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Low Vision Affects Millions of Americans. Are You One of Them?

Friday, February 26, 2021 2:16 PM

According to the National Eye Institute, "Low vision affects millions of Americans, including many older adults in our community. Low vision can make it hard for them to do their activities of daily living, reading, shopping, driving, cooking, or writing. Low vision can’t be fixed with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications, or surgery."

But there’s good news! Vision rehabilitation can help people with low vision stay independent and make the most of their sight.

Low Vision

NorthShore University Health System offers Outpatient Occupational Therapy Low Vision Services, as well as a Vision Rehabilitation Program. Occupational therapists will help you learn ways to be more independent with your activities of daily living and help you learn to compensate or remediate your visual issues and perform visual tasks with greater ease. Examples of our techniques include: teaching you strategies and adaptations to improve reading abilities, computer modifications, and other activity-specific adaptations.

If you or your loved one are interested in receiving occupational therapy services (low vision /vision rehab program) to help improve independence and function with visually dependent activities, ask your physician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist for a referral to Outpatient Low Vision Occupational Therapy.

Low vision therapy services are offered through rehab services at the following outpatient locations: Evanston, Glenview, Bannockburn, and Lincolnshire. You can call 847-570-1250 to schedule occupational therapy low vision /vision rehab services.

What are some ways you can cope with low vision? 

Keep your areas clean: When things are in their proper place it will be easier to locate items. Establish organization and discipline until it becomes a habit. 

Label everything: Opt for bold labels, stickers of various colors, shapes and textures to help identify objects. 

Use contrasting colors: For instance, use a dark table cloth with white plates so you can see table edges and food more prominently.

Seek help. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance. NorthShore's Outpatient Occupational Therapy Low Vision Service is here to help. 

Be patient. Coping with low vision is not simple. Developing your own tricks and methods takes time and effort. Go easy on yourself and keep trying. Eventually, you will find the best solutions for your specific visual impairment.

Practice. Once you have your methods in place, practice them. Similar to riding a bike, as you learn new ways to perform tasks, they will become easier and easier.

Tips credited to lowvision.org