Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Coping With Vision Loss

Vision loss is a difficult condition, but fortunately there are many low vision aids that can help you cope day to day.

If you are reading this you probably do not have low vision or you are already using these tools. Perhaps you know someone who is struggling, so pass on this information.

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Children’s Vision and Eye Care Basics

It’s difficult to know if or when your child needs to see an eye care provider. But most experts agree that eye exams -- performed during regular well-child visits -- help protect your child’s vision and provide useful information about his or her eye health. Children’s eye health begins in the newborn nursery and should continue throughout childhood, says Michael Repka, MD, professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “For many children, an evaluation...

Read the Children’s Vision and Eye Care Basics article > >

Some eye conditions, like diabetic retinopathy and certain corneal diseases, can be treated so that vision is restored or maintained. Unfortunately, some eye conditions cannot be treated, resulting in low vision or blindness. While one obvious challenge of vision loss is restoring mobility and function, there is also the emotional toll of vision loss to consider. There are steps you can take to better cope with the condition, including:

Learn More About Your Vision Loss

You can order written or taped materials on vision loss through state agencies and non-profit organizations. You may also find it helpful to discuss vision loss with your doctor, as well as other people who have lost vision.

Seek Therapeutic Counseling for Vision Loss

While vision loss can occur at any age, it occurs most often among mature adults. Like any other major life event, vision loss can bring feelings of loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, and depression. Doctors, state agencies, and non-profit organizations offer counseling services for those with vision loss and can provide referrals to other professionals based on individual needs.

Grieving the Loss of Vision

The loss of vision is initially devastating. Understanding the process of grief associated with vision loss can help you and your loved ones cope with these physiological and emotional challenges.

Explore Adjustment Classes and Devices for Vision Loss

Tasks as simple as dressing in the morning or as complex as cooking a meal become new challenges after vision loss. In adjustment classes, individuals can learn new or alternative techniques to help maintain independence. While building mobility and motor skills, these classes and aids also teach the patience and confidence required to live with low vision on a daily basis.

What Low Vision Aids Are Available?

A variety of low vision aids are very useful. Popular low vision aids include:

  • Telescopic glasses
  • Lenses that filter light
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Hand magnifiers
  • Closed-circuit television
  • Reading prisms

These devices are stronger than regular eyeglasses and can be hand-held or stationary. You can also buy computer software that can alter screen images or read typed text to make new technology and electronic information readily available.

Non-optical aids are also helpful in daily activities. These devices "talk" to you, or offer enlarged print or Braille. Many also have special features, such as high contrast, that make them easier to see. Some popular non-optical devices include:

  • Text reading software
  • Braille readers
  • Check guides
  • High contrast clocks and watches
  • Talking watches and clocks
  • Large-print publications
  • Clocks, phones, and watches with enlarged numbers

 

Low vision clinics and agencies are available in many locations which can help people choose the most helpful vision aids and services for their personal visual problem.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on November 12, 2013

Today on WebMD

businesswoman wearing fun eyeglasses
Slideshow
Pink Eye Slideshow
Slideshow
 
Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
grilled salmon and spinach
Video
 

Understanding Stye
Article
human eye
Article
 
eye
Video
eye exam timing
Video
 

vision test
Tool
is vision correction surgery for you
Article
 
high tech contacts
Article
eye drop
Article
 

Special Sections