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Low vision aids / products & resources

Here you can find low vision aids to make seeing easier, such as reading glasses and contact lenses including disposable contact lenses. Also very useful resources giving expert information and advice to make seeing easier.

Elderly people are often 'conditioned' to expect a reduction in the clarity of their sight. If the sight fails, because this natural decay has been observed for so long, there can be acceptance rather than a conviction that things might be better. There is much up to date information available about what can be done for low vision. Elderly people can benefit from contact lenses and reading glasses as well as operations to correct low vision. more...

Reading, Writing, Low Vision

Latest gadgets for better vision

Reading, Writing, Low Vision

Free prescriptions and sight tests for over 50s
  Free prescriptions and sight tests for over 50s

National Contacts for the
Blind and Partially Sighted

Articles - 7 Common Things That Rapidly Deteriorate Your Vision / Aids for visually impaired /
Guide Dogs & Their Owners / When You Meet a Blind Person


Click on the link

better vision


Supporting blind and partially sighted people


UK’s leading charity offering information, support and advice to over two million people with sight problems.

Regular eye tests are an important health check for all the family, and free for anyone over 60.

You may think there's nothing wrong with your eyes, but your optician can detect problems you're unaware of - and save your sight.

Visit www.rnib.org.uk or call 0845 766 9999 to find out more about preventable sight loss.

  Vision call

We provide free (NHS funded) home eye tests to anyone in the UK who is elderly and finds it difficult to get around.







13 Secrets Your Eye Doctor Won�t Tell You

Never use tissues or toilet paper to clean your eyeglasses. Paper is made of wood, and it will scratch your lenses.

"Polarized sunglasses are great at reducing glare, but they can make it difficult to see the LCD on your cell phone or navigation system. It's harder to see an ATM screen when you've got polarized sunglasses on too."

"Many of you seem to think you can go on with life as normal immediately after I dilate your eyes, but it'll be two or three hours before you can do anything that requires concentrated visual attention. Sometimes people get irritated that they can't read a 12-page document."

"Most people know that UV radiation can damage skin, but they don't realize it's also bad for eyes. You wear your sunglasses only when it's sunny? That's like saying 'I only smoke sometimes.' Wear sunglasses big enough to block the light from above and below � they should have thick sides or wrap around. If you wear contacts, ask for UV coating."

"Despite what generations of parents have told their kids, carrots aren't the best food for your eyes. That honor goes to spinach, kale, and other dark, leafy veggies."

"Eyedrops (any kind) sting less if you keep them in the refrigerator."

"Some doctors pressure patients to have cataract surgery right away, but if it creates financial problems for you, there's usually no harm in waiting. Cataracts rarely hurt you � they just make it hard to see, like looking out of a dirty window."

"Reading in dim light won't hurt your eyes. The worst that might happen is that you get a headache."

Take extended-wear contacts out before bed. Your chance of infection is 10 to 15 times greater if you sleep in them."

"Don't just grab any old bottle of eyedrops out of your medicine cabinet when a new problem comes up. If you have an infection, steroid drops might make the redness look better, but the infection could get worse. I've had to remove people's eyes because of that."

"Pinkeye isn't always benign � a number of patients end up with light sensitivity and even vision loss. But many physicians treat it with antibiotics that won't help if the cause is a virus. We do a rapid test for adenovirus � if that's what you have, we treat it very differently than if your pinkeye is bacterial."

"No, it's not okay to wait for symptoms to appear. Some blinding eye diseases have few warning signs before they've taken away your vision. A yearly exam is the only way to catch things early."



Help by telephone

National Contacts for the
Blind and Partially Sighted




Royal National Institute fot the Blind
Telephone No: 01345 023153

Partially Sighted Society
Telephone No: 01302 323132

Action for Blind People
Telephone No: 020 7732 8771

Telephone No: 0121 4282441

British Association for Sporting and Recreational
Activity for the Blind
Telephone No: 0170 3881266

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Alexandra House,
9 / 11 Park Street,
Berks S14 IJR

Association of Blind African Caribbean
Telephone No: 020 7703 3688

RNIB Talking Book Service
Telephone No: 020 8903 6666
Calbre Talking Book Service
Buckinghamshire, E1P22 5XQ
Telephone No: 01296 432339

The Talking Newspaper Association
90 High Street,
East Sussex TN2 I 8JD
Tclcphone No: 01435 86102

Weekend Listener
MT Audio Publications Limited
Field House,
Nevill Park,
Tunbridgc Wells,
Kent TN4 8NW
Telephone No: 01892 544796

The International Glaucoma Association
Ophthalmology Department
Kings College Hospital,
Denmark Hill,
London SF5 9RS









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Age related sight impairment a condition known as macular degeneration or AMD occurs when the cells of the macula become damaged and stop working. Although the condition normally affects people at their 60s, this can occasionally happen at any age, but rarely. In the Western world, it is the most common cause of blindness and in the UK around 500,000 people are thought to be affected by AMD.


The macula is a small area in the retina that contains special cells that are especially sensitive to light. The macula enables people to see fine details clearly and is essential for the healthy workings on the eye. This type of vision impairment leads to central vision lost and does not affect the peripheral vision.

Types Of Age Related Vision Impairment:


This condition affects around 20 to 25 million people worldwide, half a million of which are thought to reside in the UK. There are two types of age related macular degeneration. The first type is know as wet macular degeneration and the second type is know as dry macular degeneration which is also the most common type. In 9 out of 10 cases, dry macular degeneration is responsible for age related sight impairment and possible blindness.


What Are The Suggested Treatments:

Age related sight impairment will usually occur in both eyes, although one eye may become affected earlier than the other. A regular eye test which is recommended every year to two years for the over 60s will help diagnose the condition, otherwise if you suspect you might be suffering from age related sight impairment you should book an appointment to see your local opticians ASAP. Your optician will likely suggest a few alternative treatments from medicines to laser eye surgery based on your particular circumstances and the type of age related macular degeneration you have.


Common AMD Questions and Answers:


Q. Can AMD be prevented?
A. Means to reduce the likelihod of macular degeneration vision loss include wearing sunglasses, eating a balanced diet and not smoking.


Q. What are the symptoms of AMD?
A. The most common symptoms are distortion of your vision, blurry central vision, seeing shapes or colours that aren't there and gradual development of a dark or blank patch in the centre of your vision.


Q. How often should I get my eyes tested?
A. According to the Practitioner Services (one of 11 divisions within NHS National Services in Scotland), how often you need to get your eyes tested depends on your age and health. If you are 16 to 59 years old then your eyes should be tested every two years, if you are 60 to 69 years old then your eyes should be tested usually every two years and if you are over 70 years old then your eyes should be tested every year. Another factor which should be taken into account is your medical condition. If you are diabetic then your eyes should be tested every year and If you or a member of your family has glaucoma then your eyes should be tested every year.


Q. What should I do if I suspect I have AMD?
A. Simple. Book an appointment to see your local opticians.


A guide to age related vision impairment was written by online opticians, glasses direct the uk's biggest online opticians.





Aids for low vision

Fortunately, the range of products available to assist with day to day activities if you have less than adequate vision is improving all the time.

Alarm clocks
Keep track of the time and make sure you don't oversleep, with an alarm clock with a number of clever features. They are available with an analogue face, which has large, clear numerals, and also shows the time in digital format. They can speak the time in response to the press of a button, and have an audible alarm function. You can programme it to announce the time every hour, if you wish.
A talking wristwatch which combines a clear analogue face with a 'speak the time' function is also helpful. These are available in both analogue and digital versions and in both men's and women's styles. Spoken feedback assists with setting the correct time.

Many pocket calculators are so small and fiddly, it is next to impossible for any but the most nimble fingered and acute eyed to use them! Apart from large clear buttons, there are calculators available that also speak both the input figures and the results. On the subject of fiddly buttons, a programmable remote control is available which can be used to replace up to four standard remotes with large clear buttons and an illuminated key pad for ease of use.

Make writing as easy as possible: position yourself in good light; use a bold, black ink pen, so that you get maximum contrast for easier legibility; a notepad with raised or bold guidelines will make it easier to keep straight! There are large print and Braille versions of diaries, calendars and address books, to help keep you organised; tactile and recordable greetings cards, to help you keep in touch.
If you're finding it more difficult to handle a conventional pen, there are a couple of alternatives. A contoured ballpoint which needs very little pressure, and can be weighted with sand for those with a shaky hand or holders that are made from soft PVC and fit over any normal sized pen or pencil, making them easier to grip.

Pen & pencil grips


Good daylight is the best for reading and detailed tasks - but it isn't always available! A portable daylight lamp which folds for travelling means that you can always have the right kind of light where you need it. Reading may be easier with a book holder, to save tired arms, and keep the book open at the right page.
Anyone who is bedridden may find it easier to read with the assistance of a book-holder/stand, which holds the book or magazine overhead at a convenient angle, or prism glasses, which enable you to watch TV or read without craning your neck. These can be worn with prescription glasses, if necessary.
Magnifying aids can also help with reading: a magnifying sheet; a hand-held lens; or a hands-free lens, which leaves both hands free to work at intricate tasks.

low vision aids Eye Products and Magnifiers

If you enjoy playing cards -it may be easier to handle larger cards (7" x 4.5"); standard-sized cards with enlarged and/or simplified motifs are helpful for those with impaired vision. A card holder which takes large or standard-sized cards can be useful for holding and sorting your hand.

Low vision product - Large playing cards

Playing Card Holder

There is a wide range of games available in versions that are tactile, large scale and/or with good colour contrast, to enable everyone to join in the fun. From chess and backgammon to ludo and monopoly, there's something to suit every taste.

Needleworkers who struggle with threading needles may find a threader for hand sewing needles or for machine needles useful. Make sure that you choose scissors that are easy to handle too.

Low vision product - Threader

Anyone working with small, fiddly items, such as postage stamps, may welcome the help of tweezers with an integral magnifying lens.


Related article:

How to Preserve Your Eyesight



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