Millions of people have macular degeneration and millions of them continue to do everything they always did. Because you never become blind with AMD, there is always sight available if you know how to use it. There are people who can teach you.The peripheral vision you have helps you to get around the house and outside. There are devices and techniques for everything from reading to cooking to watching sports on TV. You may have to stop driving at some point, but for everything else, there is a solution.
If you are losing sight, there are some simple things you can do on your own to improve your ability to see. Don’t become discouraged! You will probably need to try out multiple devices before you find one that works for you. These range from magnifiers that are held in the hand or suspended on a stand to devices that attach to your glasses or computers that help you to read.
Many people have received help and can perform normal daily tasks that were impossible without the use of assistive devices. If you need more help than these provide, a visit to a Low Vision Specialist can help you.
Things You Can Do On Your Own:
- Improve the lighting in your home and office. This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.
- Use high contrast for reading and writing. Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.
- Use large print books or try other media, like books on tape, disk or mp3.Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.
- Use a hand held magnifier. In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very bad. If these simple steps don’t help, or over time help less and less, it’s time to seek a professional consultation for Low Vision Rehabilitation.
There are many different products currently in the market to assist people with low vision, and more are being developed. Here is an overview of what is available, what it does and what types of vision they can benefit.
If your vision interferes with the ability to perform everyday activities, even with standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery, then you have Low Vision.
Prescription filters are one of the most important visual aids that people with macular degeneration will benefit from wearing. The ultra-violet radiation and blue wavelengths of light can potentially damage the cells of the retina and too much light can actually reduce a person’s ability to see, especially under very bright sunlight.
There are a number of organizations, both nationally and locally, for people with low vision. They can provide you with information and support in your area.
There are many applications of technology, from the simple to the more complex, that may help make your life a little bit easier. The following is a list of trusted sources that provide a range of devices for people with low vision: