Low vision is considered a visual impairment that traditional eyewear, medication or surgery can’t correct. In a recent study, 2.3% of people in America ages 16 and above reported low vision. Patients with this eye problem may experience significant visual field loss, such as tunnel vision and blind spots.
Dr. Joel H McGahen, OD, a premier eye doctor in the area, discusses the four main causes of low vision.
How does cataracts develop? This eye disease causes clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies between the pupil and the iris. Note that the lens contains protein, which is arranged in a precise way. As we age, some of these proteins clump together and start to cloud the small area of the lens. This is what makes the vision hazy. Over 22 million people in the country are living with cataracts, which is expected to reach 30 million by 2020.
2. Macular Degeneration
This eye problem damages the macula, the central portion of the retina. The macula is the part of the eye that controls visual acuity. With this vision problem, a person may have a hard time reading, recognizing faces, driving and performing other visual tasks. Blurred or partially obscured central vision is also a common symptom of macular degeneration.
3. Diabetic Retinopathy
Patients with diabetic retinopathy may notice blind spots and distorted vision. This is a vision-threatening eye disease that can damage the retina due to the high levels of blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy may also lead to other eye complications, including cataracts. Visit a low vision specialist if you notice these signs and symptoms.
Glaucoma occurs when there’s increased pressure in the eye, which damages the optic nerve. This eye disease may also be caused by the improper draining of the aqueous humor through a mesh-like channel. Poor peripheral vision is one of the most common signs of glaucoma.
Count on Dr. Joel H McGahen, OD, for your eye care needs. Apart from our low vision services, we also offer high-quality prescription contact lenses to help improve eyesight. Call us today at (717) 609-4443 to schedule an appointment. We serve residents of Pennsylvania, including Shippensburg and Greencastle, PA.