One of the top concerns for new glaucoma patients is keeping their independence, such as the ability to drive or perform their favorite activities outside of the house. Glaucoma affects people of all ages, and the condition worsens with time. Our eye doctors at Clarity Eye Group in Huntington Beach understand that patients want to maintain their lifestyle and offer various glaucoma treatments to lower intraocular eye pressure and slow down vision changes.
Glaucoma is a progressive disease that steals your peripheral and central vision gradually. There’s no way to regain vision once it’s lost to glaucoma, so treatment focuses on preserving your remaining eyesight. Patients often need to learn low-vision techniques and use assistive devices to maintain their independence before and after glaucoma surgery.
Low Vision Assistive Devices
Magnification tools are one of the best ways to keep your visual freedom with glaucoma. These devices help you read, write, and continue working when central vision loss occurs. These tools may include magnifying eyeglasses for close-up tasks, stand magnifiers to enlarge printed materials, handheld magnifiers for portable use, and telescopes for distance vision. Some telescope versions attach to eyeglasses, while others are handheld and look like specialty binoculars. While these devices won’t fix the blind spots in your vision, they can enhance your remaining eyesight capabilities.
Low Vision Techniques for Optimizing Vision
You can modify your home and lifestyle to make the most of your remaining vision, such as:
- Improve the lighting throughout your home by replacing light bulbs with high-wattage bulbs and adding bright lamps in dim areas. Carry a high-power pocket flashlight and use a gooseneck lamp to brighten your workspace and focus your vision.
- Reduce glare by adjusting lamps and lights in your home to avoid reflections on shiny surfaces. Use polarized sunglasses that wrap around your eyes and temples, and consider a ball cap, visor, or wide-brimmed hat to decrease glare outside.
- Increase the contrast in your home by getting a dark tablecloth to offset your white dishes or vice versa. Use black contact paper to darken your desktop to see white documents more easily. Type in bold and write with heavy felt tip markers.
Tips and Tricks to Maximize Your Remaining Vision
Depending on the severity of your glaucoma and vision loss, you may need additional devices to help you perform necessary tasks, such as watches and timers with voice control. Purchase or rent large-print books and ask your bank for large-print bank checks. Find remotes, watches, and thermostats with large numbers and contrasting colors. Rely on electronics to help you maintain your independence, such as audiobooks, smartphones, and tablets, where you can use voice commands and increase the text size and contrast. Most computers can magnify the screen and read text aloud.
There are many ways to maintain your independence while living with glaucoma. Schedule an eye exam and consultation at Clarity Eye Group to discuss your glaucoma treatment options and low-vision tools. Contact our Huntington Beach, California, office at (714) 842-0651.