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What Is Low Vision? Tips to Manage Your Life with Vision Loss

Low vision awareness month New Jersey

Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions can lead to low vision. Low vision happens when you experience vision loss that can't be corrected or restored with treatment, surgery, or traditional eyeglasses or contact lenses. People with low vision must adjust to their new normal and learn new ways to move through life so they can still enjoy their hobbies and have a good quality of life. February is low vision awareness month, and our eye doctors at InVision Eyecare Specialists in Monmouth County, New Jersey, offer these tips to help you manage life with low vision. 


Mental Health Counseling and Vision Rehabilitation 

People with low vision often experience anger, frustration, and depression when they find out their vision loss is irreversible. Working through these emotions is a crucial part of the process. Staying active and involved in your life and community can help you avoid mental health challenges with low vision. While you can live a good life with low vision, it's difficult to live well while dealing with depression. Mental health counseling and a strong support system can help you navigate this new reality and understand that your value does not rest on your vision. 


Don't isolate yourself and let low vision stop you from enjoying your hobbies. Keep your social group, job, and outside activities with some adjustments, such as large print on your phone and printed materials, magnifying glasses, and vision rehabilitation services. 


Modify Items in Your Home 

Rearrange and modify items in your home to help you move through the house without tripping or bumping into the corners of furniture. Remove or adjust area rugs and space furniture farther apart. Use contrasting colors to help you see edges; for example, use a dark-colored tablecloth against light-colored tile or linoleum. Increased contrast (e.g., white plates for darker foods) can help with eating. 


Use bold print or stickers of various shapes or colors to identify items you use every day, such as medications (you can also use a pill organizer), soap containers, and shampoo bottles. Rubber bands with different thicknesses also help ensure you don't put soap in your hair and shampoo on your body. Label everything you use often, including the buttons on your microwave and oven, for tactile markings that help you identify the settings quickly. 


Vision loss can make it challenging to see toothpaste go on your toothbrush. You can avoid dropping dollops onto the counter or floor by squeezing the toothpaste onto your finger first or directly into your mouth and then brushing. 


Organize the money or cards in your wallet by feel. You can fold certain edges to help you tell a one-dollar bill from a twenty-dollar one.


When cooking or baking, gather all the ingredients and utensils on a tray and use scissors instead of knives when possible. Use contrasting colors or bold print letters to discern measure spoons and cups. 


Increasing the lighting in your home can improve your vision capabilities, and staying organized can help you find the items you need when you need them. 


Other Lifestyle Tips for Low Vision

Purchase devices with larger display screens and bigger buttons. Use magnifying devices to help you read and see fine details. Ask for help when shopping or use the buddy system to find what you need and get to stores and appointments without risking a car accident. 


Above all, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to adjust to low vision. 


If you struggle with vision loss, schedule an eye exam at InVision Eyecare Specialists in Lakewood, NJ, to discuss your treatment options and lifestyle modifications. Call our office at (732) 210-0140

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