Reading Aids for Low Vision

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For many people, reading is a joy that knows no bounds but for people who stuffer from low vision, reading creates new challenges that hinder their ability to read. There are many devices out there that help people with tunnel vision, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and other low vision conditions. Something as simple as a hand-help magnifier can make reading much easier - but they’re not always the most comfortable thing to use while reading. Another great option are strong reading glasses or bifocal glasses with a strong prescription - since they’re based on the idea of magnification, either option will make life a little easier.

There are a few things to consider before diving into a new pair of glasses or shelling out a lot of money for a magnifier. Remember how your mother used to nag you about reading in the dark? It turns out she had a point! Increasing the amount of light in a room can help improve how you read. Natural sunlight is usually the best for reading, when available. Re-arranging your furniture to allow maximum sunlight into your reading space may also help. If you can’t find a space with decent lighting, create one! If you suffer from low vision, using the brightest light bulbs will help alleviate the strain caused from reading - so be sure to place high wattage light bulbs in the light fixtures in your favorite reading spaces. Full spectrum light bulbs emit light that closely mimics natural sunlight. One thing to avoid: florescent lighting! It causes a glare which is not only annoying, it also makes reading more difficult for those with low vision.

While good lighting is essential there are other things someone with low vision can do to alleviate the strain caused by reading. It may seem like a no-brainer but large print books, magazines, and cook books can make life much easier but they’re not always practical. Large numbered clocks, phones, watches and even playing cards can ease the strain on the eye - but they’re often seen as decorative eye-sores. Other great devices to consider are color-coded pill boxes, wide-lined paper for note-taking, large felt-tipped pens, and talking clocks. There are some other interesting aids to think about like wallets that have separate pockets - you can organize your money by denomination which makes finding your $20.00 bill a lot easier. Thermometers and kitchen timers also come with larger numbers and even talk to you to let you know how hot something is and when your roast is done.

Even with all the great gadgets out there, the best options for someone with low vision still lie in the magnification of letters and numbers. A hand-held magnifier is not always the easiest choice but a pair of eye glasses with strong magnification of +4.00 or higher can make reading a book much easier. If you already have prescription glasses, head to your doctor to see if bifocal glasses may suit you better than two pairs of frames. Reading shouldn’t be a difficult task - even for those who suffer from low vision.

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Hillary Lynne Glaser has 169 articles online and 1 fans

Hillary Glaser is a social networking specialist and expert in cross-media promotion, currently working on promoting prescription eyeglasses. She is the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for - the easiest way to buy glasses online, which now offers free shipping on all US orders with the code FreeShip10.

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Reading Aids for Low Vision

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This article was published on 2011/10/03