As a mother of a low vision child and low vision optometrist, Dr. McBryar has a unique perspective of some of the challenges that people with vision loss endure in their daily life. In this blog, she shares insights on some of the common challenges facing a person with low vision everyday,.
Particularly in bright or dim lighting, stair and curb markings become difficult to see.
Lights that are inadequate - for example difficulty going into a restaurant. A restaurant may be
poorly lit inside and have a poorly contrasted menu. As a result of the low lighting, simple tasks such as reading the menu or seeing their food are difficult.
Look for restaurants that are well lit, or have patios. If you notice difficulty at night, try going out to eat during daylight hours or bring a small led flashlight.
When the cases go into the retail store and there's tons of light, which can cause glare. This glare may become magnified off reflections on shiny floors or glass cases. In some stores such as supermarkets and grocery chains, the lux (a measurement of light at a certain point in space) will be as high as 8 times higher than home lighting.
Glare can also occur at night; many report glare while driving at night.
An absorptive filter may be helpful. This would mitigate the glare while also allowing the patient to navigate from inside to outside or outside to inside without having to transition and adjust.
Low vision patients may also face problems with poorly contrasted floors or changes in flooring, such as stairs or curves.
A low vision patient will often compensate for their reduced vision by relying more on remembering where things are by memory. While you may think you are helping by organizing for them, it may in fact make it more difficult for them to find things.
We strongly recommend visiting the low vision optometrist with you loved ones and close family. By understanding more about how vision loss impacts a patient, we can be more effective at helping them have a more fulfilled life.