Reading Aids for Macular Degeneration

by Tom
(United States)

I started having problems reading books and following my golf ball about 7 years ago. At first I thought the answer was to get stronger reading glasses but my eye doctor found my vision was good but I had macular degeneration.

At the time I was 65 and I did not want to hear about any age issues. I did get some new glasses but found that these were really no better than the glasses I was using. I went back to the doctor who made some minor modification to the prerscription but the results were no better.

The doctor did recommend using brighter lights and this did help with my reading. Over time I found this was not enough so I switched to brighter lights and found the daylight was much better to read with.

I also found that switching to large print books also helped. (As a side note I like to read non fiction with a special liking for History.

When I went to the library I found a large section of large print books which were all fiction but there was no section for large print non fiction. They explained that there were not a lot of non fiction history books in large print and the ones they had were mixed in with the regular books. I did find some books but the selection was poor).

I started looking for an alternative and bought a Barnes and Noble Nook which was great as I could buy any book I wanted and I could increase the print size as I needed.

It took a little time to get use to using the e book reader but it allowed me to get back into reading. I found I was most comfortable reading on my front porch with the daylight behind me but summer turns to winter and the days got short and the porch got colder.

My next change was to get an Apple iPad 2 and so far I am loving it. This comes with a background light and very clear printing. I can actually read on the IPAD with regular print.

I have tried most of the recommendations and found by far the best answer for me has been reading on an iPad 2

I know that there will be more changes ahead but I will continue to push to find ways to keep reading.

As for my golf game I was never great to begin with so I hit the ball a shorter distance and most of the time I can find it in the middle of the fairway with a little bit of luck.

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Apple iPad

by Neil

I have some macular damage which seems to have been controlled as mine was related to high blood pressure and thus dealing with that stopped the serum leaking that was damaging my central vision. ( 15 years so pretty good so far!).

At the time I was told to take a baby aspirin each day and have done so. I do not know if this is still recommended for vision though of course it is pretty universal for heart and stroke but for me, it seemed to have been protecting my eyes as well...just for your information as I have no control on this one!

Nonetheless any damage affects such reading perception and along with what is common for older people as well which is the inevitable floaters of which I am plagued sufficiently to thus be very elated that with the much improved vision for reading using the Apple iPad ( the latest Retina Edition) has been the result.

I bought an Apple iPad last month and for the first time in a long, long time I can read easily and fluently with little eye strain using this wonderful device. Having self illuminated polarized light coming from the screen is a huge aid to my reading.

Being able to change font size is only a part of is the quality of the light itself that makes the difference as I could not tolerate reading an E-print reader at all nor could I manage books even with increasing the light on the page.

The Apple iPad solves all of it for me and I suggest that this particular device with its hugely sharper image ( double that of any other reader made) makes the difference with the polarized light source. It is really a different experience and I suggest you personally try it. It makes the Kindle and etc..a poor, poor choice in comparison. I can now READ!!!

I think that your blog is very useful for thousands and I appreciate that you do this, Leslie.

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