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10 Important Facts For February’s Low Vision Awareness Month

February 28, 2013

Carry these low vision facts with you into the rest of 2013.

While February is the shortest month of the year, it is still startling to see how quickly this month can fly by. It seems like just yesterday that we were just starting to pack away our New Year’s supplies and plan out our Valentine’s Day gifts, and now it’s nearly time for Spring!

However, now that we have officially come to the last week of February and it is time to start looking towards the month ahead, it is important to bring the important messages of the month with you into the rest of the year―particularly the important messages that we have shared throughout February’s Low Vision Awareness Month.

An ever-increasing amount of people are at risk of developing a visual impairment as populations grow and demographic shifts move towards the predominance of older age groups. People who suffer from low vision may not only have difficulty seeing in their day to day life, but this vision problem can also lead to a variety of other vision difficulties, such as blind spots, tunnel vision, loss of contrast and even blindness.

Therefore, in order to remain vigilant against the threat of low vision as we move away from the month of February, we ask everyone to read over these ten facts about low vision and contact your ophthalmologist if you feel you may suffer from this visual impairment.

  1. Eye care professionals use the term “low vision” to describe significant visual impairment that cannot be corrected with standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine or eye surgery.
  2. In 2002, more than 161 million people globally were found to be visually impaired. Of these 161 million, 124 million people had low vision and 27 million people were blind.
  3. Sometimes low vision involves a lack of acuity, meaning that objects appear blurred. Other times, it involves a significant loss of peripheral vision and visual field.
  4. Anyone with reduced vision not corrected by spectacles or contact lenses can be considered to be visually impaired. The World Health Organization uses specific classifications to determine different levels of visual impairment.
  5. Visual impairment is unequally distributed across age groups. More than 82% of all people who are blind are 50 years of age and older, although they represent only 19% of the world’s population.
  6. The leading cause of vision loss and blindness among the elderly is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and the effects of this could lead to Low Vision.
  7. Low vision is diagnosed in several different ways. OCLI offers it’s East Hanover low-vision patients services, by Dr Nicholas Xanthos, such as comprehensive eye examinations, prescriptions and dispensing of low-vision optical devices, which can help ease life for those suffering from low vision.
  8. The vast majority of patients with low vision can be helped to function at a higher level with the use of low vision devices.
  9. Low vision services and procedures do not cure the vision problem once and for all. Instead, they utilize a person’s remaining vision to its highest potential.
  10. OCLI can provide you with a comprehensive vision screening test that can check for both age-related macular degeneration and low vision. Detecting these vision problems early on can lead to a much more comfortable life with low vision. Therefore, contact OCLI to get on the path to better vision health.

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