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.

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Can Low Vision Be Reversed?

When most people think of low vision, blindness is the first thought that comes to mind. However, it is not considered to be blindness, since limited sight does still remain. But for those who suffer with this condition, it cannot be corrected by standard glasses, contact lenses, or even surgery. If you are questioning whether or not low vision can be reversed, keep the following information in mind when you visit with your eye doctor in Charlotte, NC.

What Causes Low Vision?

If you suffer from low vision, it was likely caused by diabetes, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration. Should your low vision in Charlotte, NC be caused by diabetic retinopathy, certain treatments may be available to maintain your current vision or possibly restore some vision. Yet in most cases, low vision will be permanent.

Common Types of Low Vision

Unfortunately, there are many types of low vision in Charlotte, NC. These include a loss of central or peripheral vision, night blindness, blurry vision, and hazy vision, which is characterized by your entire field of vision seeming to be covered by a glare or film.

Low Vision Aids Can Help

While your low vision may be permanent, the good news is that there are many different types of low vision aids that can improve your vision and quality of life. The most common include specialized telescopic glasses, magnifying glasses, hand magnifiers, and reading prisms. Should you suffer from retinitis pigmentosa and have no useful vision whatsoever, a retinal prosthesis may be an option. Able to partially restore vision, you may be able to successfully navigate sidewalks and doorways, read large lettering, and other tasks.

Since low vision cannot usually be reversed, prevention is key to maintaining as much of your sight as possible. Should you be diabetic or have other health conditions that could put your eyesight at risk, schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor in Charlotte, NC.

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.