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 Dr. Edward Paul, OD, Ph.D. 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 your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC 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 Dr. Edward Paul, OD, PhD Low Vision Rehabilitation, 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.

Should People With Low Vision Avoid UV Rays?

If you have been diagnosed with low vision in Wilmington, NC, your vision is impaired to the point that it cannot be corrected by surgery, medication, or standard eyeglasses. Often caused by serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, or by other conditions such as diabetes, it is nevertheless still very important that you protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Why? Here are the most common reasons.

Skin Cancer on Eyelids

When you hear of skin cancer, you rarely hear about it involving a person’s eyelids. Yet if you fail to protect your eyes from UV rays, developing skin cancer on your eyelids is a real possibility. When your eyes are constantly exposed to the sun, UV radiation could lead to the forming of basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, or squamous cell carcinoma on your eyelids. Symptoms include having a lump or bump on your eyelid that bleeds easily yet does not heal up, the sudden loss of your eyelashes, or eyelid inflammation.

Formation of Cataracts

A common problem for many people who are diagnosed with low vision, the forming of cataracts has been shown in research studies to be directly linked to prolonged exposure to UV light and radiation. Since cataracts can lead to total blindness if not properly treated, you should always protect your eyes from UV rays as much as possible to preserve whatever amount of sight you still possess.

With more and more new treatments being introduced for patients suffering from low vision in Charlotte, NC, it is even more important that you do everything possible to avoid having harmful UV rays do further damage to your eyes. By being proactive today, you may be able to preserve as much of your sight as possible for the years ahead.

How Long Will I Be Able to Drive With Low Vision? 

Those who suffer from low vision in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC still have basic needs and rights, which typically includes the need to drive and the right to operate a motor vehicle. Of course, operating a motor vehicle should only be done when the driver can see properly. In fact, this is why licensing agencies make applicants take a rudimentary eye exam before issuing a driver’s license. Persons with low vision often have deteriorating vision; that is to say, they may experience worsening vision over time, limiting their ability to drive. So how long will you be able to drive with low vision? It depends.

When Was Your Low Vision Diagnosed?

If your low vision was only recently diagnosed, chances are that you are in the early stages. Early stage low vision may include minor complications such as difficulty reading or doing other activities in low light, or having trouble making out finer details in low light. In the early stages, you may be safely able to continue normal driving practices, albeit with some extra caution while driving at night.

How Diminished is Your Vision?

The length of time you’ll be able to safely drive will also depend on how diminished your vision already is. Note that with the help of certain low vision devices in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC, you may be able to maintain your driving privileges for longer.

Driving represents more than just operating a motor vehicle. It enables independence, freedom and accessibility. But if your low vision is causing increased concern over safety to yourself and others, it’s best to consider alternatives, such as public transportation, private taxis or Uber, or some other helpful low vision aids in Wilmington and Charlotte, NC for persons with low vision. Talk to us today about how to extend your safe driving abilities for as long as possible.

How Will Low Vision Impact My Life? 

Have you recently been diagnosed with low vision in Charlotte, NC? If so, there are many things you need to know about how low vision will impact your life. The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be to take care of yourself and navigate the world safely. Here’s what to know about low vision and how it will affect you.

Increased Risk of Injuries

When you have low vision, one of the problems you’re likely to experience is an increased risk of injuries. People who have low vision trip and fall down more easily than people who don’t have low vision. This is because the tripping hazards that most people encounter throughout the day are less visible for people with low vision.

Unfortunately, this increased risk of injuries can also mean a decreased quality of life. People who trip and hurt themselves can suffer from pain in their joints and in other parts of their body, following the injuries they get because of their low vision.

Difficulty Driving At Night

Low vision can make driving at night stressful and difficult. Many people who experience low vision become reluctant to drive at night. If you have low vision, you may find yourself naturally limiting how much you’re willing to drive at night.

If you’re not sure whether you’re safe to drive at night, have a talk with your eye doctor in Charlotte, NC.

Increased Impact As You Age

Low vision is a more common problem in older people. Even if you have perfect vision now, you may someday experience low vision. To get checked for low vision, make an appointment today.

Signs You Suffer from Low Vision

If you suffer from low vision, you could be at risk. Low vision can cause events like car accidents, slips and falls, and even problems at work or school. Knowing the signs that you have low vision is important. If you can recognize the signs of a problem, you can seek help that can lead to improved vision and less risk overall. Here’s what you need to know about the signs of low vision in Charlotte and Wilmington NC.

Your Central or Peripheral Vision is Weak

If you suffer from low vision, you may have noticed that your central or peripheral vision is not what it used to be. Sometimes patients don’t notice when their peripheral vision is going, because peripheral vision isn’t as clear as central vision anyway. If you’ve recently missed seeing something that was coming out of the corner of your eye, this could be a sign that you need to see the eye doctor in Wilmington.

It’s Hard to See At Night

Do you get nervous when driving at night because you have a hard time seeing the road? Talk to your eye doctor. If it’s hard to see at night, this could be the result of deteriorating eyesight and the onset of low vision problems.

Your Vision is Blurry or Hazy

Blurry or hazy vision could be a symptom of a variety of problems. Your eye professional at Dr. Edward Paul can help you determine whether you need low vision treatment, glasses, or a corrective procedure can help. Don’t put off a visit to the eye doctor! Getting help may be able to prevent further deterioration of your eyesight.

How is Low Vision Diagnosed?

Some people are born with low vision, but it may also develop over time, as a person ages. Even if you enjoyed ideal vision when you were younger, it’s possible that your vision has deteriorated into the spectrum of low vision. Those over the age of 40 are more likely to develop low vision. However, anyone experiencing the symptoms of this condition should get a low vision evaluation in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC.

How is Low Vision Diagnosed?

The first step in a low vision evaluation is to find out what low vision symptoms you may be having. These include:

  • Hypersensitivity to glare
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Difficulty reading, writing or using a device such as a phone
  • Increase of “close calls” while driving
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • And more

In addition to asking about your symptoms, your eye doctor in Wilmington and Charlotte, NC will also review your family medical history as well as your own. You’ll then undergo an eye exam where the eye doctor will examine the internal and external condition of your eyes. You’ll need to have some tests done that measure the pressure inside of your eyes, as well as your ability to read an eye chart in various fonts, sizes and light conditions. Note that part of the comprehensive low vision evaluation is to rule out certain other underlying health conditions that may be affecting your vision. The low vision evaluation will take approximately an hour, so you should plan accordingly.

Don’t take chances or delay seeking treatment for any low vision symptoms you become aware of. Ignoring these signs can be more than inconvenient; it could be dangerous to you and others, especially while operating motor vehicles. Book an appointment to come in for a low vision evaluation in Charlotte or Wilmington, North Carolina.

3 Benefits of Low Vision Aids

Low vision aids is a broad term that can apply to a variety of specialty magnification aids. These products can include anything from loupes to telescopes to magnifying reading glasses. Unlike typical eyeglasses or magnifiers, these products are excellent for helping people with poor vision see a little clearer. If you’re looking for low vision aids in Charlotte, NC, we’ll look at the benefits of this decision.

Better Distance Viewing

Low vision aids were designed for people who need more assistance than your traditional pair of contacts or glasses can give. So if you need to be able to see farther, you can use low vision aids to give you a crisper picture of what lies beyond.

Task-Specific

Whether you’re reading small print or washing the dishes, low vision aids are designed to be task-specific, which can make your life a lot easier. In fact, much of the technology today is focused on creating portable devices that can be adjusted depending on what you’re up to throughout the day.

More Options

Low vision can interfere with your life in both expected and unexpected ways, and the frustration can cause people to skip the activities they love. Low vision aids can be a way to open the door to getting back to things you may have been missing out on.

Find an Optometrist in Charlotte, NC

If you’re looking for an optometrist in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Edward Paul, OD, PhD Low Vision Rehabilitation is here to help. Low vision aids come in an array and choosing isn’t always as simple as meets the eye. No matter what you’re looking for, we’re here to point you to the best technology available.

Why You Need to Bring Your Sunglasses to Your Low Vision Exam

Do you need a low vision evaluation in Charlotte, North Carolina? If so, be sure to bring along your favorite pair of sunglasses. This exam can leave your eyes a little more sensitive for a short while afterward, so you’ll be glad to have the extra protection. Wondering why that is? To find your answer, just check out this quick guide on just why you’ll want your sunglasses after a low vision exam.

Pupil Dilation Allows for a Closer Look

To complete the low vision evaluation and fully assess your eye health, you need to have your pupils dilated using special eye drops. After a few minutes, your pupils will widen, so your eye doctor can take an even closer look at the inner structures of your eye.

Your eye doctor can then check the health of your eyes and perform a number of helpful tests, such as:

  • Acuity: Determines how well you can see letters up close and from far away
  • Color: Reveals your ability to accurately see colors across the full spectrum
  • Depth: Assesses your binocular vision strength and ability to see in 3D

Your eye doctor may perform additional low vision tests as well depending on your initial results. No matter how many tests they end up performing, your pupils will stay dilated for several hours after your appointment.

Wider Pupils Let More Light In

When not artificially dilated, your pupils would normally shrink as the light intensity increases, and then grow wider in dim light. After getting your pupils dilated, however, they stay big, which lets in far too much light in bright conditions.

Since this can feel rather uncomfortable, save yourself the trouble and simply bring your sunglasses. You can then pop on your shades whenever the world feels much too bright and comfortably wait for the dilation to wear off.

Ready for a Low Vision Evaluation in Charlotte, North Carolina?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of low vision, you can schedule an evaluation with our Charlotte, North Carolina, eye doctors by calling 910-208-9010. During your call, we’ll help you find a convenient time to come by and let you know what to expect. We’ll also provide a reminder to bring along your sunglasses, so you can comfortably shield your eyes from bright light after your exam.