile. Keep spare change, sunglasses and anything else that you commonly use in the same place, such as the middle console or the glove box.

Wear Only UV-Rated Sunglasses

UV light can damage your eyes. Make sure that you only wear either prescription sunglasses, or UV-rated sunglasses that you can buy over-the-counter. This will help to protect your remaining vision.

Move Things Closer

You don’t want to strain your eyes any more than necessary. If you’re fond of watching television, Move your TV and chair closer together so that you don’t have to squint in order to watch your favorite programs.

With some care and attention, you can ensure that you make the most of your remaining vision. For more information about low vision needs, please contact your eye doctor.