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Making Life Easier and Safer for Those With Low Vision

Low Vision Tips
Low Vision

Simple changes people can make on their own to help them see and live better:

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. People with low vision have blind spots that can make it difficult or impossible to drive, read or see faces. But the tragedy is that most believe nothing can be done to improve their quality of life. Sabates Eye Centers shows how 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.

Simple changes people can make on their own to help them live better:

  • 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, stairsteps and lamp shades.
  • Improve lighting. Every year, about 3 million older Americans are treated for injuries from falls. Many of these falls are caused by low vision. Add lighting to staircases and dark hallways. Remove rugs from hallways to prevent tripping. Put task lighting in the kitchen to make food preparation safer and easier.
  • Reduce clutter and organize. A cluttered house is more difficult to navigate and may contribute to falls. 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, are helpful for people who can no longer see well enough to read, dial a phone or set a thermostat.

Most importantly, see an ophthalmologist at least every 1-2 years for a comprehensive eye exam.