Poor vision: hints & coping
Jayne Kempster, David Kinshuck, Bruce Fisher
Contrast is important to help reading: black print on white paper maximises contrast to make reading as easy as possible. On computer moitors, sometimes white type on a black screen is best.
increasing the contrast makes reading and writing much easier enlarge
In the kitchen good lighting and large labels, black on white or white on black, on jars for instance can make cooking easier.
Use a marker to assist reading.
The smaller the number of words you need to be see at one time, the easier it is to read.
If you hold the marker so only one line of text is visible, then move it down line by line, the words do not get mixed up, and it is easier to read.
Writing is similar, with a cut out marker that helps you read only one line to be seen at a time. With cheques and pension books or any other specific document, then a specific cut out template makes writing easier. (Banks supply the cheque book templates.)
When writing yourself, using a black felt pen can make writing much easier to read. This is particularly useful writing shopping lists.
Telephone, electric and gas bills, as well as bank statements, can all be supplied in large print, this may mean that a lower powered magnification can be used.
Reading music at a keyboard is not usually helped by optical magnification. The best method is to enlarge the copy. by photocopying: most photocopiers can do this.
Large print books can be very helpful. These can sometimes be read with reading spectacles only, and very often with a lower powered magnifier. This often makes it easier to read in bed for instance.
If this text is too difficult to read talking books or listening to the radio may be the only solution. Most public libraries and local authorities can arrange a Talking Book service in the UK
In the kitchen it is often better to use specially manufactured items, such as talking scales or microwaves when cooking. Magnifiers can be impractical in the kitchen.
The best way to get an enlarged picture on the TV is to get closer. Sitting close to the television will not damage the eyes
Lightweight binnoculars, lighter than these, may help at football matches etc
When going to the theatre, cinema or even to football matches, then small lightweight binoculars can be very helpful. These are readily available. It is often useful to use some that will focus to 6-8 feet (2 metres) as these are useful in the house. Many patients find binoculars useful when watching sport on TV.
These can be very useful for cooking. Wear the glove whilst chopping vegetables...it makes it difficult to cut fingers etc.
New GPS systems are expensive but provide fantastic help for those wanting to get around town. Mobility training.
- visual search training may help
- advice from the low vision team needed
- hemianopia generally disqualifies driving
- eligible for partial sight registration / sight impairment registration
- visual difficulties are well known JNO 15