Did you know that over seven million Americans suffer from vision loss? Vision is one of the most important senses. Almost half of your brain is involved in vision-related activities.
Impaired vision may include cloudy vision, blind spots, inability to see completely, and double vision. While it is a physical problem, it could also have mental effects. Impaired vision is associated with fear, anxiety, social isolation, and loneliness. The true impact of impaired vision can be felt in all aspects of life.
Reduced Quality of Life
Impaired vision can affect your quality of life. The symptoms, inconveniences, reduced emotional well-being, and strained social relationships will affect your life.
Impaired vision can make it difficult to go about your daily-life activities. It limits your ability to drive, read, or walk. It could reduce your chances of securing employment and engaging in social activities.
Mental Health Issues
Impaired vision can increase your risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. It could trigger anhedonia-a lowered ability to experience pleasure. Impaired vision forces you to withdraw from many pleasurable activities that could have improved the quality of your life.
The relationship between impaired vision and mental health issues is bidirectional. Depression and anxiety force you to withdraw from social activities. On the same note, lack of social contact worsens mental health problems.
Impaired vision may trigger feelings of sadness, fear, and loneliness. The feelings are worse when there is a fear of disease progression. Even though Medicare’s coverage for eye exams may help cover the cost of treatment, the rates are generally high.
The Symptoms of Vision Loss
The signs of vision loss vary from one person to another. Usually, impaired vision is accompanied by the symptoms of underlying disorders or conditions. The symptoms of vision loss include:
- Droopy eyelids
- Discharge from your eyes
- Crooked eyes
- Dilated pupils or pupils that are unresponsive to light
- White pupils
- Itchy eyes
- Over sensitivity to light
- Eye pain
- Bloodshot eyes
Sometimes, the symptoms of impaired vision aren’t directly linked to your eyes. They may affect other body systems. Such symptoms include:
- Frequent headaches
- Abnormal gait
- Impaired speech
- Frequent urination
- Feeling thirsty
- Tingling sensation
- Reduced coordination
- Nausea which may be accompanied with vomiting
- General body weakness
- Sudden weight loss
When Impaired Vision Indicates a Life-Threatening Condition
Sometimes, vision loss indicates a life-threatening condition. You may need to get an emergency evaluation as soon as possible. Get emergency help if you have the following symptoms:
- Non-reactivity to light
- Abnormal pupil size
- An altered level of alertness or consciousness. This could include unresponsiveness or passing out.
- Inability to speak or slurred speech
- Delirium, confusion, lethargy, delusions, hallucinations, and other changes in mental status or behavior
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Fever of over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weakness or numbness on one side
- Extreme headache or eye pain
The Possible Complications of Impaired Vision
Vision loss may result from serious illnesses. You may sustain long-term or permanent complications if you don’t seek treatment. Upon diagnosis of the underlying condition, you need to follow the treatment plan recommended by a medical professional. The potential complications of impaired vision include:
- Brain damage
- Severe effects of treatment
- Chronic ocular pain and discomfort
- Spread of infection or cancer
What are the Causes of Vision Loss?
Vision loss can result from various medications and health conditions. They may affect your brain or other body parts. Here are a few of the leading causes of vision loss.
- High blood pressure
- Errors of metabolism
- Inflammation of the blood vessels
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain tumor or head injury
In conclusion, impaired vision can take a toll on you. While the problem is primarily physical, it can also have severe mental implications. It reduces your quality of life and increases the risk of mental health issues. Impaired vision is sometimes a symptom of underlying medical conditions.
Without medical intervention, it can be life-threatening. Common causes of vision loss include diabetes, malnutrition, and high blood pressure. Getting treatment on time could help preserve your vision.