HealthSheets™


Treatment for Low Vision

Closeup of hands dialing large-button telephone.
Vision aids, such as a large-button telephone, can help with everyday tasks.
Using vision aids can help you do the things you need and want to do. There are many kinds of vision aids. You can buy them at low-vision centers. Some eye healthcare providers also sell these aids. They can train you to use your aids. And they can talk with you about proper lighting.

Working with your eye healthcare provider

Your eye healthcare provider will check your eyes and help you get the vision aids that will work best for you. Or he or she may refer you to an eye healthcare provider who is trained to treat low vision (a low-vision specialist). You’ll probably have glasses prescribed for you, too. Many vision aids are designed to be used along with glasses. Be sure to wear your glasses as directed.

Vision aids

There are many aids to help you see better and make your daily life easier. These include:

  • Magnifiers, such as high-power glasses and telescopic devices

  • Check-writing guides

  • Large-button telephones and stoves with large dials

  • Talking clocks, audio books, computers, and other machines

  • Large-print books, newspapers, magazines, and playing cards

  • Closed-circuit TV systems to magnify reading material

Proper lighting

Lighting suggestions include the following:

  • Use a portable light with an adjustable arm. Place it close to what you’re reading or doing. Carry a penlight.

  • Sit near a window during the day. At night, make sure there is plenty of lighting in the room.

  • Try a visor, a hat with a brim, or special lenses to reduce glare from lighting or the sun. 

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