February is low vision awareness month. The American Foundation for the Blind defines visual impairment or “low vision,” as any vision problem severe enough to affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. Millions of people have some degree of visual impairment that requires corrective lenses, while others struggle even while wearing glasses or contact lenses. People with low vision can experience difficulty performing simple daily activities. The experts at Eye Care Vision Associates offer some practical solutions that can help people address changes in their vision.
- Use more light. People with low vision often require additional light to perform indoor and outdoor tasks and 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, so brighten areas of the home where fine details are examined.
- Rely on darker contrasts. Contrasting colors make it easier to see edges and lines of demarcation.
- Label items. Bold-colored labels and different shapes help set items apart if reading containers or boxes becomes challenging.
- Use filters and shields. Lens filters and shields help reduce glare and improve vision. Shields for computers or tablet screens are also helpful.
- Choose “large print” formats. Books in large print make reading easier and more enjoyable.
- Switch bulbs at home. Swap fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs with warm-toned LED bulbs, which emit less blue light, reduce glare, and are more comforting.
- Invest in adaptive devices. Large-button phones with speed dial, large-print calendars, watches that speak the time, and digital home assistant devices are helpful to those with vision loss.
Low vision impacts daily living, but there are ways to counter the effects of impaired vision. Remember, it is always important to be seen routinely by an ophthalmologist. To make an appointment at an Eye Care Vision Associates office nearest you, call 716-631-EYES (3937) or visit www.ecvaeyecare.com.