- Patient Resources
February is Low Vision Awareness Month, a time to raise public awareness about this condition and provide resources for those who have it. Low vision can be caused by many different things, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or other eye diseases. There are also people who have low vision because of trauma or injury to their eyes.
Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist discusses low vision, what can cause this condition, and available treatment options.
Low vision is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. In the U.S., about one in three people over age 40 have some degree of low vision or blindness. It can be caused by many different things, including accidents or eye diseases. People with low vision may struggle to see details or read fine print, or even notice changes in their environment–like someone approaching them from behind.
Low vision can be caused by eye diseases, like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which damage the retina (the light-sensitive portion at the back of your eye). Other causes include cataracts or glaucoma, both of which can damage the optic nerve that sends images from your eyes to your brain.
The retina is a layer of tissue at the back of your eye that senses light. In its center is a small area called the macula–it’s responsible for detailed vision like reading or recognizing faces. As you age, this area may become damaged or diseased, causing decreased ability to see clearly in bright lighting conditions (like outdoors), dim lighting conditions, or both kinds of light environments at once (daytime versus nighttime).
You may be surprised to learn that low vision is a condition that affects millions of people. It’s not just an older person’s problem, either; children and young adults can also have low vision. And while it’s not a disease by itself, it does cause permanent damage to the eye over time if left untreated.
If you think that you or someone you know might have low vision, make an appointment with your eye care professional right away. There are several treatments for this condition, including prescription glasses and contact lenses, as well as surgery to improve vision.
And if you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye wellness checkup, please feel free to call us, your local Lake Stevens, WA optometrist, today!