When to buy assistive low vision devices?

For many individuals, the first indication of the “time for reading glasses” comes with the struggle of “when do I really need reading glasses”. As almost a marker of lifetime milestones, the reading glasses have a bit of a reputation of wanting to be ignored. Think back to Marilyn Monroe in ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’; who wants to wear glasses all of the time, let alone pull out a pair of reading glasses when looking at a restaurant menu? However short or long the period of time spent pondering the necessity for reading glasses, at some point you knew it was time for visual assistance.

Deciding when and what assistive low vision device to buy can seem a bit more overwhelming than walking into the drugstore and choosing a pair of 1.75+ glasses that you will throw into your purse or shirt pocket, and will most likely purchase several more over the course of time. For individuals with low vision, as stated by the National Eye Institute, their vision is such that cannot be corrected with standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. This definition begins the steps toward identifying the need for assistive low vision devices.

Reading glasses and prescription glasses might not be doing the job visually for reading and performing daily tasks anymore. However there are simple adjustments that can be made around the house to aid with visual ease. Large print (digital) clocks and books, telephones (and cell phones) with enlarged keypads, adjusted large font on the computer, and additional lighting (more natural light or natural light inspired lamps) will help foster a visually supportive atmosphere. Writing notes with a larger tip marker will help make for more noticeable printed words such as those for directions, phone numbers, and to do lists.

Should you notice the improvements above are not adequate for reading and visual assistance, or simply do not address the visual aid needed, seeking out assistive low vision devices is recommended. Experiencing eyestrain and frustration are not necessary when reading or enjoying a hobby and may be lessened or eliminated by the proper assistive low vision device. If you are experiencing difficulties or eyestrain when reading, or if central loss of vision has occurred, assistive low vision devices may offer the support and visual aid essential for performing daily tasks. Beyond your own sense of ability and comfort, seeking the guidance of an eye care specialist can best help in the decision of when to begin using assistive low vision devices.