There are many causes of sight loss, however some of the most common conditions are...
This usually affects a person's central vision however people usually keep their peripheral vision. It is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK and the age related form of macular disease is the leading cause of sight loss amongst older people.
Macular degeneration affect the part of the retina that we use when looking at things in details e.g. reading, writing, recognising faces.
There is no cure for Age Related Macular Degeneration however some medical treatments can help to slow down the progress of the disease.
The Macular Society is a national support group for people with Macular Disease. There is also a Hull Branch of the Macular Society which meet regularly at HERIB. For more information please call HERIB on 01482 342297.
Cataracts may make everything look blurred and misty. It is a very common eye condition.
A straightforward operation can usually remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens to enable you to see more clearly again.
People with diabetes risk developing diabetic retinopathy which affects the blood vessels supplying the retina.
This part of the eye is sensitive to light and therefore very important to vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults under the age of 65.
Laser treatment cannot restore sight loss but may help to prevent the condition progressing further.
More information is available from Diabetes UK
People may have glaucoma and not know it as in the early stages there are usually no symptoms. Once any vision loss is noticed, the damage cannot be reversed so it is important to have regular eye tests. Anyone can develop glaucoma but the risk increases as you get older.
Further information about glaucoma can be found on the International Glaucoma Association website.
Charles Bonnet Syndrome
Charles Bonnet syndrome is a term used to describe the situation when people with sight problems start to see things, which they know aren't real. Sometimes called 'visual hallucinations', the things people see can take all kinds of forms from simple patterns of straight lines to detailed pictures of people or buildings.
Charles Bonnet syndrome affects people with serious sight loss and usually only people who have lost their sight later in life but can affect people of any age, usually appearing after a period of worsening sight.
More information is available from Esme's Umbrella - a charity which supports people with Charles Bonnet Syndrome.
If you would like more information on any of the above conditions or on the many other types of eye condition, please visit the RNIB website