Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula. It’s a leading cause of vision loss in older adults and can make it difficult for patients to see fine details, read and perform other daily activities.
Visual aids help patients with AMD maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. At Chism Low Vision Institute in Tyler, our goal is to enable our patients to continue doing the things that bring them joy, despite low vision.
Some of the best visual aids for patients with AMD include:
Magnifiers enlarge fine print or small objects, making them easier to see. Handheld magnifiers are portable and can be used for reading, crafting and other hobbies, but they must be held by hand. In contrast, stand magnifiers can be placed on top of a book or newspaper and are always focused for the correct distance.
2. Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Systems
These systems use a digital camera to magnify print or objects and display them on a screen. They can be adjusted to suit the individual's needs and can be used for a variety of tasks, such as reading, writing and crafting.
3. Electronic Reading Aids
These devices use text-to-speech technology to read aloud printed materials such as books, newspapers and labels. They can be portable or desktop-based and can be adjusted to suit the individual's reading speed and preferences.
4. Talking Watches and Other Appliances
Talking watches and clocks verbally announce the time, so they’re useful for patients who have difficulty reading a traditional clock or watch. Other household appliances, such as microwaves, kitchen scales and thermometers, can also come with a “talking” feature that is low-vision friendly.
5. Low Vision Optical Lenses
Your low vision optometrist can prescribe a wide range of optical lenses and glasses to help broaden your vision. Some examples include E-Scoop glasses, prismatic glasses, binocular or telescope glasses, and bioptic glasses. You can also get customized glasses to suit your specific needs.
How Your Low Vision Optometrist Can Help
After a thorough low vision evaluation, your low vision eye doctor will ask you about your daily routine and recommend the most suitable low vision aids and devices for your eyes, lifestyle and goals.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AMD, take the first step toward regaining independence by contacting your Chism Low Vision Institute optometrist today.
Our practice serves patients from Abilene, Austin, Fort Worth, and Georgetown, Texas and surrounding communities.