Low Vision: Seeing Independence Through Adaptation

As we age, it is common to notice vision changes. Even those who never wore glasses may find themselves reaching for a pair of readers. However, for some people, vision changes due to eye conditions (such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts) can be significant and impact an individual’s ability to be independent.

Low Vision Tips and Tricks

In addition to seeing an eye doctor for treatment, modifications and accommodations can be made in the home to help enhance vision for increased safety and independence. Below are some tips and tricks.

Clear Walkways

Pick up throw rugs, remove cords, and other objects that can be a trip hazard.

Maintain Good Lighting

Ensure that areas are well lit.  Use night lights or flashlights to light pathways at night. Overhead lighting can help reduce shadows and ensure things are evenly lit.  Use desktop lamps for tabletop activities. Clear shower curtains allow more light in the bathing area.

Mark Edge of Stairs

Apply paint or tape with a contrasting color to the edge of each step to increase visibility when going up and down stairs.

Use Contracting Backgrounds

When working, it is best to place dark materials on light surfaces and light materials onto dark backgrounds to provide more visual contrast.  For instance, pour coffee into a white mug and milk into a dark glass. Or use a white cutting board when slicing green peppers and a dark cutting board when cutting onion.

Store Items in an Organized and Consistent Location

Keeping items in the same place makes them easier to find. Organizing closets and cupboards by decreasing clutter and storing items only one row deep can make it easier to find things. Mark containers with large print labels.

Use Magnification Devices

Hand-held and desktop magnifiers can be used to view objects more closely as needed.  Magnifying mirrors  in the bathroom can help with personal care such as shaving and applying makeup.

Access Assistive Technology

Apply accessibility settings on computers and phones to increase font size, contrast backgrounds, and activate text to speech functions. Large print, audio readers, and virtual assistants can also allow for access to information and entertainment. Options such as Alexa, Siri, and Google assistant, and closed captioning on TVs.

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About Enablr Therapy
Enablr Therapy offers speech, occupational, and physical therapy to people of all ages and abilities through our school-based therapy services as well as cash-based services for individual clients. Individual clients can be seen through convenient online sessions in many states across the country.