Guest article by Aaron Barriga
Are you worried about your deteriorating vision? Maintaining good eyesight is very important as we age. Poor vision can be a cause of falls and you know we want to avoid those at all costs.
More than 285 million people become visually impaired annually according to a survey by the World Health Organization. 80% of these cases could have been avoided right from the beginning and some can still be cured.
Regular eye checkups are underrated in terms of detecting and preventing progressive eye conditions like glaucoma. In rare cases, some people experience sudden symptoms such as a change in vision in which case you should immediately visit an eye doctor.
Here are 5 Signs of Vision Loss that You Should Know:
- Blurred Vision and Fluctuating Clarity (Diabetic Retinopathy)
If your clarity of vision keeps on changing from time to time then it is a strong indicator that you have eye issues. The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are usually blurry vision and blind spots in your field of vision. This is the direct effect of unrestricted diabetes which tends to damage the fragile blood vessels in your retina. If you suffer from type I, type II diabetes or high blood pressure then it is vital that you schedule regular eye checkups. Pay attention and notice any mishaps in your vision during your day-to-day activities and consult your eye doctor about this.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Laser treatment is pretty effective at preventing vision loss if done before the retina is badly damaged.
If you remove the vitreous gel surgically then it can help improve your vision if the retina has not been badly damaged.
It is also possible to sometimes inject anti-VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor) medicine or an anti-inflammatory medicine to help shrink new blood vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
It is very important to detect this disease early as the symptoms may not show till it becomes eye threatening.
- Dark Patch Appears at the Centre of Your Vision (Macular Degeneration) (AMD)
Macular degeneration (AMD) that happens over the course of your lifetime due to age is the gradual loss of your central vision. Macular degeneration is the main cause of loss of vision in people who are over the age of 50. If you start seeing a dark patch in the middle of your central vision that you have to try and see around then you should make an appointment with your doctor. Common symptoms of macular degeneration which you may experience are trouble reading signs, seeing washed out colors and seeing wavy lines instead of straight ones.
Macular degeneration is a natural age related condition when the central part of your retina becomes prone to deterioration. This gradual degeneration can cause partial blindness. There are certain types of treatment like laser treatment, medication and dietary changes that can help reduce the effects to a large extent despite the fact that there is no cure.
- Brownish Tint to Your Vision (Cataracts)
Cataracts cloud the lens of your eyes and blur your vision which gives objects a dark tint. Cataracts make your vision blurry and also make bright lights look like they have halos. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in the US but luckily there is a solution through surgery. Cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. Some other symptoms of cataracts are cloudy vision, trouble seeing at night and faded colors.
- Sudden Eye Pain, Red, Irritation and Narrowing of Field of View (Glaucoma, Dry Eye Syndrome)
Sudden eye pain is a sign of sudden attack of narrow angle glaucoma which can damage your eye’s optic nerve permanently. You would need really quick treatment to avoid a permanent loss of vision.
If you lose your ability to see on the side of your central vision then there is a strong possibility that it is glaucoma. If there is no treatment or detection then your peripheral vision can become so bad that you end up having tunnel vision or going blind.
Glaucoma and Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
Glaucoma can be cured with eye drops, laser surgery, pills or even traditional surgery. Taking medications regularly and following prescriptions is vital to preventing any vision threatening damage.
Artificial tear drops and ointments are the most common treatment for dry eye syndrome. There are a lot of different types of drops available and not all of them may suit you so consult your doctor before applying anything. If your eyes dry out while you sleep then you can use a thick product like ointment at night. You may also consider sleeping with airtight goggles as this will create a mini “moisture chamber” for your eyes.
- You See a Flurry of “Flashes and Floaters” (Retinal Detachment)
If you see a higher than normal amount of tiny spots and bits of light that float before your eyes with increasing frequency then you may have an underlying health risk. Seeing a few flashes and floaters is pretty common as they’re just images of particles that float in the vitreous liquid of your eye. An increased amount of these flashes and floaters is a sign that you should go and see your doctor.
Retinal Detachment Treatment
Injecting air or gas into your eye after which the bubble pushes the area of the retina which has the holes against the walls of the eye, stopping the flow of fluid into the space behind the retina.
The fluid that had gathered under the retina is absorbed and the retina can then adhere to the wall of your eye but you may need to hold your head in a certain position till it is reabsorbed.
Indentifying the surface of your eye involves your surgeon sewing a piece of silicone to the white of your eye over the affected area. This procedure displaces the wall of the eye and relieves some of the pressure caused by the vitreous tugging on the retina.
Draining and replacing the fluid in the eye. In vitrectomy, the surgeon removes the vitreous along with any tissue that is pulling at the retina. Gas, air or silicone oil is then injected into the vitreous space to flatten the retina and restore and enhance your vision.
I hope this article was useful to you and you’ve learned that all of these problems can be lessened if not avoided with regular eye exams.
Aaron Barriga is the essay creator at Study Clerk and the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.
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