Can You Drive If You Have Low Vision?

Low vision is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States. If you live in North Carolina and are concerned about whether low vision impacts your ability to drive, here’s what you need to know.

What’s low vision?

Low vision is the loss of sight that can’t be completely corrected with visual aids. If you have low vision, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe corrective lenses that can partially help the problem, but low vision cannot be completely fixed.

Can you drive if you have low vision?

If you have low vision, you may be wondering whether you’re allowed to drive. The answer is: it depends.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, you must be able to achieve “Visually impaired individuals may be eligible to receive a restricted driver license with the use of a bioptic telescope if they can achieve at least 20/200 visual acuity in one or both eyes through conventional eyeglass lenses (if needed) and at least 20/70 visual acuity in one or both eyes through a bioptic telescope.”

If you can meet the qualifications of NCDOT to drive, then you will be allowed to have a driver license. However, whether you’re comfortable enough to be on the road is another question. It’s important to work with your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC. Your eye doctor can help you maintain your vision for as long as possible, using a range of tools such as corrective lenses, medications and medical procedures.

Want to Maintain Healthy Eyes? See the Eye Doctor

One way to avoid vision problems that might prevent you from driving safely is to see the eye doctor at Paul Vision Institute for regular eye exams in Wilmington, NC. At Paul Vision Institute, we can monitor your visual acuity, diagnose eye problems as they occur and prescribe visual aids like prescription lenses that can help you maintain clear vision. If you’re concerned about your ability to see properly and drive safely, call today to make an appointment.


3 Ways a Low Vision Optometrist Can Help with Sight Limitations

Low vision means you have a type of impaired vision that cannot be corrected with the typical actions like wearing corrective lenses or getting eye surgery. If you have been diagnosed with low vision, it is important to work with a low vision optometrist in Wilmington, NC. These professionals can work with you to ensure you continue to get the most use of the visual abilities you have. Take a look at some of what you can expect below.

Get the most accurate diagnosis

A functional vision exam is a comprehensive eye exam that assesses how your eyes and all the parts of them are functioning. Oftentimes, patients do not fully understand what is behind their low vision issues because they have not received an accurate diagnosis. The functional vision exam will ensure all parts of the eye are thoroughly assessed, which makes it easier to address the issues you are experiencing.

Find out about adaptive optical solutions

Adaptive optical solutions are an ever-growing area of optometry. Adaptive optics is a type of technology that may improve visual performance by interacting with systems within the eye. For example, a specially made screen may be used with your computer to change how light wavelengths are delivered, which makes the screen easier for you to see. During your visit to see a low-vision optometrist, the doctor will likely discuss adaptive optics that could help your situation.

Gain access to visual rehabilitation

In some cases, visual rehabilitation can improve low vision issues. Even though not every patient or every eye condition can be improved, certain ones can. A low-vision optometrist will look at the latest treatment methodologies and advise you on any possible treatments. They will look at low vision rehabilitation that could help you learn how to use your eyes to see better, for example.

Find Out More About Low Vision Care in Wilmington, NC

Even though having low vision issues can be life-changing there are ways a Wilmington, NC eye doctor can help. If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss low vision, reach out to us at Paul Vision Institute to schedule an appointment.

Can Eating Healthier Prevent Glaucoma?

Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC sees many patients diagnosed with glaucoma who wonder if they could have done anything to prevent it. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can—and often does—lead to partial or complete blindness. It stands to reason that if you could do something to avoid the diagnosis, you would do it, right? Many people feel that getting adequate nutrients, in other words, eating healthier, could prevent glaucoma. But is this fact or wishful thinking?

What Causes Glaucoma?

To answer this question, you need to know what causes glaucoma in the first place. In that way, you can kind of step backward and find out if more nutrients might actually make a difference.

Glaucoma can be caused by one or more reasons, either acting individually or in tandem with one another. Factors and conditions that can lead to glaucoma include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Extreme Myopia or Farsightedness
  • History of serious eye injury
  • Use of certain medications
  • And more…

Note that while the above-mentioned things are risk factors for glaucoma, the actual physical manifestation of glaucoma is very specific. Your eye doctor can diagnose glaucoma in Wilmington, NC by identifying these manifestations.

The Connection Between Nutrition and Glaucoma

Although there is no known direct correlation between nutrition and glaucoma, if you consider the risk factors of glaucoma, you will see that some of them are related to poor health. Specifically, untreated diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight are all under a person’s control, give or take, depending upon circumstances. A healthy diet can help to bring a person back to the end of the spectrum defined as good health; sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, and weighing within the range of what’s considered healthy in ratio of their height.

Basically, eating healthily can lower the number of risk factors that a person is exposed to. Someone who eats whole, nutrient-dense foods is simply less likely to have those risk factors that can sometimes be controlled.

The bottom line is that eating healthy can’t directly prevent glaucoma, because there are risk factors that don’t correspond to good nutrition However, since eating healthy can reduce the risk factors that you personally have, it’s worth it to commit to a wholesome diet that can partially help.

What Happens After Your Cataract Diagnosis?

It can be shocking to learn you have cataracts. But the first thing to keep in mind is that they’re pretty easy to treat. Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, has different options for treating cataracts that will help improve or restore your vision. But it’s interesting to know exactly what cataracts are, what causes them, and how they’re diagnosed.

Cataracts Are Cloud-Like Films

Cataracts are cloudy films that form over the lenses of your eyes. Each eye has a lens that’s positioned behind the iris, and its purpose is to focus light on the retina so you can see images clearly. When something happens to inhibit the way your lens focuses this light, it becomes difficult to see. In the event of cataracts, a milky-white film forms over the surface, which can worsen over time if left untreated.

Cataracts Are Usually Caused by Injury or Normal Aging

If you’ve suffered an eye injury at some point in your life, or if you’ve had eye surgery, you may be more prone to developing cataracts. Or, sometimes, people simply develop cataracts as they age. Some diseases, such as diabetes, may also put you more at risk. You may first notice the signs of cataracts if you need more and more light to see clearly at night. Cataracts may also cause you to see ‘halos’ or ‘auras’ around bright lights. Also, if things appear smoky or hazy throughout the day, it could be a cataract that’s to blame.

Treatment for Cataracts Involves Simple Surgery

In most instances, your eye doctor can resolve cataracts through simple eye surgery that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear, artificial one. Cataract surgery is extremely common, and recovery times are short. Generally, it’s considered a very safe treatment. Usually, the procedure can be done in-office on an outpatient basis, and you can return home the same day. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment, however.

If you’ve recently been informed that you have cataracts in Wilmington, NC, schedule an appointment with Paul Vision Institute today. We’re happy to sit down with you to discuss your options for treatment.

Start 2022 With a Same-Day Eye Exam

Do you have a hard time scheduling your eye appointments? Do you always forget to make your eye appointments during the work week? Sounds like you need a same-day eye exam in Wilmington NC. If you’re one of those people who always forgets to make appointments, but you also know how important it is to see the eye doctor, then same-day eye exams can make your life easier. Start your new year right with a same day eye exam!

Benefits of Same Day Eye Exams

There are so many benefits of same day eye exams! If you’re wondering why these exams are so popular, here’s what you need to know:

No need to plan. No need to make an appointment well in advance. You can choose the day that works best for you, and avoid any scheduling conflicts that might prevent you from seeing the eye doctor.

Convenience. You can see the eye doctor on the same day that you’re running errands around town.

Simplicity. No more worrying about remembering to see the eye doctor. Just come when it makes the most sense for you!

Our same day eye exams are comprehensive. We’ll check your prescription, let you know if you need to new glasses or contacts, and we’ll check your eyes for diseases that could impact your vision.

Why You Should See the Eye Doctor

It’s important to see the eye doctor in Wilmington NC. There are some eye diseases that don’t show any symptoms until vision loss occurs. Eye doctors can detect these conditions before they cause devastating vision trouble. By coming in to see the eye doctor, you can protect your vision. And, because vision loss can be dangerous when you’re driving, you could also be protecting your loved ones.

Know the Signs of Vision Distress

Know when to see the eye doctor. Symptoms of vision distress include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Seeing rainbows or halos around lights
  • Seeing a “curtain” descending over your vision

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come in for a same day eye exam! It could be important!

Can Glaucoma Be Reversed?

Affecting nearly 3 million people in the U.S., glaucoma is one of the most serious eye diseases and is a leading cause of blindness. Since there is no pain associated with the onset of glaucoma, many people do not realize they have it until it is in its later stages. Caused by increased pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve, many who have glaucoma wonder if it is a condition that can be reversed. In many cases, the answer is both yes and no.

Can Glaucoma be Reversed?

For this question, the answer is no. Once a person is diagnosed with glaucoma, there is currently no cure for the condition so that it can be reversed, and no way to undo the damage already done in terms of vision loss. However, that does not mean a patient should lose hope.

Reversing the Underlying Cause

While it may not be possible to reverse glaucoma itself, it is however quite possible to reverse the underlying cause that leads to the condition, namely the increased eye pressure. To do so, an ophthalmologist can examine a patient’s eyes, measure the pressure being placed on the optic nerve, and then prescribe eye drops that help fluid drain from the eyes, thus reducing the pressure. For some patients, oral medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may be used in conjunction with eye drops. In extremely severe cases, laser surgery can be used to open clogged channels within the eyes to allow for proper fluid drainage, or an eye surgeon can insert small drainage tubes to help lower eye pressure.

Since detecting glaucoma in its early stages is the key to avoiding serious problems later on, schedule an exam as soon as possible with your eye doctor, especially if you are experiencing vision loss or other issues.


Does Glaucoma Always Lead to Blindness?

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the health of the eyes and—eventually—the vision of the eyes. It’s important to distinguish between these two, because it’s possible to have clear vision while your eye health is being compromised by the advancement of glaucoma. This means that a person may have no symptoms of glaucoma at all, allowing this disease to silently worsen to the point of blindness. This is why your Wilmington optometrist gives you a glaucoma test during every appointment, even if you come in for an entirely different reason.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma progresses over a long period of time. Pressure builds up behind the eye, causing a buildup of fluid. This buildup puts pressure on the optic nerve, disrupting the signals between your eyes and your brain. Without the flow of those signals, the capacity for vision is lost. In other words, the patient goes blind. Glaucoma can technically affect people of all ages, but it’s most common in those over 40.

Untreated Glaucoma Leads to Blindness

Unless glaucoma is treated, it almost always leads to blindness eventually. Vision loss will progress slowly over a period of years, but the loss will be permanent and 100% unless the disease is treated. At any stage during this progression, the disease may be halted or at least slowed in its advancement toward blindness. However, this is an outcome that doesn’t necessarily have to happen. With routine testing for glaucoma at your vision center in Wilmington, in coordination with any necessary treatment, glaucoma doesn’t have to lead to total blindness.

Each time you visit Paul Vision Institute in Wilmington, you’ll be tested for glaucoma. The test is fast, painless and non-invasive. Yet, this simple test aids in the prevention of the devastating and preventable disease of glaucoma.