Blindness
03 Feb

What Causes Vision Loss?


Vision loss or impairment can be caused by a number of injuries, illnesses, and more. Some cases happen gradually while others occur suddenly. In some situations, vision loss can be easily corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. But for most, vision loss is a frustrating experience for many as it dramatically changes their way of life.

Age may also play a part in vision loss, usually changes become apparent after 40 years of age.

Here are some common causes of vision loss.

Macular Degeneration

Changes to the macula, the part of the eye that provides clear and sharp vision, can mean vision loss. Macular degeneration specifically is a disorder that occurs in the retina, the area where images are focused. This results in blurry vision or even a blind spot. As the leading reason for blindness in people over the age of 50, macular degeneration has no obvious cause. It should be noted that cigarette smoking and poor nutrition have been found to correlate with macular degeneration.

Non-Exudative Macular Degeneration

A slowly progressing vision loss is commonly known as the “dry” form of this disorder. It is slow and age-related.

Exudative Macular Degeneration

A more rapid and severe version of macular degeneration, this specific disorder is considered “wet,” and occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula, leaking fluid and blood.

Glaucoma

Causing damage to the optic nerve within the eye, high pressure is built up inside the eye with fluid. Usually, this buildup of fluid is caused by problems with the drainage of fluid from the eye, but it can also be caused by not receiving enough blood flow to the optic nerve. Without any early symptoms of the problem, it can be hard to catch. The first signs tend to be trouble in peripheral and night vision. Early diagnosis may minimize vision loss through drugs or surgery.

Cataracts

A clouding of the eye lens interferes with the ability of light to reach the retina, distorting the eye’s ability to detect objects correctly. Cataracts occur for a variety of reasons such as aging, injury, long-term sun exposure, disease, and other inherited disorders. For individuals with healthy eyes, one potential solution is surgery to remove a cataract, where an intraocular lens implant restores the vision. However, for unhealthy eyes, low-vision rehabilitation may be the only option to maximize remaining vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Individuals with diabetes are likely to experience diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the eyes. Over time, the blood vessels within the eye may develop tiny and abnormal leaks. Naturally, this interferes with the retina’s ability to function properly. Laser procedures or other surgical treatments can reduce vision loss.

Vision loss can occur for many other reasons as well, including Retinitis Pigmentosa, Amblyopia, Retinopathy of Prematurity, Retinal Detachment, or Acquired Brain Injury. Getting a diagnosis for vision loss can be difficult since it’s not always obvious that it’s happening. Gradual vision loss makes it difficult to recognize.

Depending on the reason behind your vision loss, there may be available treatments for your vision. In some cases, vision loss can be treated by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and more. A team of doctors can offer a wide range of solutions for reducing vision loss.

However, when vision loss becomes a part of life, you are not alone. The American Foundation for the Blind provides many resources, and the world is choosing to prioritize accessibility more and more.

At StrongGo, we believe in creating an accessible world, and we do that with our TekWay detectable warning dome tiles. Speak with a consultant today to discover your ADA compliant options by emailing csd@stronggo.com.

Sources:
https://familydoctor.org/condition/vision-loss/
https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/temporary-blindness-short-term-vision-loss#1
https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/low-vision/what-causes-low-vision