February is already here, which means it’s Low Vision Awareness Month! It is a nationwide campaign that throws light on the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for low vision. Trust us; there’s no better time than February to talk about one of the most important abilities – your vision. The awareness month is observed every year with the aim to raise public awareness of impaired vision and make services available to help those with significant eyesight issues.
If you are proactive about your health and well-being and looking for ways to provide aid to people who are experiencing low vision, then look no further. To help you observe this Low Vision Awareness Month 2022, here we have penned down all the important information that you need to be aware of. Without a doubt, learning about low vision will help you take preventative measures to safeguard your and your loved ones’ health and vision.
What Do You Mean By Low Vision?
Low vision is a visual impairment that comes in a variety of forms and exists in varying degrees. Some people totally lose their vision. While others actually have some remaining sight.
In most cases, low vision is uncorrectable, which means it cannot be corrected further by glasses or contact lenses or any standard treatment like medicine or surgery. It is not complete blindness; it causes blind spots, poor night vision, and blurry sight.
This impairment affects millions of Americans every year, including people of all ages. Many people believe that deteriorating vision is a normal aspect of aging, but this is not the case. Anyone, at any age, can be affected. Various studies have projected that by 2030, over 7.2 million will be visually impaired, with approximately 5 million affected by low vision. While the numbers are quite alarming, the good news is that there still remains hope. And this hope is what Low Vision Awareness Month 2022 is all about.
Causes Behind The Diagnosis Of Low Vision
On Low Vision Awareness Month 2022, you can learn what causes low vision. There’s no one reason that causes low vision; rather, multiple factors play a role in the diagnosis. One of the most common causes is age. As the eyes age, low vision becomes more prominent. However, it is not the only factor. The American Optometric Association (AOA) has provided us with an entire list of causes, which includes:
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal detachment
- Brain injury
- Retinitis pigmentosa
Symptoms Of Low Vision
Different individuals suffer from various degrees of sight loss. While some face the problem with glare, others experience complete blindness. There are varied kinds of low vision, and every type has its own set of symptoms. However, there are some common symptoms that most patients experience, irrespective of the type of low vision they are dealing with. Here are such symptoms:
- Finding it difficult to see clearly even in well-lit areas
- Dealing with a persistent headache
- Can’t recognize the right hue of different things
- Feeling strain on eyes all the time
- Facing difficulties in reading, sewing, and other close-up works
- Having red eyes and experiencing blurriness
Diagnosis Of Low Vision
Diagnosis of low vision is as common as an eye test by an eye care practitioner. If you are facing any of the aforementioned symptoms, make sure you book an appointment with an eye doctor. They will perform the checkup with lighting, magnifiers, and special charts. The doctor might also ask the patient to go through a full personal and family general health and eye history to better understand the condition. At the end of the evaluation, the doctor will construct a detailed, personalized plan for treating the medical condition.
Treatment For Low Vision
Sadly, low vision is permanent. However, there are some sight disorders like diabetic retinopathy that can be treated completely or partially. While there is no permanent cure for low vision, there are some visual aids that have proved to be helpful for many people. Such aids won’t cure it completely but can help in improving vision or protecting it from getting worse. Some of the popular aids or treatments include:
1. Using low vision devices
2. Reading prisms
3. Using high contrast clocks and watches
4. Checking guides
5. Exploring text reading software, etc.
How To Live With Low Vision?
While low vision in itself is a critical health condition with no permanent treatment, there are some ways by which people can live through it. Even if they can’t get rid of it, they can make use of the remaining sight in doing what they actually love to do. So, being aware of such ways becomes immensely important for achieving success. And Low Vision Awareness Month 2022 is the ideal time to talk about it.
Our team of experts has done an intensive study and come up with a list of ways that every patient can deal with the concern. These steps can also be followed by anyone who wants to observe Low Vision Awareness Month 2022 and offer a better life to the survivors.
Get In Touch With A Low Vision Specialist
One of the best things you can do during Low Vision Awareness Month 2022 is to reach out to a low vision specialist. They will help you or your loved ones to determine the cause behind the vision and how it can be treated or taken care of. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms but have a family history of low vision, you must get screened. This is crucial for timely diagnosis of the disease.
Buy Or Gift Low Vision Devices
As stated above, there are certain kinds of devices that might help in improving the condition. Low Vision devices help people in living their life independently, safely, and effectively. They vastly improve the quality of life, and hence, it is suggested to buy or gift such devices to make life easier for patients. The commonly prescribed devices include:
1. Handheld and stand magnifiers
2. Spectacle-mounted magnifiers
3. Electronic (video) magnification
4. Handheld or spectacle-mounted telescopes
Note: If you are gifting any of these devices this Low Vision Awareness Month 2022, make sure you sit with them and teach them how to use it. This will help them to understand its functionality.
Educate Yourself And Others
Education is the key! This Low Vision Awareness Month 2022, make sure you spend time learning about the symptoms, types, risk factors, causes, treatments, and other necessary information. Once you are well-equipped with the right knowledge, educate people around you.
Reorganize Your Household
Low vision makes it difficult for people to live a regular life. It makes it difficult for them to perform household chores because of partial sight. Hence, to make it easier for survivors to live with it, you can reorganize the house and place often used objects in one location so that they can be easily discovered. You can also add large labels on them to make them visible, even for those with low vision.
Add Non-Glare Lighting
Without a doubt, lighting plays an important role in our day-to-day life. For people with low vision, it becomes difficult to work in regular lighting. This is why, this Low Vision Awareness Month 2022, you can add non-glare lights all around. They can be installed in the places where the person performs daily tasks such as reading, cooking in the kitchen, near the bed, bathroom, etc.
Learn About Vision Rehabilitation
Vision Rehabilitation refers to medical rehabilitation that helps in enhancing or improving low vision. It is standard care for people who are diagnosed with this health concern. In simpler words, it is a process of restoring functional capacity and enhancing the quality of life. So, if you are dealing with it or know someone who has it, you can make them learn about vision rehabilitation so that they can make use of it to perform daily tasks.
Make Changes To Your Diet
Watching your diet is one of the most powerful ways to safeguard your valuable sense of sight. Many don’t see the relationship between our diet and vision, but you can learn about it this Low Vision Awareness 2022. Make necessary adjustments to your diet by adding foods that are strong in antioxidants and potent health agents. For a better understanding of what to eat and what to avoid, talk to your doctor this Low Vision Awareness Month 2022.
Low Vision Awareness Month 2022 is an opportunity to reduce the growing number of individuals who are at risk of getting a visual impairment. There’s still a chance to treat the visual impairment as various organizations come forward to aid people. This year, make sure you contribute to helping and inspiring people who are visually impaired to attain their goals. Don’t let your low vision stop your loved ones from living the life they want.
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