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Simple Adjustments Around the Home Can Help Those with Low Vision

Having low vision can be challenging, but it doesn't have to mean giving up your independence.

The number of older Americans with Low Vision is expected to double in the coming years, as more people live longer. Low Vision describes poor vision that can’t be fixed or improved with glasses, contacts or surgery, but there are effective technologies and strategies to retain an independent and safe lifestyle. People with Low Vision have blind spots that can make it difficult or impossible to drive, read or see faces. But the tragedy isn’t that people have lost vision, it’s that most believe nothing can be done to improve their quality of life. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and CODET Vision Institute are taking the opportunity to let people know they can retain their independence and stay safe, despite declining vision.

Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of Low Vision. Other common contributors include diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and inherited retinal diseases. Whatever the cause, vision rehabilitation helps people make the most of the vision they have left so they can live as independently as possible.

The field of vision rehabilitation has advanced significantly over the years, offering more effective technologies and strategies. Today, ophthalmologists can offer solutions that range from a simple, portable video magnifier that can enlarge text and objects to high-tech glasses with cameras that allow people to read text and see faces.

Having low vision can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence. Just a few adjustments around the house can make a big difference in maintaining comfort and strengthening your ability to accomplish your normal daily activities with partial sight.

  • Improve contrast. Put dark place mats under white place settings, buy rugs that are a contrasting color with the floor, and kitchen towels and cutting boards that contrast with the countertop. Use contrasting colored tape along the edges of rugs, stair steps and lamp shades.
  • Improve lighting. Add lighting to staircases and dark hallways. Remove rugs from hallways to prevent tripping. Task lighting in the kitchen can also make food preparation safer and easier.
  • Reduce clutter and organize. A cluttered house is more difficult to navigate and can contribute to falls and frustration. When each item has a specific place and is identified with a high-contrast label, it’s easier to locate items needed for everyday living.
  • Embrace technology. Books on tape and personal voice-activated assistants, like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, can be enormously helpful for people who can no longer see well enough to read or dial a phone.

Most importantly, see an ophthalmologist and a low vision specialist so they can determine the full extent of vision loss and exact location of blind spots and the best techniques and devices that can help patients get around their individual challenges.

Low Vision Service at CODET

Our goal at CODET Vision Institute is to provide the care and technology that people with Low Vision need to help them retain their independence. Learn more about how the specialist at CODET Vision Institute can help you with Vision Rehabilitation here.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology.