Tips for liv­ing with low vi­sion

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Farm News - METRO

Vis­ual im­pair­ment af­fects peo­ple of all ages and all walks of life. The Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion for the Blind de­fines vis­ual im­pair­ment, often re­ferred to as “low vi­sion,” as any vi­sion prob­lem that is se­vere enough to af­fect an in­di­vid­ual’s abil­ity to carry out the tasks of ev­ery­day liv­ing. Mil­lions of peo­ple have some de­gree of vis­ual im­pair­ment that re­quires cor­rec­tive lenses, and some still strug­gle even while wear­ing glasses or con­tact lenses.

Peo­ple with low vi­sion can ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­culty per­form­ing daily ac­tiv­i­ties, such as cook­ing, shop­ping, read­ing, watch­ing tele­vi­sion, and more. Some prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions can help peo­ple ad­dress changes in their vi­sion.

• Use more light. After about age 60, many peo­ple re­quire ad­di­tional light to per­form most in­door tasks as well as out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. After age 60, the pupil no longer opens as widely as it once did, which af­fects the amount of light that reaches the retina, where vi­sion pro­cess­ing oc­curs. Brighten ar­eas of the kitchen, garage, craft­ing ta­ble, and other ar­eas where fine de­tails are ex­am­ined.

• Rely on darker con­trasts. Con­trast­ing col­ors can make it eas­ier to see edges and lines of de­mar­ca­tion. For ex­am­ple, use a dark table­cloth and white dishes to see ta­ble set­tings and food more clearly.

• La­bel items. Bold­col­ored la­bels or those of dif­fer­ent shapes can help set items apart when read­ing con­tain­ers or boxes be­comes chal­leng­ing.

• Use fil­ters and shields. Cer­tain de­vices, such as lens fil­ters and shields, can re­duce glare and im­prove vi­sion. In­di­vid­u­als also can in­vest in shields for their com­put­ers or tablet screens to re­duce glare.

• Choose “large print” for­mats. At lo­cal book­sellers, seek books that are avail­able in large print. This makes it eas­ier to en­joy read­ing.

• Switch bulbs at home. The eye care re­source All About Vi­sion sug­gests swap­ping flu­o­res­cent and in­can­des­cent light bulbs with warm-toned LED bulbs. These bulbs emit less blue light and can be more com­fort­ing with re­duced glare.

• In­vest in adap­tive de­vices. Large­but­ton phones with speed dial, largeprint cal­en­dars, watches that speak the time, and dig­i­tal home as­sis­tant de­vices also can help men and women over­come vi­sion loss.

Low vi­sion im­pacts daily liv­ing, but there are ways to counter the ef­fects of im­paired vi­sion.

Metro photo

The Amer­i­can Foun­da­tionn for the Blind of­fers a few tips for ad­dress­ing low vi­sion is­sues.

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