Eye health for severely visually impaired.

Eye Health for severely visually impaired

In the UK, more than 2 million people are living with sight loss.  Of these, around 340,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.*

 

Learning that you have a visual impairment that is not treatable can be very difficult to come to terms with.  People can experience a wide range of emotions including shock, denial, and anger which can be similar to bereavement, before eventually coming to accept their condition.

 

What is visual impairment?

The term ‘visual impairment’ is used to describe sight loss that can’t be corrected using glasses or contact lenses alone.

 

What is blindness?

The word ‘blindness’ is used to describe total or near total sight loss.

 

What are the causes of visual impairment or blindness in adults? 

The leading cause of visual impairment in adults is age-related macular degeneration where the centre of the retina – called the macular – wears out.  But, there are many other possible causes, including; Glaucoma (optic nerve damage), Cataracts (when the eye becomes cloudy), Diabetic retinopathy (a complication that damages retina blood vessels), Uncorrected refractive errors (when the shape of the eye keeps light from focusing correctly), Corneal opacity (scarring or clouding of the cornea), Trachoma (caused by a bacterial infection), and Hemianopia (a stroke-related eye condition). 

 

What are the causes of visual impairment or blindness in children?

Visual impairment in children can be caused by a number of conditions and syndromes, including; Blurred vision, Pain in the eye without or without discharge, Sensitivity to light, Double vision, Flashes of light, Disturbances in vision, and New floating bits in vision. 

 

Fortunately, there are several ways to improve eye health and make life easier.  Here are a few ways to help slow or alleviate symptoms at first:

      • Regular sight tests – with vision loss, it’s still important to have regular sight tests so that your optometrist (eye specialist) can check for further changes in your eyes and give advice about how to make the best use of your vision

      • Prescription glasses and contact lenses – both of which will have been made specifically by your optometrist to match your defects of vision and will be customised to fit the corrective power each individual eye needs 

      • Surgery – surgery to improve your eyesight is known as refractive surgery or vision correction. There are 2 different types: laser eye surgery and lens surgery. Both types of surgery can make you less dependent on glasses or contact lenses. Research shows that both are safe and effective

      • Medicine – there are several over-the-counter medications such as eye drops to alleviate sore, dry, or red eyes, but with so many eye conditions and as the eyes are extremely sensitive and delicate, it’s always best to speak to your optometrist or pharmacist before using anything

     

    There are also several practical ways to help deal with impaired vision for people of all ages:

        • Prepare your home

        • Organise your belongings

        • Check out assistive devices

        • Consider mental health counseling

        • Join a support group

        • Prepare for emergencies

        • Find out about job opportunities

        • Engage your family

       

      To discuss your eye health

      Get in touch today to book an appointment with one of our experienced optometrists.

      Call 02392 550723 for Lee-On-The-Solent or 01329 832706 for Wickham.

      Alternatively, email lee@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk or wickham@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk and one of the team will call you back to book your appointment.

       

      *Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vision-loss/