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10 Essential Low-Vision Tips for Every Day

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Low vision can present a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to navigating daily life. However, with the right tools, strategies, and mindset, those with low vision can maintain their independence and continue to enjoy a high quality of life. 

If you live with low vision, these tips may help you navigate everyday tasks with more ease:

  1. Maximize lighting
  2. Use contrast
  3. Embrace technology
  4. Use magnification devices
  5. Organize & label
  6. Modify your devices
  7. Ensure your home is safe
  8. Make reading & writing more comfortable
  9. Connect with support groups
  10. Seek professional advice

Let’s dive deeper into each of these tips and explore how they can make a positive impact on daily life for those with low vision.

  1. Maximize Lighting

Optimized lighting is incredibly important for individuals with low vision. Proper lighting can significantly impact daily life. Ensure that all areas are well-lit, using natural light whenever feasible. 

Additionally, consider implementing task-specific lighting in places like the kitchen or reading and writing areas. Opt for high-output LED lights as they offer bright illumination while minimizing glare, contributing to a more comfortable and accessible environment.

  1. Use Contrast

Items that stand out due to contrasting colors with their surroundings tend to be more visible. For example, opting for dark-colored dishes on light-colored tablecloths, or vice versa, can enhance visibility. Similarly, placing light switch covers against dark walls can also aid in easy identification. 

This principle can be extended to different elements within the home, bright lighting, furniture, stair edges, and steps, to ensure that visibility and clarity are prioritized in various areas of the living space.

  1. Embrace Technology

Modern assistive technology, such as screen readers and magnification software, plays a crucial role in enhancing accessibility. Screen readers convert text to speech, making content more easily digestible for individuals with visual impairments. 

Magnification software enlarges text on screens, aiding those with low vision in reading digital content. Moreover, digital voice assistants offer convenient device control through voice commands, providing a seamless and intuitive user experience that significantly improves the quality of life for many individuals.

  1. Use Magnification Devices

Magnifiers can be incredibly useful tools in various everyday activities such as reading, shopping, or pursuing hobbies. Whether it’s a compact handheld optical magnifier or a sophisticated electronic digital magnifier, these devices can significantly enhance your ability to observe intricate details that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

It’s crucial to select a magnifier that aligns with your specific requirements to ensure optimal effectiveness and comfort in use. The amount of magnification on magnifiers is not the same as always listed on the packaging.  A low vision doctor can help you choose the best magnification for your needs.

  1. Organize & Label

Staying organized is crucial for a smooth day-to-day routine. By ensuring items are placed in specific spots, you can easily locate them when needed. Consider labeling items with large, bold print or using tactile markers like raised bumps on frequently used items such as medication bottles, kitchen appliances, or thermostats for improved accessibility and efficiency.

  1. Modify Your Devices

Adapt your phones and other devices to improve visibility by enlarging text and adjusting contrast settings. This can help you see more clearly and make navigation easier. Additionally, using speed dial functions on your phone allows for quick calling of frequently dialed numbers. Nowadays, there is a wide range of smartphones designed with accessibility features in mind to cater to different needs.

  1. Ensure Your Home Is Safe

Ensure that your home is as safe as possible by taking proactive steps. Begin by removing any potential tripping hazards, such as loose rugs or cluttered furniture that could pose a risk. Consider installing handrails on stairs and in the bathroom to provide additional support and prevent accidents. 

Properly store hazardous materials separately, and label them with caution signs or textures for easy identification and safety awareness. These small but crucial measures can significantly enhance the safety and well-being of your household.

  1. Make Reading & Writing More Comfortable

When it comes to reading, opting for large print books or e-books with adjustable text sizes can enhance readability significantly. For writing tasks, using bold-tipped markers can make text more clear and legible. Additionally, consider exploring speech-to-text applications that convert spoken words into written text, offering a convenient alternative for transcription needs.

  1. Connect with Support Groups

Living with low vision can feel isolating at times. Connecting with support groups offers a sense of community and empowers individuals to share experiences, exchange tips, and seek emotional support from others who understand their challenges. Such groups often organize educational workshops or events that provide an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in assistive technology, vision aids, and other relevant topics.

Support groups can also serve as a platform for individuals to advocate for their rights and raise awareness of low vision within society.

A happy mature woman being show the results of her consultation by an equally happy ophthalmologist.
  1. Seek Professional Advice

A low-vision specialist with experience in visual impairment can offer personalized advice and tailored solutions to address your unique requirements. 

An optometrist that is trained in low vision can prescribe glasses and devices that will improve your quality of life.

Find Solutions for Low Vision at Belle Vue Specialty Eye Care

At Belle Vue Specialty Eye Care, we’re committed to providing you with comprehensive care and solutions to make your life with low vision more manageable and enjoyable.If you’re looking for low vision solutions or simply need advice on managing your vision impairment effectively, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in achieving a better quality of life with low vision.

Written by Megan Lott

Dr. Megan Sumrall Lott is a functional optometrist who practices in Hattiesburg, MS. She is a 2006 graduate of Southern College of Optometry. She began practicing optometry by providing primary eyecare at Lexington Eye Care in Lexington, MS. After providing vision therapy to her 9 month old son to correct an eye turn, Dr. Lott realized she had found her passion in functional optometry.
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