Vision loss treatment
Vision loss is the inability to see well. Usually, visual impairment grows gradually, but some conditions might cause rapid and irreversible vision disturbances. Treatment options include eye correction with glasses or lenses, eye drugs and surgery. Advanced therapies involve eye structure transplantation, stem cells, and others.
Vision loss is a visual disturbance that results in partial or total blindness. Some conditions of eyesight loss are temporary, while others are irreversible.
According to the WHO, approximately 2.2 billion people are visually impaired worldwide. A visual acuity decrease at the age of 45-55 years is observed in 50% of people, at the age of 55-75 years in 74%. Eye issues in people over 75 years old are observed in 98% of cases. Among kids, the incidence of visual impairment occurs on average at 32%.
Vision loss is divided into such types:
- Loss of peripheral vision is the inability to see objects from the side or above, below the central picture. It is often also referred to as tunnel vision.
- Loss of central vision is characterized by the appearance of dark or blurry spots in the visual field.
In ophthalmology, doctors divide blindsight into many types:
- Complete (total) blindness occurs when the patient sees absolutely nothing, not even light.
- Partial blindness is characterized by minimal vision. It may be a sudden loss or loss of vision in one eye.
- Night blindness (nyctalopia) is the inability to adapt to darkness (at night or in poor light).
- Day blindness (hemeralopia) is the inability to see clearly during the day or in good light.
Colour vision deficiency, also called colour blindness, is the inability to distinguish certain shades of colour. For example, most people have difficulty distinguishing between red and green colours. Another form, blue-yellow colour blindness, is also known to be rarer and more severe. In total colour deficiency (so-called achromatopsia), people can only see things in black and white or grayscale.
What are the main causes of vision loss?
Sudden visual loss occurs quickly and lasts from a few seconds or minutes to several days. Possible causes are transient ischemic attack (TIA, a short period of circulatory disorders), trauma, stroke, migraine, retinal detachment, black eye, and others.
Gradual loss of eyesight causes are often associated with ageing, and in other circumstances, it may be related to different conditions and diseases:
- Retinal detachment;
- Eye strain and dry eyes;
- Cataract (clouding of the lens);
- Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea);
- Trauma and tumours of the eyes and head;
- Retinitis pigmentosa (retinal degeneration);
- Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eye);
- Age-related macular degeneration (death of visual cells);
- Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the eye vessels due to diabetes);
- Occlusion of the vessels of the eye (abrupt interruption of blood flow);
- Glaucoma (increased eye pressure, damage to the optic nerve and retina);
- Amblyopia (lazy eye) is a loss of sight in one or both eyes. The condition is not correctable with glasses or lenses but is reversible.
With colour blindness, a person is either born with a lack of perception of shades or becomes colour blind during life. In the first case, the disease is genetic and is inherited from one of the parents. Acquired colour blindness (affecting one or both eyes) may result from an eye injury or stroke.
What are the symptoms?
Vision issues overtake you when you read a book, surf the Web or walk.
Symptoms of visual impairment vary:
- Red eyes;
- Double image;
- Light sensitivity;
- Glare or visible halos;
- Loss of central vision;
- Blurry or blurry vision;
- Complete loss of vision;
- Sight problems in dim light;
- Loss of sight on the right or left;
- The veil before the eyes, blurred vision;
- Violation of adaptation to bright light;
- Sparks, spots, stars before my eyes;
- Loss of peripheral eyesight, i.e. tunnel vision;
- Violation of the perception of colours and shades.
Other signs may appear depending on the cause of the vision loss: zigzag lines, severe headache, and eye pain.
How is vision loss diagnosed?
The diagnostic approach to vision disorder includes a complete eye examination. For example, if vision quickly returns on its own, it could be sudden eyesight loss due to a TIA or an ocular migraine. History taking and ophthalmoscopy (examination of the eyes under a microscope) give the doctor enough information to diagnose the cause of vision loss. But sometimes, there is a need for additional tests and examinations:
- An ultrasound of the eyes is done when the doctor does not see the retina during ophthalmoscopy.
- MRI or CT of the orbit or brain with contrast. The physician prescribes this method if there is pain in the eyes, severe headache and other signs.
- An adapter study tests how the eyes adapt to the dark. With the help of a so-called nyctometry, the doctor evaluates the adaptation to daylight and the sensitivity to bright light.
An electroretinogram evaluates the retina and the functions of the visual cells (rods and cones).
How do doctors treat vision loss?
Treatment for vision loss always depends solely on its cause. Early therapy for eye impairment is essential to stop further damage and prevent recurring.
The main treatment methods are conservative (drug) therapy and surgery. In the first case, ophthalmologists try to remove the disease that led to the loss of eyesight with the help of drops, ointments and tablets, as well as lenses and glasses. Drugs that reduce pain and inflammation can be antibiotics, vitamins, or hormones. Next, the doctor recommends modern devices to train your eyes, improving blood circulation.
In the case of cataracts, surgeons remove and replace the lens. Glaucoma is treated with laser therapy. Conditions of the cornea (keratoconus, dystrophy, scars) are corrected with keratoplasty (corneal transplantation).
In the case of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration of the retina and other retinal damage, a new generation of drugs - anti-VEGF agents are injected into the eye. In 9 out of 10 patients, vision stabilizes. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) synthesizes new blood vessels. Another non-surgical option is stem cells, which fill in damaged eye cells and restores their function.
Doctors administer blood thinners if the cause of vision loss is neurological (stroke, head injury). In addition, psychotherapy and physiotherapy help blindsight patients adapt to life (learning Braille, using a cane or acquiring a guide dog).
What can patients with vision loss expect?
If you take the necessary therapeutic measures, the prognosis for vision is good. However, the loss of sight does not recover independently and progresses without treatment. The quality of life and ability to work deteriorate with vision problems.
What are the leading causes of blindness?
Why do patients with impaired vision search for clinics abroad?
Clinics abroad have the latest technologies for producing high-quality glasses and lenses. In addition, ophthalmologists of specialized eye centres use leading laser and surgical techniques to improve vision.
Can I restore my vision after blindness?
Yes. Depending on the causing condition, ophthalmologists involve various methods and techniques to restore vision. For example, in many diseases, intraocular lens transplantation is performed. In other cases, Fedorov restoration therapy is effective. Finally, anti-VEGF drugs are administered to improve eyesight.
How to find an eye clinic for vision loss treatment?
You do not need to look for hospitals to treat vision loss; AiroMedical has already found advanced eye clinics. We selected centres based on the high level of medical care, the availability of quality certificates, and the presence of leading ophthalmologists. All the selected clinics are known for the latest treatment options according to international protocols, fast diagnostics, and an adequate ratio of price and quality of services.
What is the treatment for vision loss?
Treatment for vision loss varies and depends on the underlying cause. The most widely used and effective method for uncomplicated cases is wearing glasses or lenses or laser eye surgery. However, in complex vision problems, ophthalmologists perform surgical operations and replace eye parts (cornea, lens, conjunctiva, sclera).
Where can I get Vision loss treatment?
What are the best clinics for Vision loss treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Vision loss?
Prof. Dr. med. Mathias Maier from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Dr. med. Detlef Deiermann from Academic Hospital Bundeswehr Berlin
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Kohnen from University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University
Prof. Dr. med. Siegfried Priglinger from University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians Munich
PD. Dr. med. Ira Seibel from Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch