Assessment and management of patients with eye and vision disorders
The ability to see the world clearly can easily be taken for granted. The eye is a sensitive, highly specialised sense organ subject to various disorders, many of which lead to impaired vision. Impaired vision affects an individual's independence in self-care, work and lifestyle choices, sense of self-esteem, safety, abtltty to mteract with society and the environment, and overall quality of life. Many of the leading causes of visual impairment are associated with ageing (e.g. cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration). Two-thirds of the population with Impaired vision is older than 65 years of age. Younger people are also at risk for eye disorders, particularly traumatic injuries. Although most people with eye disorders are treated in an day-only setting, many patients receiving healthcare have an eye disease as a comorbid condition. In addition to understanding the prevention, treatment and consequences of eye disorders, nurses in all settings should assess visual acuity in those at risk (e.g. older patients, those with diabetes or man Immunodeficiency virus [HIV]), refer patients to eye care specialists as appropriate, implement measures to prevent further visual loss, and help patients adapt to impaired vision.