Research studies link vision loss to depression. This may seem inevitable,
because loss of vision is directly linked to lower quality of life scores,
but there is another way to look at this issue. Key-Whitman Eye Center’s
Plano eye doctor Sadaf Razi, O.D., believes it’s important to shift the focus from the negative to
positive and offers five proactive steps people with vision loss can take
to resolve challenges.
Want to speak with a Dallas eye doctor about vision loss right away? Please call
(855) 410-8106 or you can set up an appointment online here.
According to Dr. Razi, “It’s natural to feel sad or get frustrated
when vision loss is affecting activities of daily living. However, there
are plenty of options available to slow the progression of eye disease
and cope with vision loss, too.”
Dr. Razi encourages patients with risk factors for vision loss (especially
a family history of eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration
and diabetic eye disease), and those who have already experienced loss
of vision, to consider the following five steps:
1. Prevent vision loss from occurring in the first place.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times;
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same holds true when
it comes to diagnosing and treating eye diseases that can cause permanent
“Many diseases, like glaucoma and macular degeneration are silent
diseases, which can have a very strong effect (permanent vision loss)
when they advance. Because symptoms don’t show up until these diseases
progress, many people aren’t aware they have these underlying conditions.
Preventive care is key for diagnosing and managing diseases that can be
Dr. Razi discusses the unknown risk factors of glaucoma and importance
of having routine eye exams to slow the disease.
2. Maximize the vision you have left.
Just because your vision loss is already noticeable, that doesn’t
mean you can’t maintain much of the vision you have remaining.
According to Dr. Razi, “Early intervention and prevention are key.
For example, there are excellent,
evidence-based nutritional supplements available to treat eye diseases like macular degeneration. And working
closely with your eye doctor to
manage your glaucoma with the appropriate combination of prescription eye drops, and being
vigilant about complying with your treatment plan, can significantly slow
the progression of the disease.”
Plus, if cataracts are the culprits,
cataract surgery with high technology lens implants can typically restore or even increase
your range of vision.
3. Let your primary care physician know if you are feeling depressed.
If you feel any sadness or depression due to vision loss, talk with your
primary care physician. Loss of vision is one of the highest ranked concerns
expressed by Dr. Razi’s patients. This is especially true within
the geriatric population who fear losing their independence.
Dr. Razi explains the common frustrations patients experience due to vision loss.
“We are very empathetic with our patients. If a patient is feeling
down, we suggest he or she asks their primary care physician (in conjunction
with the patient’s
insurance provider) to refer them to a mental health professional in their network,”
Dr. Razi says.
4. Tap into resources available through your city or senior center.
There are many resources available, depending on where you live and the
severity of your vision loss. Primary care physicians are typically up
to speed on services available in their communities.
As Dr. Razi explains, “Most municipalities provide services to patients
with low vision, such as rides to doctor’s appointments or help
with grocery shopping or household chores. Many senior centers also offer
services to assist geriatric patients with basic functions, especially
as their eye diseases progress.”
5. Ask a low-vision specialist about visual aids.
Dr. Razi often refers patients with advanced eye disease to low-vision
specialists for additional help and resources.
“Low-vision specialists can design solutions like CCTV tools that
magnify check books and other reading materials. In some cases, the specialist
can create telescopic lenses for patients who had to give up driving,
which may even allow them to drive again,” says Dr. Razi.
Hope is on the horizon
Don’t let the fear or frustration of vision loss get you down. There
are plenty of resources available now, and the number of new and improved
treatments for eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic
eye disease is growing every day.
We can help!
To schedule an eye health exam with an eye care specialist at Key-Whitman
Eye Center in Dallas, North Dallas, Arlington, South Arlington, Mesquite
or Plano, please call
(855) 410-8106, or you can set up an appointment online here.