What Is It Like to Live with Vision Loss from Glaucoma?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Glaucoma in Wyomissing

Human beings can adapt to many challenges in life, but losing their eyesight can cause feelings of grief and anxiety. People living with vision loss from glaucoma or other eye disease must make accommodations in their everyday life to move around safely, work, and enjoy time with friends and family. Our eye doctors at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons can help you live a full and happy life with a treatment plan and tips for adjusting to low vision caused by glaucoma

Glaucoma Often Causes Slow Vision Loss

Vision impairment caused by glaucoma is often described as “tunnel vision,” but your entire visual field may be affected by increasing blur, lower contrast, and glare around lights. People with early glaucoma may require more light in low-lit conditions, such as restaurants, and have blurry vision on one or both sides. They may have lower image quality that appears foggy. 

As the disease progresses, glaucoma significantly decreases contrast sensitivity and blind spots, or areas that are darker or missing in the visual field. Ultimately, glaucoma may cause blindness, but modern treatments prevent blindness in most cases. Glaucoma treatments can’t restore lost vision but are effective ways to stop or stall its advancement. 

Increase the Lighting in Your Home 

Increase the wattage of your light bulbs and add more lamps in darker areas of your home and office. Direct lighting behind you can reduce glare and help you see the task in front of you more clearly. Dark yellow or amber-colored glasses can also reduce glare. If you’re spending time outdoors, bring a strong flashlight with you.

Adjust Your Home and Workspace to Reduce Fall and Trip Hazards 

People with low vision are more likely to trip, slip, or fall. You may misjudge distances or fail to see the corner of a table or rug on the floor. Organize your home and workspace to leave more room between furniture and remove rugs or secure them to the floor. Paint or tape your handrails with a contrasting color and use marking treads on the stairs to lower your fall risk. 

Make sure you close cabinets right after opening them, and organize medications, keys, and money to make it easy to grab the right item when you need it.  

Enlarge Text 

Enlarge the text on your smart devices and computer and read books with large print. Use large, bold print to mark important areas or appliances in your kitchen, such as the stove, oven, microwave, and spices. 

Develop a Support System 

People with glaucoma may feel like they are alone in dealing with the struggles of vision loss, but glaucoma affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. Online support groups and non-profit organizations can validate your experience and help you find unique ways to lead a full life with glaucoma. These outlets are beneficial for family members in helping them understand what it’s like to live with glaucoma. 

If you’re experiencing vision changes or have been diagnosed with glaucoma, contact our eye doctors in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Schedule an eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons by calling (610) 372-0712 or request an appointment online.

January Is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Learn More About This Vision-Stealing Disease

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Here, the eye care specialists at Berks Eye share information about this vision-stealing disease.


5 Surprising Facts You Need to Know about Glaucoma

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Glaucoma Specialist Reading, PA

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that damages the optic nerve. It can lead to vision loss and blindness. When patients come to Berks Eye, they often have little to no knowledge about glaucoma. Here, the team at Berks Eye shares 5 surprising facts about glaucoma that you need to know.


Dangers of Elevated Eye Pressure

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye Pressure Treatment Reading PA

Regularly checking your eye pressure is an important way you can help preserve your vision for a lifetime. Elevated eye pressure can occur without symptoms, and is as dangerous to your eyes as hypertension is to your organs. It is often the first sign that you may be developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

Below, the experienced vision care team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons discusses prevention and treatment strategies for this serious condition.

Dangerous Imbalance

In many cases, it is not clear what causes an imbalance to occur in the production and drainage of aqueous humor, the fluid inside your eye. Pressure builds as the eye creates new fluid and the channels which normally drain the aqueous humor become obstructed or damaged. Once that happens, the effect is similar to the over-inflation of a balloon. There’s no bursting of tissue, but serious damage to the optic nerve can result.

Injury to the eye can trigger this chain of events. Eye trauma can range from a sports injury to a car accident, and if it happens near the eye with sufficient velocity, it can damage those vital drainage channels, setting in motion the rise in pressure. Often there is no obvious injury or damage to the release channels, yet the natural system of drainage unexpectedly stops working.

Risk Correlations

You are at greater risk for developing ocular hypertension is you are over 40, have thin corneas or have a family history of glaucoma. African Americans also have a statistically higher risk.

Use of steroids, including steroid eye drops that are sometimes prescribed after eye surgery, is also linked to elevated pressure within the eye. In addition, ocular hypertension may suddenly appear with the onset of other eye conditions, such as pseudoexfoliation syndrome, a disease related to age and genetics in which small protein fibers accumulate, clump together and block the free flow of fluid within the eye.

Pigment dispersion syndrome can similarly cause accumulation of drainage-blocking particles in the eye. When this condition occurs, granules of pigment break loose from the iris and obstruct one or more channels. Other causes include the fat deposits associated with corneal arcus. These lipids can increase in number with age, although younger individuals with high cholesterol may also develop corneal arcus.

If you would like to learn more about the risks of elevated eye pressure, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation in our Reading office with one of the skilled ophthalmologists at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today.

Understanding the Different Types of Glaucoma

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Types of Glaucoma

There are several types of glaucoma, all of which can result in damage to the optic nerve. This can result in blindness if left untreated. In most cases, glaucoma is caused by excessive pressure within the eye.

In this post, the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons discusses the different types of glaucoma. (more…)

How Glaucoma Earned the Nickname “The Silent Thief of Sight”

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.

Effects of GlaucomaGlaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by elevated intraocular pressure, which can damage the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Although doctors know a lot about glaucoma, in many ways it is a mysterious disease. In fact, it has earned the nickname “The Silent Thief of Sight” based on the way it can cause irreversible eye damage in the absence of any symptoms. Read on as the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons explains more about this puzzling disorder. (more…)

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