August is National Eye Exam Month

The sense of sight plays an integral role in how we interpret and interact with the world around us. Millions of Americans have vision impairment, and a significant number of them suffer from vision impairments that cannot be corrected. Many cases of uncorrectable vision impairment could have been prevented by early diagnosis and treatment. This is why it is important to take care of your eyes by visiting a certified optometrist at the first signs of any abnormalities in vision.

Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders

  • Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.
  • As of 2012, 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older suffer from uncorrectable vision impairment, out of which 1.02 million who are blind; this number is predicted to more than double by 2050 to 8.96 million due to the increasing epidemics of diabetes and other chronic diseases and our rapidly aging U.S. population.
  • An estimated 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
  • The annual economic impact of major vision problems among the adult population 40 years and older is more than $145 billion.
  • Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older and one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children.
  • Early detection and timely treatment of eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy has been found to be efficacious and cost effective.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Common Eye Disorders

There are a variety of eye disorders that can lead to vision impairment. Each of them may affect your sight differently, and many of them are preventable and/or curable.

Refractive Errors

The most common form of eye disorders, refractive errors are caused by irregularities in the shape of your eyes that prevent light from properly focusing on the retina.

Types of Refractive Errors

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia
Eyeglasses being tried on

Cataracts

Cataracts form when some of the proteins in your eye break down and combine, causing partially clouded vision. These formations are usually a normal physiological process that occurs later in life, and most cataracts can be removed by cataract surgery which is both simple and safe.

Amblyopia

Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia occurs when your brain cannot properly interact with one of your eyes, causing poor vision in that eye alone. Amblyopia is the most common eye disorder in children and can often be corrected by exercising the weaker eye by wearing a patch for a time deemed necessary by a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases which may cause vision loss, and in severe cases it can lead to blindness. This eye disorder has little to no initial symptoms, so it can be extremely hard to detect without a comprehensive examination.

Nursing home resident with glasses being cared for by nurse

Caring for Your Eyes

As we previously mentioned, regularly having your eyes examined by an optometrist can be a crucial factor in preventing and treating vision impairment. This is why San Simeon by the Sound medical services team includes certified optometrists who are often onsite. If the optometrist discovers any abnormalities that require further treatment, we then work with the doctor, the resident, and his or her family to schedule an appointment with a trusted ophthalmologist. Contact us today to learn more about all of the medical services and other amenities available to our residents.

 
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