Living with low vision is a complex visual impairment. Individuals who have low vision can have varying amounts of vision loss and the amount they see can depend on a few factors. But, living with low vision isn’t impossible – thousands of Americans are doing it right now just fine. But, being diagnosed with low vision can be difficult and even depressing at first. Luckily there are ways to make the diagnosis a little easier.
Sometimes patients don’t realize they are suffering from low vision. For some, the symptoms of low vision are very minor – such as having difficulty recognizing objects or people far away or requiring a stronger prescription for glasses. For others, the symptoms are much more obvious.
If you have low vision, medicine, eyeglasses and even contact lenses may not help you ever see the same again. Sometimes activities like shopping, cooking, and reading, writing and even watching TV can be difficult – if not impossible.
There are millions of Americans that lose their sight or part of their site every year. While it is more common in those over the age of 65, it can still happen right at birth.
Low vision has numerous causes, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetes, disease, injury, etc. While the cause means the vision loss is permanent, most patients can manage their low vision through treatment, medication and even assistive technologies.
Once you are diagnosed with low vision you may feel depressed. While some depression is normal, it is best to speak to your physician about support groups and rehabilitation programs you can enter for your low vision problem.
Low vision is so common that more smartphone apps are being released to help individuals cope and still function. In fact, some of these apps are so remarkably effective that they help patients work, drive and read.
Thriving despite your physical condition comes down to mastering three areas in your life:
Smartphone apps, like VO Calendar, help you manage your day without forgetting important appointments. Because low vision makes it harder to see – let alone keep a calendar, VO Calendar can dictate your appointments and important dates to you via your smartphone.
There’s no denying that seeing your sight deteriorate causes negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, fear, and nostalgia of times when it was something you may have taken for granted.
Watch out for depression, as this is an outright disease of its own and can turn catastrophic if you don’t get a handle on it.
For this reason, I encourage you to seek out low vision support groups in order to get around others who may be experiencing their own form of low vision, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, or as I do, Angioid streaks.
That’s right, I understand because I’ve dealt with low vision for over 25 years. Through my own experience, I know how vital it is to get a handle on your emotions and come to accept your physical condition.
Once you do this, you’re free to begin learning how many of us thrive in spite of low vision.
Eating a healthy diet is important whether you have a degenerative eye disease or not. However, once you’ve been diagnosed, it becomes even more important.
First of all, a diet of conventional food with harmful additives, processed snack food with high fructose corn syrup, white pastas, etc, makes it more difficult to get a handle on your emotional state.
These foods cause stress on the body, create havoc with your blood sugar levels, create insomnia, and make your body tired.
The best thing you can do when living with low vision is to fill your body with foods and nutrients known to help slow the progression of eye disease.
I’ve written an article detailing the most effective diet full of antioxidants like Vitamins A, B, and E, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids. As well, I recommend you read about the AREDS study.
While I know how activities you used to take for granted, such as reading, driving, writing, cooking, and cleaning have now become more difficult, there’s technology available that makes all of this so much easier after vision loss.
One of the greatest fears is a loss of independence. The questions you may ask are, “How will I be able to simply read a recipe, take my medications on my own, or surf the Internet?”
You’ll do it with low vision aids such as magnifiers (that can allow you to read full novels on a large print monitor, for example), cell phones that talk to you, digital reading books, talking prescription label readers, talking glucose monitors, talking scales, etc.
Yes, we can live independent lives and feel empowered despite low vision!
If you’d like to learn more about today’s technology, I’m happy to send you full details. Just fill out the form below.