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.

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 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.

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.

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.