Living better with low vision

POSTED: 1:43 PM Sep 26 2012   UPDATED: 1:54 PM Oct 08 2012
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By Barbara Floria, Pure Matters

If you have low-vision symptoms, talk to your eye-care professional, who can help you find resources and visual devices to make the most of your remaining vision.

People with low vision find everyday tasks -- reading mail, shopping, cooking, watching television -- difficult. This is because low vision cannot be improved by eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye surgery or medication.

Low vision typically results from eye diseases and health conditions, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes. Although new medications are available to treat one form of macular degeneration, the condition accounts for nearly 45 percent of all cases of low vision, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI).

Doctors usually can't restore lost eyesight, but people can make the most of what they have left.

Getting help

If you have low-vision symptoms, talk to your eye care professional, who can help you find resources and visual devices to make the most of your remaining vision. Ask for a referral to vision rehabilitation specialist who can help you identify tools that can make the most of the vision you have left.

Few people are totally sightless. Most legally blind adults have at least some sight remaining and, thanks to developments in the field of low vision, can be helped to make good use of it. Learn as much as you can about the cause of your vision loss and if it is likely to progress. Be assertive in getting help to learn new skills to help you with daily life.

These are the most commonly prescribed devices:

Multiple devices

Many people with low vision require more than one visual device. They may need magnifying lenses for close-up viewing and telescopic lenses for seeing in the distance.

Numerous other products also assist those with low vision, including large-type books, magazines and newspapers; books-on-tape or CD; talking wristwatches; and self-threading needles.

Support groups offer a chance to learn how people with low vision and their families have coped with loss of vision and with anger, grief and depression that many people feel. State agencies for the blind and private programs offer educational and vocational counseling, occupational therapy, rehabilitation training, job training and recreation.

Source: http://resources.purematters.com/prevention/vision-loss/living-better-with-low-vision