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Make the Most of Your Sight—Even with Low Vision

Most people with impaired vision are able to see better with the help of prescription glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medication.

People with “low vision,” though, have significant, permanent vision impairment that can’t be improved by means such as glasses. People with this condition can’t see things clearly, distinguish contrasting colors, or make out everything in a normal field of vision.

If this sounds like you, make an appointment with an eye care professional who specializes in treating people with low vision.

See a Specialist

This specialist can evaluate your remaining sight and prescribe adaptive devices. Handheld magnifiers, colored lenses, magnifiers that can be focused, monocular and binocular vision devices, and other aids can help you make the most of the sight you do have.

 

A specialist can also set up a program of vision rehabilitation that can teach you strategies to stay safe and independent given your vision loss.

Helpful Hints

These tips can also make tasks of everyday living easier to perform:

 

  • Identify different pill bottles with various colors of tape or rubber bands.
  • Keep track of important phone numbers by writing them in large print on index cards.
  • Make appliances safer and easier to use by marking dials on stoves, washers, and dryers with colored tape.

Remember, if you have low vision, taking advantage of resources in your community is key to making the most of the vision you still have.

     To find out more, visit the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, at www.nationaleyeinstitute.org.

 

Sources

“All About Low Vision.” Lighthouse International. www.lighthouse.org/about-low-vision-blindness/all-about-low-vision/.

“The Low Vision Exam: What to Expect.” Lighthouse International, www.lighthouse.org/about-low-vision-blindness/braving-low-vision-exam/.

“Low Vision FAQ: Take Action.” National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, www.nationaleyeinstitute.org/lowvision/content/action.asp.

“Low Vision Information.” California Department of Education, August 2011. www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/sm/lowvision.asp.

“Tips for Living with Low Vision.” Wisconsin Department of Health Services. www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/blind/eyediseases/LivingwLowVision.htm.