Understanding Vision Loss: Symptoms & Tips for Prevention

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An estimated 12 million Americans over the age of 40 live with some form of vision impairment. If you’re one of those 40 million people, Cleveland Eye Clinic is here to help improve your vision. Whether you suffer from macular degeneration or glaucoma, we have a service that’s right for you. Schedule a consultation today to see the results you want.


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What Is Vision Loss?

Vision loss is the gradual or sudden reduction of vision. It can happen to anyone at any time and can be either temporary or permanent. As soon as you start experiencing symptoms of vision loss, contact your eye doctor to schedule an appointment ASAP.

4 Eye Diseases That Can Cause Vision Loss

Vision loss is often the result of underlying eye conditions or diseases. Take a look below at four eye diseases that are known to cause vision loss.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the #1 cause of permanent loss of vision focus in Americans aged 65 and up. This eye disease occurs when the part of the retina that enables your eyes to focus—known as the macula—undergoes damage and results in blurry vision.


Cataracts are characterized by a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that enables you to focus. It can result in blindness if left untreated. That explains why cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness and vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that occurs when the retina’s blood vessels get damaged. This condition affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and can lead to vision loss or blindness. The higher your blood sugar levels are, the higher your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy is.


Glaucoma occurs when the fluid that gets trapped between the cornea and the iris creates intraocular pressure. This pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss or blindness. Glaucoma is characterized primarily by optic nerve damage. Increased intraocular pressure alone only increases your risk of developing glaucoma.

12 Common Symptoms of Vision Loss

If you experience the following symptoms, you likely have vision loss.

  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Flashes of light
  • Floaters
  • Halos or rainbows around lights
  • Sudden decrease in vision
  • Sudden sensitivity to light and glare
  • Sudden eye pain
  • Itching or burning
  • Red eyes
  • White areas in the pupil
  • Changes in eye color

7 Tips to Prevent Vision Loss

Do you want to prevent vision loss? Follow these seven tips.

1. Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam: Undergoing a comprehensive dilated eye exam will enable your doctor to detect any signs of eye damage, eye disease, or vision loss in their early stages and make a proactive treatment plan. Your doctor will also provide any necessary eyeglass or contact prescriptions.


2. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels: Diabetic adults with high glucose levels face a higher risk of developing a diabetic eye disease—including but not limited to diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. These eye diseases can cause partial vision loss and even blindness.

In a 2019 study, the CDC found that almost 9% of diabetic adults over age 45 experienced vision impairment due to high blood sugar. The best way to decrease risk is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol.


3. Brush up on your family’s eye health history: Many eye diseases and conditions are hereditary. If any blood relatives—particularly a parent, grandparent, or sibling—have been diagnosed with an eye disease or have experienced vision loss, you’re more likely to develop the same condition. Knowing your family’s eye health history will enable you to address any vision problems head-on.


4. Practice healthy eating: The statement “you are what you eat” has some truth. Eating nutrient-rich foods—like leafy greens, fruits, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids—has significant eye health benefits.


5. Maintain a healthy weight: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop conditions like diabetes. As stated previously, diabetes is often associated with high glucose levels that increase one’s risk of developing vision loss and eye diseases. Maintain a healthy weight to decrease this risk.


6. Protect your eyes: Just like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to sun damage. Anytime you’re outside during daylight hours, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. That’s not the only time you should wear protective eyewear. Whether you’re playing basketball or mowing the lawn, we recommend wearing glasses, goggles, or a face shield to protect your eyes from injury. It’s better to be safe now than sorry later.


7. Don’t smoke: Smoking increases your risk of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts—not to mention the hit your lungs take. When it comes to smoking, the risks just aren’t worth it.

Cleveland Eye Clinic Is Here to Help

When you need eye care you can trust, go to the vision experts at Cleveland Eye Clinic. Our team of skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists use cutting-edge technology to perform the most advanced treatments and procedures. Schedule a free consultation to get the patient-focused vision solutions you deserve.


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