According to recent studies funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of Americans who are visually impaired—including those with low vision— is expected to double to more than 8 million by 2050. With the increasing life expectancy rates, these numbers are extremely concerning as this goes to show that an increasing amount of people are at a risk of developing a visual impairment. Therefore, it is extremely important to spread awareness about such vision impairment tendencies and ensure that people receive the necessary help. But in order to spread awareness about this, take a moment to understand more about low vision, its symptoms and its impact.
What is low vision?
When low vision occurs, people find it difficult to read or see even with regular glasses, contact lenses and medicine or surgery. Tasks like watching TV, cooking, driving and even writing can seem extremely challenging. People aged 65 or older are most likely to be impacted by low-vision. The leading cause of low vision is due to improper treatment or delay in the detection of eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. In case of younger adults, low-vision is usually caused by genetic tendencies or the prevalence of an undetected eye disease. Take a look at some facts related to low-vision and its widespread impact.
According to National Federation of The Blind:
- It is estimated that about 1.3 million people in the U.S. are legally blind.
- It is estimated that as many as 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired.
- There are 5.5 million seniors in the United States who are either blind or visually impaired.
- Studies show that over the next 30 years, aging baby boomers will double the current number of blind or visually impaired Americans.
- Just 1% of the blind population is born without sight. The vast majority of blind people lose their vision later in life because of macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes.
- With macular degeneration, central vision deteriorates, resulting in blurred vision and eventually leads to blindness. While there are treatments to delay these conditions, there is no cure.
- Macular degeneration is known to affect about 13 million Americans.
What Can You Do If You or Someone You Know is Suffering from Low-Vision?
Low vision can be extremely tough to deal with, and may leave people feeling helpless, and anxious, that is why it is necessary to remind them that they can get help.
First and foremost, it is extremely important to schedule regular visits to your ophthalmologist in order to supervise your eye health regularly. In case of those affected by low-vision, you must speak to your ophthalmologist about your treatment options to help reduce its impact and slow down the process. Your eye doctor will also be able to provide low vision aids to help improve the transition.
As for those of you who are at a risk of low-vision or AMD, it is best to visit your eye doctor regularly and get dilated eye exams regularly to ensure optimum eye health. If you are looking for an Ophthalmologist in Fresno, we at Insight Vision Center, have a talented team of eye care specialists to address any of your vision related queries or eye health issues. So, if you have noticed any changes in your vision, don’t ignore the signs and book an appointment with us today, to know more about how you can protect your vision and keep it healthy.