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When you’re used to relying on your sight, any amount of vision loss from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) can make everyday tasks more challenging. If you lose a significant amount of central vision, it can become more difficult to do things like read, watch TV or cook. Thankfully, there are many resources offering smart ideas and useful tools to help you work around your vision limitations, maintain your independence and enjoy your life.
Your eyecare professional can help with suggestions or arrange for an occupational therapist to visit your home to provide tips that work just for you. Here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
Macular degeneration impacts only your central vision—what you see directly in front of you. Your peripheral vision, what you see to the sides, up and down, will likely remain sharp. Try positioning things to make use of these areas of sharper vision. With practice, you may find you can improve your ability to do tasks with peripheral vision. This is sometimes called “eccentric vision.”
You can also learn how to use your other senses to help you navigate your world. For example, when cooking, try slowly moving your hand about a foot over a pan on the stove to check that it’s centered over the burner. Too much heat in one spot might mean the burner is exposed.
With AMD, you may find that spaces start to seem darker. Whether you’re trying to knit, do laundry or chop vegetables, you may find it easier to use your remaining vision when working with good light. Try these tips:
Another way to make tasks easier is to create more contrast in the colors of objects.
A voice assistant can do everything from set an alarm, tell you the weather or make a grocery list. Add smart home devices like plugs and lightbulbs, and it can also turn on lights, adjust the thermostat and much more. You can start with the free voice assistant on any smartphone or get a smart speaker for your home.
You might think that you’ll have to give up your favorite pastimes as your vision deteriorates. In fact, you can make adjustments that may help you keep doing what you love for quite some time.
In addition to using good lighting and relying on your peripheral vision, try these adaptations to make reading easier—or to enjoy your books without having to read.
If vision impairment from macular degeneration is getting in the way of enjoying your favorite shows, try these ideas: