Low Vision, High Hopes for a Good Life Nonetheless

Low vision is not the end of your life, much less of the world. You still have the opportunity to enjoy a full, rewarding and contented life even when your vision does not allow for the normal performance of everyday tasks, when you are already using contact lenses or eyeglasses and with medication and surgery. Your vision troubles can include finding it nearly impossible to read, write, watch television, recognize faces, and drive a car, even pick out your clothes according to their colors.

Fortunately, your eye doctor can recommend several methods that can improve your quality of life even with low vision.These methods apply in cases like loss of central or peripheral vision, blurred vision, hazy vision, and night blindness.

Adopt a More Positive Mindset

While low vision can adversely impact on your abilities to carry out everyday functions, you have the power to accept it and learn to live with it. You can either take that power or mope in the corner for your loss – and, of course, your eye doctor as well as your family and friends will encourage the first action. You may have a challenging time ahead but when you have adopted the right adjustments, you will be able to maximize your independence.

Make the Most of Your Vision

You will still have some of your vision so your job is to make the most of it. You can, for example, find and use your so-called next best spot, a process that your eye doctor can be of assistance.  

For example, if your center vision has a scotoma (i.e., a blind spot), your next best spot is the so-called Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL). When you look at an object, you have to imagine it as being in the center of a large clock face. You will then move your eyes along its numbers, observe when the center object appears at its clearest, and use the viewing direction to look at other objects.  

Use Low Vision Aids

Your eye doctor at Target, among other chains, will typically recommend low vision aids like:

  • Making things brighter, such as improving the lighting, reducing glare, and wearing amber or yellow glasses outdoors
  • Increasing the contrast in surfaces
  • Making things appear bigger, such as moving closer to the television or sitting in the front row during performances
  • Using low vision magnifiers

Indeed, while there is no treatment for low vision, life must go on and it starts with your willingness to find ways to still enjoy a rewarding life.

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