Though many imperfections of our vision can be corrected in one way or another, sometimes the corrections are still not enough to produce clear vision.  Wearing glasses, for example, might make your vision better, but it if it is not possible to make it clear even with glasses, then you have a visual impairment.  There are a range of visual impairments people might encounter.

Understanding Different Visual Impairments

Most people have an understanding that having 20/20 vision means your vision is normal.  What it actually means is that you are able to see an object clearly at 20 feet away, just like any other person with normal vision.  It is a comparison in visual skills with the average person.  When it comes to being visually impaired, some people are considered to have low vision or actually be legally blind.

Low Vision –

To better understand the parameters of low vision, someone who sees 20/70 while wearing corrective lenses would be considered having low vision.  This means that they can see clearly at 20 feet away from an object what the average person can see clearly at 70 feet away from that same object and that is the best their vision can be corrected.

Legally Blind –

Legally blind can be defined as someone who is seeing as low as 20/200 with corrective lenses, meaning they are seeing clearly at 20 feet what the average person is seeing clearly at 200 feet away.

Blindness –

Blindness does not always mean that vision is completely lacking.  Sometimes a person who is considered blind can actually see enough to tell the difference between light and darkness.

Causes of Visual Impairment

A visual impairment can be something with which you are born or that is genetically handed down to you.  It can also develop over time, or even be caused suddenly from an illness or injury. Age is a risk factor for many visual impairments that are developed over time.  Macular Degeneration, for example, has higher risks of developing as you get older and impedes your central vision.  Overall health and wellness is also a risk factor for developing a visual impairment.  Glaucoma, for example, is often related to diabetes which can sometimes be managed by healthy eating and exercise.  Glaucoma typically interferes with your peripheral vision as it begins to develop into a visually devastating disorder.

Staying Healthy

We want our patients to live the best lives they can live, and that is why we want you to stay healthy.  There are steps you can take to lower your chances of becoming visually impaired.  Eat healthy.  Fruits, vegetables, and good fats, like Salmon, have vitamins and minerals in them that help to strengthen and protect your vision.  Get exercise and good sleep.  Maintaining consistent exercise and quality sleep allow your eyes important circulation and the rest they need.  Wear protective gear.  If you are in a situation where your eyes are at risk for injury, whether it be while playing a sport, mowing your lawn, or at the workplace, please wear the appropriate protective gear for your eyes.  Last but not least … get your annual eye exam! Let our doctors check your eyes every year and watch for changes and potential problems as you age.  We care about you!  To schedule an appointment, call us at 435.359.2020 or CLICK HERE to schedule online.

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