Learning that you or a loved one has vision loss can be emotionally devastating. Many people assume that they can no longer enjoy their favorite activities and lead an active, independent life. However, this is not necessarily true. Low vision aids are available and treatment may be possible. It’s important to talk to your ophthalmologist about your options.
In the meantime, there are steps you can take to cope with vision loss in a more positive and constructive manner.
Get Educated on the Condition
It can be scary to read the statistics on your eye disease, so your first reaction may be to stay off the internet. While you should not read scary and unnecessary statistics, it is important to be informed. Rely on informative yet generalized websites such as AAO.org and WebMD.com.
Learning about your debilitating eye condition helps you to be prepared. How does the disease progress? What are your potential options for treatment? Also talk to your doctor and ask for recommendations on pamphlets, books or support groups. Getting the facts can alleviate fear and help you better understand and accept your condition.
Seek Therapeutic Counseling
Losing your vision comes with a lot of emotional stress. It’s normal to feel depressed, isolated and angry. You may even be in denial. The best way to deal with these emotions is by seeking therapeutic counseling. In fact, you can address other issues that you may be dealing with as well such as decreased mobility or diabetes.
Consider Low Vision Aids
Low vision aids are designed to help you with your vision. They are task specific. In other words, you choose the device based on the activity you are doing. Some of the most popular low vision products include:
● Low vision screens
● Portable magnifiers
● Small telescopes
● Strong reading glasses
Get Help from Non-Optical Aids
Another form of assistance is non-optical aids. Options include talking clocks, text reading software, Braille readers and large-print publications. Many people with vision loss find that a combination of low vision devices helps them to be most independent.
Vision loss varies among people. Sometimes, it is treatable and sometimes it is not. The best thing you can do is build a care team that includes doctors, therapists and retina specialists who will monitor your condition and offer personalized treatment.