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How to Spot Serious Symptoms to Avoid Vision Loss

By Sandy Schroeder

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to lose your vision? According to Wilmer Eye Institute researchers, most of us fear the loss of our eyesight more than loss of limbs, memory, speech or hearing.

Even though we fear the loss of vision, most of us do not know much about retaining it. Researchers say adults need to learn how to avoid the major eye diseases.

How to Keep Your Vision

To save your sight, eye specialists say a complete eye examination should be done annually by an ophthalmologist. Many serious eye diseases can be successfully treated if they are caught early.

Glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the four major causes of blindness. They are not painful, and most give few warning signals.

Harvard Health recommends calling your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. An exam will keep your vision effective, and spot serious conditions.

  • Pain in the eye
  • Dark spot in center, or other spots, in field of vision
  • Colored circles around lights
  • Eyes crossed
  • Color change in iris
  • Abrupt loss of eyesight
  • Double vision
  • Inability to focus on objects
  • Burning or itching with dry eyes
  • Cloudy, blurred, or hazy vision
  • Eyelid bump that grows
  • Eyelid will not close
  • No peripheral vision
  • Straight lines seem wavy
  • Redness around eye

Looking closer at the major eye diseases:

Glaucoma – If caught in time, glaucoma can be successfully treated. Left unchecked, growing pressure in the eye will damage the optic nerve. Doctors say 50 percent of the people who have glaucoma are unaware. Annual exams are critical.

Cataracts - The lens in the eye gradually clouds, making it hard to read, drive or recognize people. To slow or prevent cataracts, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, monitor blood sugar, wear sunglasses and don’t smoke. Surgery to replace clouded lenses with clear artificial lenses can restore vision.

Macular Degeneration – When retinal cells are lost, individuals have trouble reading, watching TV, or identifying faces. To prevent or slow the loss, eat leafy green vegetables, don’t smoke, and wear sunglasses. Supplements and treatments are available.

Diabetic retinopathy – More than half of the people with diabetes will have their vision damaged by this disease. To prevent it, maintain a normal glucose level, reduce high blood pressure, and don’t smoke.

Knowing what can happen, maintaining annual checkups, and taking preventive measures, will help you hang on to your eyesight.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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