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

 

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 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.

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.

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, The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina 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.

Why Do I Have to Blink So Much?

In most cases, people blink unconsciously. The blink reflex is spontaneous and generally happens so fast that it goes unnoticed. Most people would be hard-pressed to guess how many times they blink in the span of a minute. The “normal” number of blinks in a minute ranges from 15 times and 20 times, but of course, everyone is different. In general, you don’t have to worry if your blink rate is in the normal range. But there are times when your blinking is worth a second look.

When Blinking Changes Dramatically

If you all of a sudden notice that you need to blink a lot more or less than usual, you might want to see an eye doctor. Changes in blink rates can indicate that something is going on with your eyes.

For instance, you may develop a condition known as dry eyes. Dry eyes syndrome is a serious condition that means your eyes are not getting the moisture they need to be healthy. Dry eyes can be caused by:

  • Temporary external conditions
  • Physical deformity or malfunction in the eye
  • Eye injury
  • Lifestyle

If you notice that your blinking rate has increased or noticeably decreased, contact your eye doctor in Wilmington or Charlotte. Never ignore this development, as further damage to the eye could occur if it’s not treated promptly.

Computer Use and Blinking

A disturbing research report shows that people who use their computers for extended periods of time blink up to 66 percent less. You recall that blinking adds moisture to the surface of the eye, you can see that this lifestyle habit isn’t healthy. To prevent this occurrence, take regular breaks from the computer or at least look away at something in the distance.

Don’t ignore changes in your blinking habits. Your eye doctor in Charlotte or Wilmington will be able to help diagnose any problem and get you treated accordingly.

 

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 The Low Vision Centers of North Carolina. 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.

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 Low Vision Centers of North Carolina to schedule an appointment for a consultation.