Visual impairment, also known as vision loss, is a decreased ability to see the degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses. Some also include those who have a decreased ability to see because they do not have access to glasses or contact lenses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80% of visual impairment is either preventable or curable with treatment. However, vision impairment includes cataracts, infections, river blindness and trachoma, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, uncorrected refractive errors, and some cases of childhood blindness. Many people with significant visual impairment benefit from vision rehabilitation, changes in their environment, and assistive devices.
The most common causes of visual impairment globally in 2010 were:
- Refractive error(By 42%)
- Cataract(By 33%)
- Glaucoma(By 2%)
- Age-related macular degeneration(By 1%)
- Corneal opacification(By 1%)
- Diabetic retinopathy(By 1%)
- Childhood blindness
- Trachoma(By 1%)
- Undetermined (By 18%)
There’s the classic “family nose,” the disarming blue eyes, or the shock of thick, curly hair at birth in the wonderful world of genetics. True, some things run in the families. What about vision problems? Vision Impairment has a strong genetic component, especially if a parent is very nearsighted or farsighted. However, if both parents are nearsighted or farsighted, there’s a good chance their child will be the same. Moreover, vision impairment has been hereditary. Therefore, a 50-50 % chance and while we can’t fight our genes, taking care of our eyes is our responsibility.
Good eye health is something that many of us take for granted, and we likely won’t know the true value of our vision until it begins to deteriorate. It’s also important to know about the history of eye diseases in your family. However, knowing your family history related to vision impairment will help you understand your individual risk of developing such conditions. Ensure that your lifestyle and diet are not damaging your eyesight. You should also have regular eye tests every two years to ensure that any potentially dangerous eye conditions are picked up quickly.