Living with vision loss, tips and challenges

Published on
May 6, 2022

Living with vision loss, tips and challenges from a Los Angeles Low Vision Optometrist

Those with low vision have a variety of challenges to overcome as they learn to live with their condition. Although diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent further loss of vision, there are steps you can take on your own to prevent injury,  regain independence, and make life more comfortable. In this blog Dr. Sarah Wolff, our residency trained low vision optometrist serving the greater Los Angeles low vision population shares some strategies. 

Increased contrast

One of the tips that are usually given to people who are just beginning to lose their vision, or even their family members who have a loved one who is losing their vision, is to use tools and tips to improve contrast. When a person starts to lose their vision from diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and other vision conditions, contrast sensitivity is often impacted.  It is much easier to see dark food on white plate than it is to see dark food on a dark plate. A white placemat makes it much easier to blue on cups, since it has a high contrast. It is also helpful when writing, if you use a darker type of pen on white paper, you can see the print a lot better than if you're using just a regular ballpoint pen. Similarly, a larger font will enable you to write and read a letter more easily and will not make you struggle as you would with a smaller font. Even though it may seem simple, it greatly reduces the difficulty of seeing it.

Contrast settings on electronic devices

If you're using a device, you can enhance the picture by adding colors since a white background is often very bright for someone with some vision loss. It can even be reversed to create a white lettering on a black background. Some people prefer yellow lettering on a black background. There are a lot of options to choose from there that you can play around with too, especially if you are new to vision loss. Keep in mind that every person's vision loss impacts their color contrast sensitivity differently, play around with the settings to see what makes it easier for you to see. 

Handheld magnifying lenses and magnifying glasses for vision loss

For someone with low vision, a magnifying lens is perhaps the most important tool, since it helps them read and do detail work. There are two primary types of magnification that can help a person with vision loss. The most well known kind of magnification is handheld magnification. The other is glasses that include more magnification. One of the major benefits of glasses with higher magnification is that it leaves the patients hands free. Furthermore they can be worn at all times or simply kept hanging from your neck like a pair of reading glasses. Many magnifiers have lights or glare-blocking filters. They come in different sizes and strengths. One of the roles of a low vision optometrist is to help the patient navigate the options and understand what type of magnification will help them achieve the best result visually and be best suited for their goals. 

Good lighting

It is imperative that people with low vision have plenty of light in their homes and any area where they spend time doing tasks that require great vision such as their dining room table, where they read, their desk, and at work. Brighter lighting can help someone with vision loss move freely and enjoy activities such as reading, sewing, playing cards, and much more. Whenever possible, open shades to let in natural light. For general lighting, look for overhead fixtures with strong bulbs and easy-to-access switches. During the evening hours, pay attention to dimly lit corners and stairs; motion-sensor nightlights will come in handy.

Many patients love adjustable full spectrum stand lights that they can position near their reading area or anywhere where they need extra visual clarity. A low vision optometrist will help guide the patient on the best kind of lighting to meet their lifestyle and visual ability. 

 

Schedule a low vision exam in Los Angeles with Dr. Wolff, a residency trained low vision optometrist

Dr. Wolff has extensive experience and a passion for helping people with vision loss improve their vision, regain their independence, and enjoy the tasks that they loved before vision loss. Dr. Wolff works with every patient and their families to help them understand their vision loss better and navigate the myriad of options available to them to improve their vision. Schedule a low vision exam with Dr. Wolff today, call as at (562) 925-6591 today. 

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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