Tips for living with vision loss
You can improve your environment to make it easier to live with vision loss by adopting a few simple changes.
It’s important to think about what light you need for different areas of your home.
Using brighter bulbs can help you see better – so make sure stairs, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas of activity are well lit. Using dimmer bulbs may help prevent uncomfortable reactions to strong lights and glare.
Moving a lamp closer will increase the brightness which may make it easier to read print, see small buttons on appliances or pour a drink. Be careful if lamps have metal shades, which may burn you if you get too close.
You could consider dimmer switches for controlling the amount of light in the room, or placing extra lighting, extra lighting switches or even preset light timers in difficult areas like hallways and stairs.
If you are installing new light switches, consider switch plates that are lighted or contrast with your wall colour.
Consider under cabinet lighting for tasks in the kitchen or work areas.
Low vision organisations can provide advice on lighting for different situations around the home.
Pour coffee or other dark liquids into white cups and put white plates on dark place mats. Chop dark items (e.g. steak) on a light chopping board and light items (e.g. onion) on a dark chopping board.
Wear sunglasses and a hat or visor outside. Cover shiny surfaces with a cloth. Sit with your back or side to the window.
Photograph and enlarge recipes, phone numbers, addresses, sheet music and menus. Use the magnification features on electronic devices and computers. Use a felt-tip pen, not a ball point. A magnifier may help with reading small print.
Use bright, contrasting labels, dark felt pens and raised tactile paint on dials, remotes and domestic appliances.
If you’re going out to dinner, check out the menu online or ask them to email you a copy, instead of asking people to read it to you in the restaurant. Similarly, if you know you’ll have to fill out a form (medical forms, travel forms), ring ahead and ask them to send it to you, so you can fill it out in the well-lit comfort of home.
We’ve collected some brilliant tips from members of the macular disease community about ways to stay safe and make living with vision loss a little easier.