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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Visual Impairment: Prevention & Expectations

Visual Impairment

Alternate Names : Impaired Vision

Visual Impairment | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

Prevention of visual impairment, when possible, is related to the cause. Prevention includes the following:

  • screening for vision problems, which is often part of a routine checkup by a healthcare provider. All infants and children should be screened. This can help detect a condition called strabismus, or so-called lazy eye, which needs early treatment to prevent blindness in one eye. Screening for glaucoma is very important for people who are older than 40, especially those who are black or have a family history of this condition.
  • controlling conditions that can lead to vision impairment. An example of this would be diabetes. Controlling blood sugar levels has been shown to prevent or delay vision problems from this condition. Controlling glaucoma can also help prevent vision loss from this condition.
  • wearing safety glasses or goggles during hazardous activities. Individuals should take care to keep foreign objects and chemicals out of the eyes. Sunlight can also harm the eyes. People should never look directly at the sun and are advised to wear sunglasses outside.
  • following directions for proper wearing, cleaning, and storing of the lenses, for those who wear contact lenses. People must also watch for problems that can be caused by the lenses. These may include corneal injuries or corneal infections.
  • providing regular prenatal care for pregnant women to help prevent problems in the developing baby
  • seeking early evaluation and treatment for eye infections
  • What are the long-term effects of the condition?

    Visual impairment can limit a person's ability to work, go to school, and drive. Severely affected people may need special devices to help them with everyday activities. Other long-term effects depend on the cause. For example, glaucoma may lead to permanent loss of vision. Cases of nearsightedness or farsightedness often improve with the use of glasses or contacts. A stroke may cause permanent vision problems and other limitations from brain damage.

    What are the risks to others?

    Visual impairment itself is not contagious and poses no risk to others. However, if the cause is an infection, such as conjunctivitis, the infection may be contagious.

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    Visual Impairment: Diagnosis & Tests


    Visual Impairment: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Karen Preston, PHN, MS, CRRN
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/01/01

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