( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Low Vision Awareness Month Seeks to Educate Others on Vision Impairment and Provide Access to Resources
ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps
February is Low Vision Awareness Month. This annual campaign focuses on sharing information on low vision, its risks, and ways to receive treatment. The National Eye Institute (NIH) states that over 4.2 million Americans over 40 are visually handicapped. Of these, 3 million have low vision, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. While this condition is more common in older people, it can affect people of all ages. It’s important for us to consider our eye health to prevent issues later in life. Our eyes may be great now, but implementing good habits early can prevent the likelihood of low vision.
NIH defines low vision as “a vision problem that makes it hard to do everyday activities.” Some of the common types of low vision include night blindness, blurry or hazy vision, and central vision loss. While losing your sight comes with age, other elements can affect eye health. This includes diabetes, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and injuries. Low vision is usually permanent. Those who have it often rely heavily on eyeglasses, medicine, and/or visual aids to assist with their sight. Sometimes, it can be curable for diabetic, macular degeneration, and glaucoma patients.
Many of us stare at our phones/computers for extended periods of time (especially since the pandemic). Besides this, we rarely consider how daily habits affect eye health. Just like our bodies, the eyes need rest and care regularly. For Low Vision Awareness Month, devote time to learning about eye health. If you have eye problems, don’t procrastinate about doctor visits. Make sure you’re eating healthy, taking breaks from electronics, and protecting your eyes from the sun. Also, encourage friends and family to do the same. “Eye” believe good habits should be implemented all year-’round to avoid vision issues.
To learn how to prevent vision loss, click here.
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