Low Vision is a Public Health Issue

Jun 28, 2015 in Eye Tests

Low Vision is a Public Health Issue

Almost two million people in the UK are living with some degree of sight loss, and this number is expected to double to four million by 2050. Sight loss can strike at any time, but it’s usually the elderly who are most susceptible. Nearly half of all blind or partially sighted people feel cut off from people or things around them, making vision loss a public health issue. The good news is that over 50% of sight loss can be avoided by timely detection and corrective action. Find out more about low vision and other eye problems, as well as what you can do to get help.

Low Vision

Low vision can manifest in a variety of ways – partial sight, blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision. This loss of sight makes everyday tasks difficult; even activities such as reading, writing, watching television, etc. can become difficult to accomplish. Low vision can also pose a health hazard, especially while driving a car or using electrical equipment. Some common patterns of low vision affect:

  • Central vision – when we directly look at something

  • Peripheral vision – or what you see ‘from the corner of your eye’

  • Contrast sensitivity – distinguishing objects in similar colour tones, or distinguishing facial features

  • Depth perception – the ability to judge the position of things, and something that may make you ‘miss a step’

Vision Problems

Low vision can be caused by eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts or diabetic retinopathy. It can also be caused by eye injuries, brain injury or cancer of the eye. AMD usually affects your central vision, while glaucoma generally begins with loss of peripheral vision. Diabetic retinopathy can affect both central and peripheral vision. Sometimes suffering from a stroke can also affect peripheral vision. There are several things you can do if you are suffering from low vision.

  • Improve the lighting in your environment

  • Reduce glare, whether it’s by using blinds and curtains indoors or sunglasses when you step outside

  • Use a hand-held magnifier so that reading small print is not a problem

  • Use more audio cues, such as audio books, voice-enabled computer, talking clocks etc.

Of course, the most important thing you need to do to address the problem is to get an eye examination done, so that your vision problems can be corrected.

Getting Help

At Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care, we offer a comprehensive eye examination as well as a complete lifestyle evaluation. Our friendly and trained optician will put you at ease and understand your case history, before proceeding with the eye test. We use advanced screening techniques to carry out the eye examination. Based on the result of the eye test, our optician will be able to suggest the best course of action – whether you need prescription glasses, or if you’d be better off using contact lenses, or whether any other underlying eye problems need to be addressed, perhaps with surgery. You can select prescription glasses or contact lenses from our wide range. So don’t delay getting your eyes checked. Book an appointment online with Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care and let us take care of your eyesight.