How Vision Loss Could Affect Your Life
Your vision impacts your daily life in a big way. Think about it, everything you do is made easier by your vision. It helps you to drive, read and get around as well as complete other tasks like eating, cleaning and even getting dressed. If you want to have the best quality of life possible you need to protect your vision. Eye health shouldnít be an afterthought, but instead should be something that you protect and preserve throughout your life, not just when problems occur.
We arenít concerned enough
While eye health is important; however it isnít something that most people think about often enough. In a survey conducted in 2007 by Lighthouse International less than half of the people surveyed had an annual eye exam. Only 30% of Americans wear sunglasses for eye health. Even fewer eat the necessary leafy green vegetables (7%) and exercise (2%). Eye health is easier to preserve than restore, so being proactive and taking care of your eyes is critical if you want to keep your vision.
Eye health and independence
Low vision and other eye problems can cause serious problems for those that suffer from them. Letís look at some of the ways that elderly patients with low vision are impacted on a daily basis in a little more depth. This will help you to realize the importance of regular eye care as well as the problems that are faced by those with vision problems. It will also help you to learn how to help those with limited vision.
Difficulty seeing in low light
Many elderly people with limited vision have trouble seeing in low light situations. This can mean that they will have trouble getting around dimly lit restaurants, movie theaters and dark parking lots. One way to combat this is to create an environment that is well lit. It is also important to find areas that create glare and to lessen them since older eyes can also be negatively impacted by glare.
Difficulty seeing small print
As the eye ages and becomes damaged it can also become more difficult to distinguish small print and documents with low contrast. This can really impact daily life since it can make it nearly impossible to read books, magazines, letters and other items. This can make it difficult for people to pay their bills on their own or to evaluate food choices and nutrition levels. Many people struggle with being able to read information on medicine bottles which can make it hard to care for yourself.
Many people that suffer from vision loss or impairment have a hard time driving. Often this is progressive and starts with difficulty driving at night. This is due to the lack of the light and the eyes inability to see clearly in low light situations. Additionally many people with older eyes have a hard time dealing with glare which makes night driving even more difficult. This challenge is serious and when vision loss progresses to a certain stage it can be impossible for driving to continue. This is one reason why it is so important to protect your vision from an early age.
Loss of social circles and friends
Many of the difficulties associated with vision loss previously are commonly considered, but there are many other ways that a loss of vision can impact your life. It can also make it more difficult to get social interaction and to meet and do things with other people. Vision loss can make it impossible to drive which can lead to being dependent on others for rides. This can limit your ability to attend social functions. Vision trouble can also make unfamiliar environments uncomfortable and even dangerous and often compels people to stay at home rather than going out.
Additionally a loss of vision combined with hearing loss can make communication difficult. When it is impossible to hear a conversation and visual signs and cues are not available it becomes almost impossible to communicate.
Difficulty taking care of yourself
Losing your vision can also make it more difficult to take care of yourself. Simple tasks become difficult and sometimes even dangerous when vision is compromised. For example bathing and shower is more difficult with low vision levels because it can be hard to judge the depth of the bathtub. This can result in slips and falls. Loss of vision makes falling a larger possibility for those at any age, but this is especially dangerous for the elderly since they have brittle bones and are more likely to get hurt when they do fall.
As you can see vision loss can seriously impact your day to day life. Donít wait until you have a problem to get the proper care for your eyes. Instead make sure that you protect your eyes now so that you can prevent and treat vision problems before they become serious issues. While this may not always result in life long perfect vision it will help you to have the best vision possible for your situation.
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