Spotlight on AMD and Low Vision
February is AMD and low vision month, which means now is the time to learn more about these issues. Keep reading to find out what AMD and low vision can do to your eyes and when you should see an eye doctor in Chicago about the problem:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) impacts more than 15 million adults over 50 and is the top cause of vision loss. This condition develops gradually so a lot of people are not aware they have it until it causes significant vision loss. It usually affects the sharp central vision, which is what people use to see when they read, drive, look at other people, watch television, or do other daily tasks.
Low vision causes loss of eyesight that makes it difficult to complete tasks like reading or writing. Low vision can often be corrected with eyeglasses, medicine, or surgery. If the problem persists, though, a person might have to learn how to find new ways to complete certain activities.
Risk Factors for AMD
Although no one knows the exact cause of AMD, there are certain risk factors that could increase someone’s chances of suffering from this condition. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity all contribute to a person’s risk factor for AMD. Smoking, age, family history, gender, and race could all also increase a person’s risk for AMD.
Symptoms of AMD
People with AMD might notice blurriness, wavy lines, or blind spots in their vision. They might also notice straight lines or faces that look wavy. The condition might also cause doorways to appear crooked or objects to look farther away. If you have any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with a specialist to get checked out. You can also get better lighting in your home and office and try to use high contrast when reading or writing. You might also want to use a handheld magnifying glass to help you see small print.
Diabetes and Your Vision
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working Americans. About 90 percent of severe vision loss from diabetes could be avoided, though.
There are currently about 24 million people with diabetes, many of whom will eventually be affected by vision issues that are a result of the disease. A lot of patients do not even realize that it is affecting their eyes until they experience significant vision loss.
Check out this video to learn more about diabetes and vision troubles. If you have diabetes, you should see an ophthalmologist in Chicago at least once a year to ensure that the disease is not affecting your ability to see.
Get the Facts About Cataracts
Cataracts are common eye issues that tend to affect people as they age. Use this guide to learn more about cataracts and the problems they cause so you know when it is time to see an eye doctor in Chicago to help correct your vision issues:
A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye gets cloudy. Most of the time, cataracts develop in older people, but they can happen to anyone of any age. By the age of 80, more than 50 percent of Americans have cataracts or have had custom cataract surgery to correct cataracts. Although this condition can happen in one or both eyes, it cannot spread from one eye to the other eye.
The Causes of Cataracts
The lens of the eye is comprised of mostly water and protein. In a healthy eye, the protein allows the light to travel clearly through it and to the retina. As the body ages, the protein might group together and create a cloud.
The Cataract and the Lens
Cataracts are a big deal because they make the lens cloudy . The lens is the part of the eye that focuses light on the retina, which allows you to see. If the lens is cloudy, the light cannot travel to the retina as well and it can severely hinder one’s ability to see. If you have blurry vision, you should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor in Chicago to see if you have cataracts.
The Kinds of Cataracts
In addition to a regular aging cataract, there are a few other kinds that could affect someone’s vision. A secondary cataract can develop after another kind of eye surgery. They can also be a side effect of health issues like diabetes or from steroid use. Traumatic cataracts might occur after an eye injury. Congenital cataracts can occur in babies or in young children. If your child has congenital cataracts, the eye doctor might need to completely remove the lens. Radiation cataracts might develop after exposure to radiation.