Our vision is so important. It helps with orientation, recognition of people and things, understanding our surroundings, keeping us safe, and so much more.
When you look at something, does everyone else see it exactly the same way?
The eye is a complex organ. It is worth protection. Following are just a few common disorders that can alter vision. Included is a brief description of how this condition can alter vision.
Color blindness – In our eyes there are rods and cones that are responsible for our vision. The cones control color vision. They are primarily red, green, and blue. Some people, 5-8% of men and up to 1% of women, inherit genes that impair their ability to see colors. The most common variety is red-green color blindness or decreased perception. People with this condition don’t see the bright versions of these colors, and in some instances can’t differentiate the colors at all. Other variations are blue-green color blindness and difficulty with all colors.
Glaucoma – This is caused by fluid build-up in the eye leading to pressure that damages vision. The added pressure can decrease vision to the point of blindness, especially if not treated. Over 2 million people in the US have open-angle glaucoma, the more common type. The incidence goes up after middle age. You often don’t notice any change until ther
e is significant vision loss. Loss of vision around the edges usually occurs first. Testing for this is one of the key reasons for a thorough vision exam regularly.
Cataract – Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. It is a clouding of the lens of the eye making your vision look cloudy. It is treatable with an outpatient surgery, in most cases. Medicare pays for most of the surgery and follow up resources such as eyeglasses and lenses. Again, a regular vision screen can identify cataracts early and determine when the time is right for correction.
Macular degeneration –h sunglasses on these bright summer days. If you are a tech junky, give y
our eye This condition is age-related and the leading case of vision decline in people over age 65. With macular degeneration, it is difficult to focus clearly on things in the central vision. This makes reading and face recognition difficult. There are few treatments for this, and the damage is permanent.
Diabetic retinopathy – This is a complication of diabetes and can be controlled and prevented with good blood sugar and blood pressure control. It is the leading cause of blindness in working adults in the US. As blood vessels in the retina of the eye are damaged, there is an appearance of dark spots in the vision.
To keep your eyes healthy, get regular (frequency guided by your eye doctor) dilated eye exams to catch problems early. Wear protective glasses when mowing, weed eating, or other activities that could
cause anything to fly into your eye. Protect them wit a rest to reduce strain. For each 20 minutes at the computer, look away about 20 feet for at least 20 seconds.
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