Not only adults of different age groups suffer from an existing visual impairment. Even very young children and newborns can develop visual impairment.
What is visual impairment?
A visual impairment is considered to be a more or less intense impairment of vision or the ability to perceive visually. See ablogtophone for Acute Urinary Retention which stands for AUR.
Without treatment, a visual impairment usually lasts for life and is based on a wide variety of functional limitations in the eye and the nerves involved in vision. In this context, in the case of visual impairment, the visual impairments appear as blindness or as a partial loss of sight.
In the case of partial visual impairment, visual stimuli can still be absorbed, so that the quality of life of those affected is limited in these cases, but higher than that of a blind person. The chances of a cure for visual impairment depend on the specific causes and triggers.
There are various aspects to the causes that can lead to visual impairment. These relate to diseases of the eye, the brain or the nerves, which can have organic or functional impairments.
This contributes to people having “poor vision”. Typical causes of visual impairments are damage to the retina due to existing diabetes mellitus and permanently high sugar levels, a reduction in the macula, glaucoma or cataracts. A visual impairment can also be a consequence of a stroke, tumor growth or an injury to the skull including the brain.
The most common causes of visual impairment are clouding of the lens of the eye (cataract), damage to the optic nerve due to abnormal pressure inside the eye (glaucoma) or degenerative processes in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is also of prophylactic importance in visual impairment.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A visual impairment always manifests itself as a limitation of vision – either in general or in certain situations. In addition, the restriction can increase over time. The symptoms of visual impairment are relative. An existing visual impairment, such as myopia, can also lead to the occurrence of a further visual impairment. The symptoms always consist of a deterioration in the current vision.
For example, short -sightedness or far- sightedness can occur, which manifests itself primarily in the fact that the point of sharpest vision shifts. Thus, either close or distant objects can no longer be seen clearly. Both conditions usually get worse over time. Myopia often occurs in childhood.
Other forms of vision impairment include, for example, developing night blindness or problems with color vision. A distinction can be made between color blindness and complete color blindness. The most serious visual impairment is blindness, which can either be acute or develop as a result of illness.
Furthermore, any restrictions in the field of vision that occur are also considered to be visual impairments. This can lead to reduced field of vision, visual disturbances or stimulus processing problems. In all cases, the vision of those affected is limited by various disruptive factors.
Diagnosis & History
The course of the visual impairment is always determined by the causal triggers. Basically, those affected suffer less from pain, but rather from a decrease in vision (sharp vision) or from a limitation of the face or field of vision.
In some cases, visual impairment or blindness is congenital. If left untreated, visual impairment can lead to a deterioration in vision.
The diagnosis of the visual impairment includes the description of the impairments by the patient as well as special abnormalities. These are, for example, headaches, watery eyes, blurred vision and other peculiarities.
In addition, a screening examination, an assessment of the visual field, the measurement of the intraocular pressure, the so-called fundus and skiascopy serve as proven classic diagnostic and differential diagnostic procedures for visual impairment.
A visual impairment can of course exist in different degrees of severity, so that possible complications can be very different. If one assumes a complete visual impairment, the affected person is of course very limited in everyday life. If there is a complete visual impairment, then there are often considerable disorientation, a feeling of dizziness and prolonged nausea.
People who have had a visual impairment for only a short time must first learn how to deal with it. The simplest things suddenly become a major challenge, which can sometimes lead to psychological problems and stress. Of course, visual impairment can appear suddenly and unexpectedly.
People who suddenly suffer from a visual impairment are initially overwhelmed by the overall situation. In some cases, visual impairment is caused due to an infection in the eye, which of course also comes with various complications. Excessive pus production can occur, causing the eye to stick together and severely impairing vision.
If this condition is left untreated, further complications can occur. Increased pus production and long-lasting headaches are possible side effects, which can become progressively worse if left untreated.
When should you go to the doctor?
If you have a visual impairment, you should always consult a doctor. There is no self-healing and the symptoms usually worsen if no treatment is initiated. Correct diagnosis and treatment of the visual impairment is the only way to prevent further complications or, in the worst case, complete blindness. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned suffers from visual problems. These usually appear for no particular reason and do not go away on their own. This can be a visual impairment, blurred vision or squinting. A doctor should also be consulted in the event of color blindness, as this usually does not go away on its own.
If you have a visual impairment, you should consult an ophthalmologist. A visual impairment cannot always be treated, so that in some cases those affected are dependent on visual aids for life.
Treatment & Therapy
The selection of the right therapeutic method is determined by various factors that have to be considered in the case of visual impairment.
Within the entire range of therapies for the visual impairment, there are optimal conditions for initially finding suitable aids. These are the glasses or contact lenses to reduce a visual impairment. In the case of glaucoma or cataracts, surgical interventions against visual impairment are predominantly considered. Laser therapy is useful for so-called retinopathies in premature babies. In the case of visual impairment, detected tumors are treated with radiation or chemotherapy.
An increase in vision in the case of visual impairment can be achieved on the basis of what is known as occlusion therapy. In addition, visual impairment can also be treated to a certain extent by correcting astigmatism.
Corneal implants and retinal lasers have also become common nowadays as therapy for visual impairment. Severe visual impairments can usually no longer be treated adequately because the deterioration of the eyesight has already progressed too far.
Prevention of acquired visual impairment is based on regular eye examinations. Diabetics should ensure that their blood sugar levels are controlled by a professional to prevent visual impairment and have their eyes checked regularly.
Mechanisms that can be integrated into everyday life are also important in order to protect the eyes and avoid visual impairment. Workplaces with anti-reflective screens, light that is optimal for the eyes, wearing sunglasses and safety glasses, the right distance when reading and reducing stressors in everyday life are helpful in order not to have to suffer from a visual impairment.
In principle, however, not all visual impairments can be prevented. For example, some visual impairments are triggered by advancing age.
In many cases, the aftercare measures for a visual impairment are severely limited, and in some cases they are not even available to the person concerned. Ideally, the person affected should see a doctor as soon as the first signs and symptoms of these diseases appear, so that other symptoms or complications do not arise.
As a rule, self-healing cannot occur in the case of a visual impairment. Some of the symptoms can be alleviated and treated relatively well with visual aids. However, the person concerned should ensure that they always wear and use these visual aids regularly, as the visual acuity can otherwise decrease again.
However, the further course of the visual impairment depends very much on the exact type and severity, so that a general course cannot be predicted. In serious cases, those affected sometimes depend on the help and care of relatives and friends. This can make everyday life much easier for those affected. As a rule, a visual impairment does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected, although a general prediction cannot be made here.
You can do that yourself
The visual impairment is of course primarily treated by the treating ophthalmologist and the optician. Nevertheless, self-help is also very important in everyday life, especially when the visual impairment is severe. Self-help groups, doctors and opticians are valuable contact points to get tips for self-help. The exchange of like-minded people with the same problems is of essential importance. Self-help groups are often superior to medical institutions because of the regularity of visits and the information they provide.
Visual disturbances can be compensated for with a magnifying glass, especially with small print if necessary. The magnifying glass at home can always be at hand. Magnifying glasses are often attached to the shopping trolleys in supermarkets and enable the prices and information on a pack to be read.
On the computer, the font can be made larger in no time at all, so that reading small letters does not have to be expected of the visually impaired. For children and young people whose poor eyesight has only just been discovered, ophthalmologists offer vision schools that can bring good results. It is also important to treat your eyes to rest and breaks from time to time. Constant work on the screen has to be interrupted from time to time and even when driving a car, you need a break to give tired eyes some rest.