Low Vision Awareness Month
As we age people experience changes in vision. Low vision, described by the National Eye Institute (NIH) as a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery, affects 3 million Americans over the age of 40. Low vision makes everyday activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing and watching TV hard to do.
Some signs of low vision include difficulty with:
- Recognizing faces
- Getting around the neighborhood
- Sewing or fixing things around the house
- Selecting and matching the color of clothes
- Seeing clearly with the lights on or feeling like they are dimmer than normal
- Reading traffic signs or the names of stores.
The good news is that there’s hope; people who have low vision can still experience a high quality of life and maintain independence. The NIH recommends routine eye exams and reaching out to an eye care professional as quickly as possible when you experience any changes to your eyesight. If you have low vision your vision specialist can create a rehabilitation plan including magnifying devices and other adaptive equipment, as well as teach you techniques for confidently performing a range of daily activities.
For a low vision assessment, contact your health professional, or the call the Oregon Commission for the Blind at 971-673-1588 to schedule an assessment.
By Rhonda Kay Leonard, M.S.W.: To find out more about United Homecare’s commitment to excellence, please visit homecarepartner.org or call 503-433-8079.