Posted on 04/01/2016

Living with Visual Impairment

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Living with Visual Impairment

186 years ago today, Louis Braille published his first book, entitled “Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them”, which introduced the now universally accepted method for enabling those who are blind to read alongside their sighted friends and colleagues.

On this World Braille Day, we remember the pioneers who have contributed to creating a more inclusive society which embraces those living with a physical or mental impairment, whilst also acknowledging the distance left to travel to ensure full acceptance within our culture.

So, if you think you may be developing a visual impairment, whether as the result of a direct condition like Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma or Cataracts or as a side effect to another condition such as Diabetes, this handy guide should help you identify the symptoms and enable you to find the right product which can assist you in your daily routines.

Spotting the symptoms of Visual Impairment

Do you find that colours are a bit faded? Perhaps straight lines look wobbly or it’s difficult to judge the depth of steps (you might even have fallen)? Have you noticed you’re finding it harder to read, or more difficult to see the stitches when knitting or sewing?

If you’ve experienced any of these significant changes in your eyesight you should arrange to see your Optician who will refer you to an Optometrist for further investigation if necessary.

What to expect after diagnosis

Following diagnosis, your Optometrist may register you as Sight Impaired (Partially Sighted) or Severely Sight Impaired (Blind), and will advise that you visit a Low Vision Clinic, or ask for Social Services to carry out an assessment.

They will suggest ways to optimise your remaining vision, and may also arrange for you to learn how to use a long cane (white stick) for help when out and about. You Optometrist can also provide advice about retaining independence at home.

How to maintain your quality of life

You may need to change the way you carry out some tasks to help you continue living independently. The RNIB has lots of information, and can offer telephone counselling to help you remain in work, get out and about, do the weekly shop or offer advice about equipment to help you carry out every day tasks.

It’s important to remain positive and continue to do the things you enjoy, although you may need to change the way that you do them. Make sure your home is safe by improving lighting to eliminate shadows, removing trip hazards and using contrasting colours to make things stand out; this will help you to identify them more easily.

How NRS Healthcare products can help

If you or someone you know is visually impaired or has low vision there are many innovative products available. NRS Healthcare can provide many clever devices to help you maintain your independence and carry on with your daily activities. Take a look at:

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