Recognizing Low Vision
National Eye Institute (NIH)
According to the U.S. Government’s National Eye Institute (NIH) there are signs that can signal vision loss. The NIH states, “For example, even with your glasses, do you have difficulty:Recognizing faces of friends and relatives? Doing things that require you to see well up close, like reading, cooking, sewing, or fixing things around the house? Picking out and matching the color of your clothes? Doing things at work or home because lights seem dimmer than they used to? Reading street and bus signs or the names of stores?
Vision changes like these could be early warning signs of eye disease. Usually, the earlier your problem is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment and keeping your remaining vision. “
NIH states that “Although many people maintain good vision throughout their lifetimes, people over age 65 are at increased risk of developing low vision. You, your eye care professional, and specialist in low vision need to work in partnership to achieve what is best for you. An important part of this relationship is good communication.
Here are some questions to ask your eye care professional or specialist in low vision to get the discussion started:
Questions to Ask Your Eye Care ProfessionalWhat changes can I expect in my vision? Will my vision loss get worse? How much of my vision will I lose? Will regular eyeglasses improve my vision? What medical/surgical treatments are available for my condition? What can I do to protect or prolong my vision? Will diet, exercise, or other lifestyle changes help? If my vision can’t be corrected, can you refer me to a specialist in low vision? Where can I get a low vision examination and evaluation? Where can I get vision rehabilitation?
Questions to Ask Your Specialist in Low VisionHow can I continue my normal routine activities? Are there resources to help me in my job? Will any special devices help me with daily activities like reading, sewing, cooking, or fixing things around the house? What training and services are available to help me live better and more safely with low vision? Where can I find individual or group support to cope with my vision loss?”
Remember only a trained eye care professional can properly diagnosis and treat low vision. If you feel that you may be experiencing low vision signs, contact an eye health professional immediately.
Source: National Eye Institute (http://www.nei.nih.gov)