Visual impairment can be either partial (meaning eyesight is degraded or foggy) or total (meaning all or part of the vision in one or both eyes is too poor for useful function). It may arise with or without discomfort, abruptly or gradually. All of these are indicators of the cause. Most of the vision issues can be prevented.
Prevalence of vision-related disorders
At least 2.2 billion people around the world have trouble seeing things up close or far away. In at least 1 billion – or roughly half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been averted or has yet to be addressed.
Is visual impairment the same as blindness?
It is defined as “a loss in the ability to see to a certain degree that causes problems that can be rectified by conventional means, such as glasses most of the time.” Blindness” means that a person can’t see because of an injury, an illness, or a condition that runs in their family.
Major causes of vision impairment globally are:
- Uncorrected refractive errors
- age-related macular degeneration
Uncorrected refractive errors
When the eye cannot clearly focus on pictures, a refractive error arises, resulting in fuzzy vision. Uncorrected refractive errors (URE) are the leading cause of vision impairment on a global scale. Refractive error, if left untreated, can result in lost educational and employment opportunities, decreased productivity, and diminished quality of life.
- Myopia (nearsightedness): Trouble in viewing distant objects clearly;
- Hyperopia (farsightedness): Trouble in viewing close objects clearly;
- Astigmatism: Vision impairment caused by an abnormally shaped cornea, the transparent covering of the eyeball.
- Presbyopia: This age-related condition, which causes difficulties reading or seeing at arm’s length, is nearly universal.
Refractive faults cannot be prevented, but they can be detected and treated using glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. If detected early and treated by professionals at the best eye hospitals, they do not inhibit the development of normal vision.
A cataract is when the eye’s lens gets cloudy. One or both eyes may be affected by this disorder. Cataracts are the biggest cause of blindness around the globe. Cataracts can occur at any age, even at birth, but are more prevalent in adults aged 50 and older.
Major signs of cataract include
- Cloudy/blurry vision.
- Glare around lights, especially at night.
- Difficulty seeing at night.
- Sensitivity to bright light.
- Need for bright light to read.
- Changes to the way you see color.
Cataract treatment surgery to remove the hazy lens and replace it with an artificial lens is highly successful, with over ninety percent of patients reporting improved vision after cataract surgery.
Macular degeneration (also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD) is an eye condition that impairs central vision. It destroys the macula, the central portion of the retina that enables you to see tiny details. Macular disorders are the primary cause of vision loss in individuals aged 60 and older.
The symptoms of AMD, which are typically not detected until the illness has advanced, include:
- Blurred central vision.
- There are black or dark areas in the centre of your visual field.
- Wavy or curved appearance to straight lines.
There are various treatments that are available to slow the progress of the condition though best eye hospitals are working towards advancement in the treatment.
Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by abnormally high intraocular fluid pressure. The pressure destroys your optic nerve, which disrupts the transmission of visual information to your brain. Undiagnosed and untreated glaucoma can cause blindness or vision loss in one or both eyes. Mostly, glaucoma runs in families.
Two primary kinds of glaucoma exist. Open-angle glaucoma grows gradually over time, and you might not notice vision changes until the condition has progressed significantly. Closed-angle glaucoma can occur unexpectedly. It is extremely painful and causes rapid vision loss.
Signs that indicate glaucoma include
- Eye pain or pressure.
- Red eyes.
- Rainbow-colored halos around lights.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Generally, treatment is provided at the best eye hospital depending on the severity and laser therapy may be recommended.
Good vision facilitates interaction with the surrounding environment. Some visual issues are easily correctable. If discovered early and treated, many eye illnesses can be rectified or the progression of the disease can be slowed, hence reducing vision loss.
If you observe any changes in your eyesight, consult your eye doctor. Even if you haven’t noticed any changes in your eyesight, it is essential to undergo frequent eye exams. When vision loss occurs most times it may not show any eye weakness symptoms.
Your eye care specialist can provide the necessary tests, prescribe eyewear, or perform surgery to delay or prevent vision loss and improve your eyesight. Consult the best eye hospital in Coimbatore in case you are looking for the right treatment for vision concerns.