Poor Vision

Poor Vision

Our visual ability changes as you get older. Almost everyone experiences poor vision especially from the ages of 60 years and above. Objects that one could see clearly before may become too small to see. Fortunately, these changes don’t have to affect our lifestyle. You can still continue with our normal daily routine even with the poor vision.

As we get older, we need to be conversant with the changes likely to occur on our body health-wise. You need to be aware of the warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. Most times, eye diseases hardly show early symptoms. They may develop painlessly without you noticing the changes to your vision until the condition is quite advanced.

It is pertinent that you make wise lifestyle choices, have your eyes examined regularly so there can be early detection of any eye disease, improving your chances of maintaining good eye health at vision as you age.

Facts about Poor Vision

According to the report for the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), about 7.3 million American adults 65 years and above report experiencing significant vision loss.

Majority of those with poor visions are of white race.

Report also has it that majority of those with poor vision are married and living with their spouse.

About one-third of those with poor vision live in the South. This means majority reside in the Southern part of the country.

Majority of those that suffer from poor visions are poor or near poor.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Vision

If you experience any of these, you need to act fast by scheduling an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

  • Severe, sudden eye pain
  • Swollen, red eyes
  • Sudden development of persistent floaters
  • Any sudden change in vision
  • Seeing floating “spider webs”
  • Changes in the color of the iris
  • Recurrent pain in or around the eye
  • Itching, burning, or a heavy discharge in the eyes
  • Seeing rainbows or halos around lights
  • Sensing a “cup filling up with ink” in one eye
  • White areas in the pupil of the eye
  • Unusual, even painful, sensitivity to light or glare
  • Hazy, blurred, or double vision

Other Indicators of Poor Vision

  • Experiencing difficulty walking on irregular or bumpy surfaces
  • Walking up and down stairs slowly and cautiously
  • Missing objects by under-reaching or over-reaching
  • Having trouble locating personal objects, even in a familiar environment
  • Having trouble identifying colors
  • Having trouble identifying faces or objects
  • Reaching out for objects in an uncertain manner
  • Having problems picking food with a fork
  • Spilling food off the plate while eating
  • Pouring liquids over the top of a cup or drinking glass
  • Can’t read mails, newspapers or books
  • Holding reading material very close to the face or at an angle
  • Trouble writing clearly and on the line
  • Lighting that was previously sufficient becomes less sufficient or inadequate

Types of Vision Disorders

  1. Presbyopia. This is a naturally occurring age-related condition. It usually begin to manifest from the age of 40 years and above.

Presbyopia is a diminished ability to focus on near objects due to hardening of the lens inside the eye rather than a defect of vision caused by the overall shape of the eye like hyperopia.

Reading glasses or special multifocal lenses (bifocal or progressives lenses) can be used to correct presbyopia. There are also other surgery options like monovision LASIK and conductive keratoplasty for suitable candidates.

  1. Chronic dry eyes. This affects your eyes in many ways, especially blurred and fluctuating vision. While the use of lubricating eye drops can help, more advanced dry eyes will need a prescription medication or punctual plugs to keep the eye lubricated and healthy.
  1. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This affects the macular (center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye) resulting in loss of central vision. Though the macula is small, it is the part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail and colors. Activities like reading, driving, watching TV and recognizing faces are affected by this defection by they require good central vision provided by the macula. You should know that this doesn’t affect the peripheral or side vision.
  1. Cataracts. They appear as cloudy or opaque areas in the normally clear lens of the eye. Their interference with normal vision depends on their size and location. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes but one comes out worse than the other.

When symptoms begin to manifest, vision could be improved using new glasses with strong bifocals, magnification or other visual aids.

Surgery can be used to restore good vision too. According to PBA, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. About 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery every year.

  1. Diabetic retinopathy. It is a condition that happens to diabetic people. This is as a result of damaged tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The damaged blood vessels leak blood and other fluids that cause retinal tissue to swell and cloud vision. This condition affects both eyes. At its most severe case, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.
  1. Glaucoma. This is characterized by damage to the optic nerve resulting in vision loss. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans and older adults have a higher risk of developing the disease. It is painless and can no symptoms. Gradually, it takes away the peripheral (side) vision.

Eye drops, medications and surgery can be used to correct glaucoma early on, but when it gets severe it can lead to permanent blindness.

Treatment Options for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • Anti-angiogenic drugs when injected into the eyes stop new blood vessels from forming or blocking the leak from abnormal vessels that can cause wet macular degeneration.
  • Laser therapy which can sometimes destroy actively growing abnormal blood vessels from AMD.
  • Photodynamic laser therapy is a two-step treatment that uses a light-sensitive drug to destroy abnormal blood vessels.
  • Vitamins
  • Submacular surgery removes abnormal blood vessels, scar tissue, or blood.
  • Retinal translocation which involves destroying abnormal blood vessels in the eye directly under the center of your macula.

Treatment for Cataract

When symptoms begin to manifest, vision could be improved using new glasses with strong bifocals, magnification or other visual aids.

Surgery can be used to restore good vision too. According to PBA, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. About 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery every year.

How to Maintain Good Vision

  • Schedule regular visit with your doctor to examine your eyes.
  • Check your family’s history for sign of any eye problems.
  • Ensure you follow a healthy lifestyle.
  • Eat diet recommended for the best of your eyes.
  • Avoid hazardous materials such as fireworks.
  • Wear durable eye protection when involved in activities that could cause damage to the eyes.
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2 thoughts on “Poor Vision

  1. Hello,
    I loved your article, can you give me some of the diet that is recommended for the best of your eyes?
    Thanks so much
    Debra

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