Several Common Visual Impairments That Can Hinder Your Life

November 12, 2012

Several Common Visual Impairments That Can Hinder Your Life

Ophthalmologists will use three tests to determine if their patient as visual impairment and will determine what one of the five common causes is at fault for it.

A camera is a device that amasses, concentrates and sends light through its lens to produce an image of whatever it is focuses on. Guess what? Your eye is similar to a camera. It also amasses, concentrates and sends light through the lens to produce an image on the things it’s focused on and the thing surrounding it. And, like the camera’s image is imprinted on film, the human eye’s image is imprinted on the retina, which is a thin coating of light sensitive tissue located on the back of the eye.

And just like the camera, the human eye has control over the amount of light that the eye receives. The iris, which is the colored part of your eye, can control the amount of light that passes through to the pupil. When the light is bright, the pupil closes. When exposed to dim light, it opens wider. The cornea is the protective but transparent surface of the human eye. It assists in focusing the light like the lens, which is situated behind the iris.

When light comes into the eye, the retina will change the light into little nerve signals, which are then sent along the optic nerve right to the brain. Without either the optic nerve or retina, the brain can’t process information and vision is unlikely.

Visual Impairment: What Is It?

Now that you know the anatomy of the human eye, you can understand the issues centered around it. Many folks, at some point in their life, have had a visual problem. Some folks can’t see objects that are near or far. While other’s just can’t read tiny print. But, every one of these issues can be easily solved with the use of glasses or contact lenses.

However, visual impairment comes into play with the brain or eye cannot process images clearly, which result in very serious or complete loss of sight. When this happens, vision won’t happen unless treatment is administered:

  • Surgery

  • Medical treatment

  • Corrective lenses

What is visual impairment? It’s when there is some type of vision loss, regardless if it is partially or totally.

Why Does Visual Impairment Occur In The First Place

It’s very rare that young people will lose their sight unless it’s due to a disease or serious injury. However, some babies are diagnosed with congenital blindness – meaning they have visual impairment at birth. This is caused by several things:

  • Genetics

  • Infection (from mother to fetus)

5 Common Conditions That Can Cause Visual Impairment After Birth

  1. Cataracts

    – This is when some or the entire lens is cloudy. It keeps light from entering and passing through the lens, which reduces vision. Cataracts is a slow disease and tends to affect the elderly. The symptoms include: blurry/cloudy vision, double vision, faded colors and inability to see in poorly lit areas.

  2. Glaucoma – This is the condition in where the pressure inside the eye increases, impairing the vision. It’s typically seen in the elderly although some younger generations can suffer with it.

  3. Diabetic retinopathy – This is when small blood vessels in the retina have been damaged due to diabetes. While people with this condition may not notice any problem seeing, the condition (if it worsens) will cause them blindness. Any person with diabetes needs to be regularly checked by a doctor for retinopathy.

  4. Amblyopia – This is a reduction in eye vision, which is the result of not using the eye earlier in one’s life. It’s also called a lazy eye. Some conditions will cause the brain and eye not to communicate well with one another, causing the eye to stop developing as it should.

  5. Macular degeneration – This is a steady but progressive deterioration of the macular, which is the retina’s most sensitive area. It can also cause loss of the central vision, which is what allows you to see details right in front of you. This is usually an age-related condition but it can happen in younger generation. Always being exposed to the sun or smoke can increase the possibility of suffering with this condition.

How Doctors Diagnose and Treat Visual Impairment

If you suspect visual impairment, you need to see an ophthalmologist, who will look into the matter and treat your condition. He/she may perform the following tests to make the diagnosis of what you are suffering with. These tests are:

  • Visual field test

    – This test will measure peripheral vision

  • Visual acuity test

    – Patients read eye chart to determine how well he/she sees and at various distances

  • Tonometry test

    – This is used to determine fluid pressure inside eyes…looks for glaucoma signs

If your eye doctor feels you do have an eye condition that will result in visual impairment, there are several treatments he/she may suggest including:

  • Glasses

  • Contact lenses

  • Eye drops

  • Various other medications

  • Surgery

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