When your eyesight starts to deteriorate, it can feel like you are losing control and independence. It goes without saying that your vision is integral to much of your everyday life, whether that is reading the paper, watching the television, or popping to the shops. As you start to lose your eyesight, it is natural to feel like you are losing control of your everyday life, which can leave you with feelings of sadness and frustration.
Thankfully when it comes to eyesight, there are ways to regain that control and independence. There are several tools and aids explicitly designed for this purpose. Some are more useful than others, and it is essential to choose the right solution for your level of your eyesight and your eye condition.
Five daily activities and the Low Vision Aids that help:
- Cooking – Use high-contrast cooking utensils, large-print timers, bump dots for marking frequently used buttons on the oven or microwave, finger protectors while cutting, liquid level indicators for pouring drinks, and handheld video magnifiers for seeing ingredients and reading recipes.
- Dress and grooming – Colour identifiers will help you match your clothes by colour and pair outfits together for quick and easy dressing. A desktop magnifier such as the Onyx OCR or the easily-portable Topaz PHD has a self-view mode that will allow you to enlarge your face on the monitor while applying make-up, shaving, or completing other grooming activities.
- Reading (almost anything!)– There are a huge range of magnifiers available, from Schweizer handheld magnifying glasses and bar magnifiers to electronic handheld or desktop versions. All are great ways to magnify printed text to a comfortable reading size, and what does the job for you will depend entirely on your eye condition. Particularly unique are the video magnifiers that include the text-to-speech (also called OCR) feature that can scan printed text and read it back to you. This is great if it’s a particularly long document or your eyes are tired.
- Writing – Magnify the text and what you are writing by using a desktop video magnifier or one of the more advanced portable magnifiers such as the Compact 10 HD. The large viewing monitor helps magnify the text to as large as you need and there are also options to change the colour of the text if you find certain colours easier to see than others.
- Walking from room-to-room – Improved lighting is one of the most straightforward solutions, but it is often overlooked. The colour and intensity of the light can have a profound effect on your ability to see objects and obstacles.
All of these tools will help you take back control in your everyday life; however, patience is key. As with anything new, it will take time for you to get familiar with these solutions. Once you are, using them will become second nature, and they most certainly won't slow you down.
If you need help or support with any of these solutions, our teams are on hand to visit you at home or to walk you through the issue step by step over the telephone, via video call or email.