February is Low Vision Awareness Month
February 1, 2016
February is Low Vision Awareness Month. “Low vision” refers to permanent visual impairments that are caused by conditions like Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Corneal Scarring, Diabetes, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Albinism, and other conditions that make everyday tasks difficult. A person with low vision may find it difficult or impossible to accomplish daily activities such as reading, writing, shopping, watching television, driving a car, or recognizing faces. The optometrists at Midwestern University want you to know that if you suffer from low vision issues, you are not alone.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in people over 50 years old in the U.S. ARMD is defined as the gradual destruction to the most photosensitive portion of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for clear, sharp, detailed vision. ARMD has many associated risk factors such as smoking and genetics, but increased age is the most common.
“Patients with ARMD will never go completely blind with ARMD,” says Vladimir Yevseyenkov, O.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor at Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Optometry and low vision specialist at the Midwestern University Eye Institute. “ARMD mainly affects central vision, but your peripheral vision remains largely intact. We can find an assistive and optical device to enhance your vision and quality of life.”
“For many people, when they go to a regular eye doctor with a condition like macular degeneration, they hear, ‘All is good, your condition has not progressed, continue to take your vitamins, and see you back in six months.’ What makes a low vision ocular exam different is that we focus on a patient’s functional ability, and we address specific goals to improve quality of life.”
You can find more information and treatment for Age Related Macular Degeneration and other low vision issues at the Midwestern University Clinics. Visit mwuclinics.com to find services in your area and to schedule an appointment.