More than 2 million people in the UK are suffering from some form of vision loss. However, there are various methods of preventing and treating vision loss in the modern era. Vision is your primary source of information and stimuli — and losing it can be devastating to your quality of life.
Accidents, ageing, and diseases are primary factors in vision loss. In the workplace, certain companies require their employees to wear protective glasses if their work involves any risks of damaging their eyes. At home, you should take necessary precautions when performing carpentry work, especially when sanding, sawing, or spray painting.
Certain activities can require eye protection in varying degrees. Airsoft, paintball, skiing, and riding a motorbike will require some form of eye protection, but it is optional in basketball, football, tennis, etc. Your lifestyle choices are also a significant factor in preventing vision loss. Studies have shown that smoking can lead to early-onset macular degeneration and excessive weight can lead to vision loss caused by complications from diabetes.
A healthy diet can reduce your chances of developing macular degeneration early, but high-fat foods (mainly processed food) can increase your risk. Stick to healthy diets that include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Portioning is also essential so that you can control your weight and avoid diabetes.
One in three UK residents over the age of 65 will have vision problems due to cataracts. While cataracts are almost unavoidable (being part of the ageing process), they can be treated with surgery. Cataracts can cause the lens of your eyes to become muddled or cloudy. During the operation, the damaged lenses of the eyes are removed and replaced with an artificial lens.
Vision loss caused by refraction errors can be treated with corrective glasses or by LASIK surgery. LASIK treatments are non-invasive (minimally invasive) with optimal success rates. It is a more permanent solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Over 95 percent of patients reported having 20/20 vision after the treatment.
Specific forms of vision loss are unavoidable and untreatable. Macular degeneration can only be prevented, and certain types of glaucoma, myopic degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are incurable in the later stages. Smart glasses or similar eyewear can improve vision by significant degrees, even for people considered legally blind.
You can also adjust to milder forms of permanent vision loss by making changes in your environment. An example is changing the colors of your house with a two-tone contrast making it easier to detect nearby objects. Other ways are switching to devices and appliances from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and using screen display software or readers for your computer.
Lighting is essential in perceiving contrast, so make sure your house is well-lighted with bright LED or fluorescent lights. You might need to use a walking stick or cane when walking. Vision loss affects not only your perception of the world but also your balance.
Vision loss can be prevented and treated, and even the most extreme cases can be managed to some extent. Take care of your eyes, and don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you encounter the slightest problem with your vision.