Living with Low Vision: Tips for Home Safety – Healthline
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2015, about 1.02 million people in the United States were blind and about 3.22 million had low vision, even after wearing the best prescribed corrective lenses available. Those numbers are predicted to increase dramatically in the coming years.
While low vision can affect anyone, you have a higher chance of developing age-related vision loss if you’re over 40. The leading cause of vision loss as you age is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), though glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy risks also increase.
Fortunately, you can take steps to help reduce the impact of low vision. The following tips may help you or a loved one better navigate your home safely, maintain more independence, and maintain a higher quality of life.
Smaller objects and text can be harder to see. Consider investing in tools to make seeing everyday objects easier to read.
Consider the following:
- Make large, clear labels for the stove, microwave, and other frequently used devices that have small print.
- Use remotes, phones, and small devices that have large displays.
- Have magnifying glasses around the house for seeing smaller objects.
- Ask your pharmacist about using large print for prescription bottles and medication information.
Lighting can help improve vision when completing tasks.
When lighting your home, keep in mind that the further you are from the light source, the more powerful a bulb you’ll need to achieve the same level of brightness needed to read or complete other tasks.
Some actionable steps include the following:
- Install under-cabinet lighting, closet lighting, and lighting in low-lit areas.
- Check the wattage of the bulbs in the home and increase their power if needed.
- Experiment with bulb types to find the lighting that works best for you.
- Keep lights on during the day to help minimize glare.
Sixty- to 100-watt bulbs or their equivalents often provide adequate lighting in fixtures.
Certain items around the house can be difficult to see but easy to trip over. Taking steps to eliminate clutter can help, but you can also do things such as:
- remove area rugs
- fix any loose boards or carpet
- if possible, even out the flooring so it’s flat
- use zip ties or other devices to keep cords out of the way
- clean up spills immediately
- keep smaller furniture items and fixtures, such as end tables, stools, and other objects out of walking paths
You can also make walkways safer by positioning furniture with wide spaces between them. This can help you or a loved one avoid knocking into furniture while walking around the house.
Other safety tips
While keeping pathways clear and wide can help with navigating the house, you can take additional steps to make navigating the home safer. Here are some tips:
- Keep the water heater at 120°F (49°C) or lower.
- Change smoke detector batteries twice a year.
- Consider adding safety bumpers on oven racks to avoid burns.</…….