With a nod to Healthy Aging Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) published a series of tips for living better with low vision. They point out that the number of older Americans with low vision will likely double by 2050. The leading causes of low vision, a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by lenses or medical treatment, are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and inherited retinal diseases. To add insult to injury, most people with declining vision believe that nothing can be done to help them.
We are pleased to stand in agreement with AAO’s recommendations for maintaining a productive and independent life in the face of vision loss. Subscribers to OEPatients.org are ahead of the curve and already aware and implementing the small changes that keep them actively engaged. Let’s walk together through an overview of how their tips concur with our content.
- Improve Contrast
Utilize contrasting colors throughout the home to improve clarity in table settings, kitchen tools and surfaces, furnishings, door frames and steps.
- Prevent Falls, Improve Lighting
Add lighting to hallways and staircases, task lighting in the kitchen and work places.
- Reduce Clutter & Organize
Essential to safety and sanity, keep things in their appropriate places and don’t be a collector.
- Embrace Technology
Audiobooks and voice assistants like Alexa & Google are enormously helpful and easy to adopt.
- See Ophthalmologist & Low Vision Specialist
The doctors can help patients maximize remaining vision.
- Vision Rehab
Often this suggestion comes as a last resort for patients with advanced vision loss. It usually requires legal blindness to qualify for vision rehabilitation services, but it is most effective when included early in the process. Making incremental changes at every stage helps to dramatically ease the adjustment. Attempting to recover once the vision loss is severe, is far more difficult.
Read the AAO News Release that inspired our post: