Types of Low Vision

There are numerous types of vision acuity changes, each with its own signs and symptoms. Some are simply differences in severity, while others cause losses in different areas. If you are wondering about the types of low vision, here’s a look at the most common kinds.  

Central Vision Loss  

With central vision loss, a person usually has a blurry section or blind spot in the middle of their visual field. However, the vision issue doesn’t extend to their peripheral (side) vision.  

Often, a person with central vision loss has difficulties reading. They may struggle with recognizing faces, as well as identifying details at a distance.  

In most cases, central vision loss has a limited impact (if any) on mobility. The remaining peripheral vision gives the person enough to generally move about safely.  

Peripheral Vision Loss  

Essentially a counter to central vision loss, with peripheral vision loss, the blurriness or blind spots can be on one or both sides, above, below, or all around the central portion of the visual area. Usually, the person can see directly ahead, creating a form of tunnel vision.  

Reading, identifying people’s faces, and even seeing at a distance may be manageable with peripheral vision loss. However, mobility may be impacted if the peripheral vision loss is severe. Additionally, in serious cases, reading speed may be slowed, as only a couple of words may be visible at a given time.  

Blurred Vision  

With blurred vision, a person’s entire visual field is affected. Everything may appear to be out of focus, regardless of whether an object is close or far away. The issue also remains even with corrective lenses.  

However, the field of view isn’t necessarily cloudy. Colors can remain clean and crisp, even as the objects seem to be out of focus. For example, a healthy grass lawn may appear vibrantly green, but the blades of grass can’t be separately identified.  

Generalized Hazy Vision  

At times referred to as cloudy vision, generalized hazy vision also impacts the entire visual field. It’s not unlike trying to see through glare or a film, or as if a fog has come to rest permanently in front of the person’s eyes.  

Light Sensitivity  

In extreme cases, light sensitivity significantly alters a person’s vision. It occurs when normal lighting conditions seemingly overwhelm the person’s eyes, causing images to appear washed out. At times, light sensitivity can be accompanied by physical discomfort or pain even when the area’s lighting is considered a normal level.  

Night Blindness  

With night blindness, a person can’t see in dimly lit spaces, such as movie theatres or outside at night. Starlight and moonlight are usually insufficient. Even vehicle headlights may not provide enough illumination for them to drive safely.  

Ultimately, if you are struggling with low vision, scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor is essential. The ECVA team will work diligently to determine the cause of your low vision, ensuring proper steps can be taken to ensure your eyes’ health and preserve or restore your vision when possible. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

Do I Need Readers?

Over time, a person’s vision typically changes. Losing near vision is one such change, frequently impacting people as they reach their 40s and beyond. It’s a normal part of the aging process, leading to a condition called presbyopia.  

One normal response to this shift in visual acuity is to get reading glasses or readers. These types of corrective lenses can help you see items that you’re holding up close, such as the pages of a book you want to read.  

If you want to know if you need readers, here’s what you need to know.  

What Is Presbyopia?  

First, it’s important to understand a bit about what presbyopia is and what it isn’t. Presbyopia is a form of farsightedness caused by an eye’s loss of lens elasticity, something that generally happens naturally as a person ages, usually starting when a person is in their mid-40s.  

As the lens hardens, it struggles to focus properly, impacting visual acuity. Having trouble reading is usually one of the first signs of presbyopia, leading people to hold objects further away in an attempt to focus on the text.  

However, presbyopia is not the only form of farsightedness. Hyperopia – a form of farsightedness – also makes it harder to view items that are close to your eyes. But hyperopia is caused by irregularities in the eye’s shape, not a loss of elasticity.  

How to Tell If You Need Readers  

Figuring out whether your vision changes are related to presbyopia, hyperopia, or another eye condition usually requires a thorough eye exam. That way, they can determine which course of treatment is best.  

If it is presbyopia, glasses are usually the answer. For people who don’t have any issues with their distance vision, readers may be all you need. They allow you to increase your up-close visual acuity when you need it, such as when you’re reading. Then, you can take them off when you’re relying on your distance vision.  

In the early stages of presbyopia, readers with diopters of +1.25 to +1.50 are usually enough. However, as your vision continues to change, you may need stronger reading glasses, potentially up to +2.50 to +2.75 by the time you reach your late 50s or early 60s.  

However, if your distance vision also needs correction, then bifocals may be a better choice. A section near each lens base will have a different prescription, one dedicated to close tasks like reading. The upper portion of the lens will have your distance vision prescription, allowing you to cover both visual issues. When you need your near vision, you simply focus through the lower section of the lens. When you don’t, you use the mid to upper portion.  

As with readers, your bifocals may also need to be adjusted over time. That way, you can have the right strength, allowing you to see up close with greater ease.  

If you think you may have presbyopia or are experiencing any vision changes, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. At ECVA, our staff works diligently to care for patients’ health and will help determine the cause of your vision changes and identify the right course of treatment. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

We Are Growing Our Team To Meet Western New York’s Growing Vision And Eye Care Needs

Eye Care & Vision Associates, LLP (ECVA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. David Styn, O.D. A licensed optometrist, Styn will be responsible for providing primary eye care for patients, including eye health exams and vision correction.

This key hire provides ECVA with a tremendous opportunity to better serve the Western New York community. The demand for eye care services has been strong, and the addition of Dr. Styn enables ECVA to increase the delivery of eye care services and reduce patient wait time. As an optometrist, Dr. Styn will free ECVA’s Orchard Park and Williamsville ophthalmologists to focus more on acute care patients as needed.

Born and raised in Western New York, Styn received his undergraduate degree in biology from Canisius College and earned his O.D. from Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role, and has both received his therapeutic certification and been published in Review of Optometry. “I’m thrilled to join ECVA’s team and excited to do what I love most: improve patients’ vision,” said Styn. “This organization is much more than an eye care practice. They’re a team of medical, surgical and optical professionals who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality eye care, resulting in the best quality outcomes. I’m looking forward to pursuing my passion, working hand-in-hand with Western New York’s top eye care experts to help people see and live better.”

“We are excited to have Dr. Styn become a member of the ECVA team because of his strong reputation as a highly successful optometrist in the Western New York community,” said ECVA CEO Bradley Hall. “His addition bolsters the clinical strength of our already phenomenal team, while helping ECVA to fulfill our strategic plans of expanding both our footprint in the Western New York community, as well as the availability of primary care optometric services within our practice.

“With more than 20 years of successful experience as an optometrist, Dr. Styn has earned a strong reputation in the area for providing exceptional customer service and high quality care for his patients,” continued Hall. “We welcome Dr. Styn’s overall enthusiasm and passion for providing extraordinary optometric care.”

Offering patient eye care through state-of-the-art technology, experienced, board-certified ophthalmologists, surgeons and optometrists, and a dedicated and caring staff, Eye Care & Vision Associates is a recognized leader in cataract and lasik surgery, eye exams, diabetic eye care, glaucoma management and medical retina treatment.

Schedule Your Eye Care Appointment With Dr. Styn Today

Dr. Styn is currently seeing patients at our Williamsville and Orchard Park locations. Schedule your appointment online today, we would love to help you see more clearly!