Home improvement can upgrade the look and feel of your living space. But for those with low vision, the right setup can be the difference between constantly relying on others and functioning independently.
At Chism Low Vision Institute, we understand the importance of feeling self-sufficient and continuing to do the things you love after vision loss. To that end, we've shared a few tips to help you adapt your home and help you live a higher quality of life.
1. Increase the Color Contrast
Make sure you strategically place bright contrasting colors around the house to help identify and locate items. For example, keep your phone, keys or wallet in a bright tray or dish so they’re easy to find.
Consider replacing cabinet and doorknobs with colors that stand out. For instance, choosing black knobs on white cabinets and doors will make it easier for you to find and grasp them. You can also add brightly colored tape to kitchen utensils and remote controls. We further recommend you place brightly colored non-slip tape or a contrasting or textured strip of flooring in front of a staircase to alert you to the stairs.
Contrasting colors are just as useful for preparing food and beverages. Pour dark liquids (like coffee or tea) into white mugs, and light liquids (like milk) into darker colored mugs. If your mugs blend in with the color of your countertops, consider purchasing new ones in a contrasting color.
2. Furnish Thoughtfully
People with low vision may struggle to maintain eye contact or recognize faces of those who are far away. For this reason, it's worth moving sofas and armchairs close together.
Moreover, when choosing furniture, focus on differences in texture and size. It’s often easier for someone with low vision to identify a piece of furniture through touch rather than sight.
3. Bring in More Light
Think floor lamps, desk lamps, and sheer window curtains — anything that increases lighting will make it easier to read, cook, do crafts and other activities.
Desk lamps should be bright and be fitted with a lightbulb that's at least 75w.
4. Use Technology
Consult with your low vision optometrist regarding which optimal low vision digital aids and devices you can use to help you read and identify household items with ease. Some options include closed caption television video magnifiers, handheld video magnifiers and wearable digital headsets.
5. Make Your Space Hazard-Free
Consider removing rugs or securing their edges to prevent accidental trips and falls, and ensure that all pathways are free of electrical cords and clutter.
If your home has a tiled floor, be sure there aren’t any loose, uneven or broken pieces that can easily be overlooked. Additionally, when washing your floors, opt for non-glare detergents that don't leave a waxy finish.
Living with low vision can be difficult, but making your home more suited to your visual needs will make daily living easier.
Your low vision optometrist at Chism Low Vision Institute makes it a priority to provide personalized care and attention to ensure the best possible outcome. After thoroughly examining your eyes and assessing your degree of vision loss, Dr. Larry M. Chism will recommend low vision aids and devices to help you maximize your vision and enjoy a better quality of life.
If you or a family member live with low vision or have been diagnosed with a sight-threatening eye condition, call Chism Low Vision Institute to schedule a low vision consultation today.
Chism Low Vision Institute serves patients from Abilene, Austin, Fort Worth, and Georgetown, Texas and surrounding communities.
Q: What is low vision?
- A: An individual is defined as having ‘low vision’ if their fully corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do. Fortunately, there's hope for those with low vision. A low vision eye doctor can offer vision aids and devices to maximize remaining vision.
Q: What are low vision aids and devices?
- A: Low vision aids are a combination of special lenses and devices that maximize any usable vision to help patients recognize faces, watch TV, read and carry out daily tasks. Common low vision aids include low vision glasses like microscopes, telescopes, filters and prisms. There are also electronic visual aids and optical magnifiers.