Low Vision Awareness Month
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We are starting our month-long series, “Keep Your Eyes on the Heart” with the topic of February being Low Vision Awareness Month. The National Eye Institute (NEI) website defines low vision as “a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery.”

Low Vision Projection Chart

Table provided by National Eye Institute

 

The NEI website further shares, With people in the United States living longer, eye diseases and vision loss have become major public health concerns. Currently, 4.2 million Americans ages 40 and older are visually impaired. By 2030, when the last baby boomers turn 65, this number is projected to reach 7.2 million, with 5 million having low vision.”

There are varying types and degrees of low vision.

  • Loss of Central Vision: Creates a blur or blind spot
  • Loss of Peripheral Side Vision: Person cannot distinguish anything to one side or both sides
  • Blurred Vision: Both near and far vision is out of focus, even with glasses

To learn more about these and others visit American Optometric Association’s “Common Types of Low Vision”( https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/low-vision/common-types-of-low-vision).

People with low vision can experience struggles with certain activities such as:

  • Cooking
  • Reading and Writing
  • Seeing Street Signs
  • Recognizing People even with glasses on

It is important people with low vision realize with a little help, especially with today’s technological advances they can do most everyday activities.

Vision Aware (http://www.visionaware.org/info/your-eye-condition/eye-health/overview-of-low-vision-devices/low-vision-optical-devices/1245) and American Federation for the Blind (http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/using-technology/12)  are two resources for gaining knowledge about low vision optical devices.

Without knowledge, some people with low vision have a tendency to feel apprehensive, fearful, helpless and even fallen into depression.

Yet, when empowered with knowledge, low vision people can be taught to maximize their remaining vision. NEI’s site ascertains, “Maximizing remaining vision and maintaining independence and quality of live can be achieved by teaching the low vision person how to:”

  • Move safely around their home
  • Continue to read and write
  • Cook their own food
  • Clean their own home
  • Find adaptive devices (magnifying devices for reading, larger text on cell phones)
  • Use the available resources and support from organizations such as: National Eye Institute or local chapters of National Federation for the Blind

 

Therefore, if you or a loved one find yourself struggling with low vision, may you accept this quote from the blog, “Going Blind with Insight” as your anthem:

 

“Vision loss is not an end to a functioning life, but the beginning of learning a new way of living.”

 

We will spend the rest of February in our series, “Keep Your Eyes on the Heart” with blogs on eye and heart care.

 

Reference:  Low Vision Awareness Month. Accessed at:

https://nei.nih.gov/nehep/lvam . Accessed on: January 23, 2018.

Reference: About Low Vision

Accessed at https://goingblindwithinsight.wordpress.com/about/about-low-vision/

Accessed on January 23, 2018.

Reference: Common Types of Low Vision

Accessed at  https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/low-vision/common-types-of-low-vision

Accessed on January 25, 2018

Reference; Technology Resources for People with Vision Loss

Accessed at http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/using-technology/12

Accessed on January 25, 2018

Reference: What are low vision optical devices

Accessed at: http://www.visionaware.org/info/your-eye-condition/eye-health/overview-of-low-vision-devices/low-vision-optical-devices/1245

Accessed on: January 25, 2018

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.