With our aging population, visual impairment is becoming more common. If someone you know is experiencing vision loss, here’s how you can help.
Ways to help someone with low vision
There are many ways to help someone with vision loss. You can take them shopping, do home repairs, or just hang out and be a friend.
Good vision is a precious gift — and one that is easy to take for granted. Imagine for a minute what life would be like if your vision was permanently impaired and could not be corrected with specatcles, contact lenses or vision surgery.
This is the situation many people find themselves in every day, suffering from what is called “low vision.” Other terms used to describe people with low vision are “partially sighted,” “visually impaired” and “legally blind.”
Causes of low vision include hereditary conditions, eye injuries and eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Whatever the origin, low vision often causes depression and feelings of isolation and helplessness.
If you have a friend or family member with low vision or know others in your community who are partially sighted, here are a few ways you can help them maintain their independence and get the most out of their remaining eyesight:
Help them learn about low vision aids. Special optical devices called low vision aids often can enable people to use their remaining vision more effectively and do things they thought were no longer possible.
These devices include customized magnifiers for reading and other near tasks, computerized text-to-speech devices and handheld or spectacle-mounted telescopes for seeing objects in the distance.
You can help by arranging a visit to our practice to learn which optical aids will provide the most benefit; we offer special low vision appointments at which these assessments can be made.
A low vision exam is different from a regular eye exam and typically involves follow-up visits to help the person with low vision use the prescribed vision aids effectively.