Living With Low Vision
A few small changes can make life easier
for someone with vision impairment.
Mild vision impairment has little effect on day-to-day activities,
but moderate to severe damage can make it difficult for people
to perform common household tasks. Ophthalmologists and low-vision
counselors recommend these simple, practical strategies to help
visually impaired patients maintain their independence.
Always leave doors completely open or
completely closed. This reduces the risk of accidentally
walking into the door edge.
Choose a tablecloth that contrasts with
the color of your dishes; for example, a dark cloth
under white dishes provides enhanced contrast. Similarly, use
dark-colored cups or mugs for light liquids and vice versa.
This will minimize spilling.
Tack down loose rugs, use nonslip
mats beneath them, or use furniture to hold them down to prevent
slipping and tripping.
Use a brightly colored sticker or tape
a colorful piece of paper to all clear glass doors to
help you determine whether the door is open or closed and prevent
Avoid buying or consider replacing glass-topped coffee or end
tables; the edges are extremely difficult to see, making bumping
injuries more likely.
Mark the important settings on the dials of the stove, washer,
dryer, and other appliances using brightly colored tape.
Mark the outer edge of all indoor and
outdoor stairs with a strip of paint or non-skid material
in a color that contrasts with the rest of the step. The strip
should extend about 2 inches from the edge—both horizontally
and vertically—and should go across the full width of
the step. This reduces the chances of tripping or falling on
When loading knives into the dishwasher or
drainboard, be sure to place them sharp-side down.
Examine unidentified objects with the
hands before bringing them near the face for a closer
view; this will prevent inadvertent poking of the eyes.
Have someone help you arrange clothing if
you have color-vision problems. Separate items according to color
and then use labeled dividers to identify them.