Visual Aids for Macular Degeneration

Visual aids for macular degeneration help maintain your independence and help you to maximize your useable vision.
macular degeneration aids

There are many specialized glasses and large number, large print, or talking aids to assist you in maintaining your independence and to help you continue to do the things they enjoy.

It is important that you find ways to adjust and adapt as your macular degeneration progresses.  Identify first the activity you want to do and then find the appropriate aid to help - such as telling time.  Possible solutions are a large number wall clock or a talking wrist watch. 


Macular Degeneration Aids

You can continue to do many of the hobbies you find enjoyable - you just have to do them differently with the help of visual aids. Macular degeneration magnifiers, cooking aids, large print books, and electronic reading devices are just a few of the great aids that can help you.


macular degeneration aids

From large button TV remotes to talking calculators, there are solutions to your loss of central vision. If you give up the things you enjoy too easily, a sense of hopelessness and depression can set in. But when you find new ways to read, watch TV, use the phone, cook a dessert, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and independence.

Listed below are several low vision solutions that will make everyday living a bit easier. Vision aids for macular degeneration include a variety of gadgets and tools such as magnifiers, lights, bold print books, and contrasting colored measuring cups that allow you to enjoy everyday pleasures such as reading, playing cards, baking, and watching movies.

Check them out here.

TV Glasses

High definition and large screens make today's TV's better than ever for seeing vivid colors and detailed images.

vision aids for macular degeneration

However, that beautiful view can still appear blurry to someone with macular degeneration.

We bought these television glasses for my father-in-law who has wet AMD in one eye and dry AMD in the other eye. Normally he pulled his chair up really close to his 42" high def TV.

Now he can sit farther away from the TV - on the couch at home or at a friend's house and enjoy clear, vivid TV viewing thanks to these distance magnifiers.

After several months, he says he is still enjoying the clearer vision thanks to the TV glasses. Find out some easy tips to help making TV watching more enjoyable or how to enlarge the screen with TV magnifying glasses.

TV Glasses

Macular Degeneration Magnifiers

Low vision magnifiers are perhaps the most often used of all aids for macular degeneration.

 However, there is no one magnifier that is going to be able to help with all of your different reading needs or hobbies.

Small pocket magnifiers to full page magnifiers make it possible to check a price tag or read your favorite newspaper.

From desk top magnifiers to pocket magnifiers or TV screen magnifiers - there is a magnifier for your every need.

Find a task or hobby frustrating because of your limited vision? There is often a solution.

Find one here: Macular Degeneration Magnifiers

Long Distance Vision

visual aids for low vision

Is it hard for you to distinguish the face of your choir director or read road signs or watch TV? Just as there are magnifiers for close up vision there are telescopic lenses for seeing in the distance.

And... just like the magnifiers, the type of telescopic device you buy depends on what task you want to use it for.

There are hand held monocular telescopes (for use with one eye) and binoculars (for both eyes), as well as telescopes that are mounted to your eye glasses. A prescription may be required, as well as special training from a low vision specialist.

To read more about binocular vision click here: Binocular Vision

Large Button Phone

macular degeneration aids for staying in touch

Are you finding it difficult to make a phone call because you are having trouble seeing the numbers on your phone?  Then find out how you can make this task simpler with larger buttons, bigger numbers and easy speed dialing.

You can also get talking caller ID and amplified sound for those who are hard of hearing.

Read more about low vision phones by clicking here:

Large Button Phone

Low Vision Watches

low vision watches

If you are over the age of 50 and for sure if you have macular degeneration, reading the numbers on an average watch is difficult at best and usually not even possible - especially in low light. 

One of my father-in-law's favorite low vision aid is his talking wrist watch.  He just presses a button and holds the watch up near his ear to hear the time.

The watch also has large numbers with dark black numbers on a crisp white background for better visibility.

Low Vision Watches

Talking and Large Number Clocks

macular degeneration aids
Want to know what time it s when you wake up in the middle of the night? A large number clock with a black background and contrasting red numbers can be visible often from a distance.

Talking clocks announce the time and will often have large number displays so the numbers are easy to see.

You may want to know about some special features, like clocks that tell you what time it is or ones that display the month and date, before you make your purchase.

Click here to check out ways to keep track of time:

Large Number Clocks

Low Vision Aids for Writing

macular degeneration vision aid

Don't let macular degeneration keep you from writing. The most important tip is to have a gooseneck or adjustable lamp on your desk so that the light can be directed onto your paper.

Use wide lined paper that has a darker and thicker line which is easier to see and follow.

Click here to read about some other simple tips and inexpensive visual aids for macular degeneration that will help keep you writing your checks, grocery lists, letters, etc:

Low Vision Aids for Writing

Lighted Magnifying Mirror

lighted magnifying mirror

A lighted magnifying mirror and an electric razor is a winning combination for my father-in-law.  

Light and magnification make it easier to perform grooming tasks - like shaving, putting on make-up or styling one's hair.   Check out some of the different features like battery operated for portability or large viewing area to see your whole face ....

Lighted Magnifying Mirror

Large Print Checks & Talking Calculators

You can continue to keep your own financial records and bill writing with just a few inexpensive visual aids - like large print checks and check register.

macular degeneration aids

Large print checks make it possible to pay your own bills and maintain your own finances.

Check with your local bank, most of them will offer these checks as one of your options.

Always keep your checks plain with no designs or graphics for easier viewing.

To learn more about these aids, where you can purchase them and some other tips for low vision writing and book keeping click here: Large Print Checks

Book Magnifier

You may have found yourself reading less and less - because it does take more effort to read with macular degeneration.

However, the less you read the more you will lose this ability. The three most important considerations to read without eye strain are:

1. Direct lighting

Use an adjustable gooseneck lamp to adjust the light onto the reading material

2. Font Size

Get large print books from your library or book store.

3. A book magnifier

Instead of giving up, find out how a book magnifier can make reading enjoyable again: Book Magnifier

Keep Cooking If You Want To!

There is no reason why macular degeneration should keep you from cooking and making your own meals or entertaining others in your home.

 Bold numbered measuring cups, talking microwaves, and timers can keep you in the kitchen if you want to.

Many of these low vision kitchen gadgets are very affordable and easy to use.

To learn about other products to help with cooking and tips for adjusting in the kitchen click here:

Cooking with Low Vision Aids

Macular Degeneration Glasses

macular degeneration vision aid

Macular degeneration glasses for magnifying distance is just as important as magnifiers for close up tasks. These glasses can be used for watching movies, enjoying a play, admiring your grandchild's face, golfing, gardening - really any activity where you need something several feet away to be magnified.

Dr. Henry Greene the co-founder of Ocutech, explains to us how these glasses work, how someone might know if they would benefit from these glasses and where to get evaluated. Macular Degeneration Glasses for Distance Vision

Low Vision Games and
Large Print Playing Cards

Have you become concerned that your friends no longer want to play cards with you because you are having difficulty seeing your cards?
low vision games

Don't let macular degeneration slow you down.

Find ways to adjust - this one is an easy one. Buy low vision playing cards with bold, bright colors.

Remaining actively involved in activities that stimulate the mind while enjoying the company of friends - whether it is with your local bridge club or playing poker with the guys - is vital to your emotional and mental health.

Low Vision Games and Large Print Playing Cards

Large Print Calendar

Visual aids for macular degeneration don't need to be high tech. They can be as simple as a calendar that uses bold, large print with lots of space to write down appointments.

large print calendar
You can still write down your appointments and birthday reminders on a large print calendar.

There is plenty of space to use a black 20/20 Pen so that it is easily readable as well. You can see how this big print calendar uses big bold numbers to make it easier to see for those with age related macular degeneration (AMD).

Because writing becomes more difficult for those with AMD buy a calendar that has lots of space to write down appointments or special occasions. Look for these features:

√ Large, oversized numbers

√ Bold, black print

√ Lots of space to write down appointments

√ Nonglare paper

To get your large number calendar from click here:

Jumbo Large Print 2018 Wall Calendar 13-months, with January 2019 - 17" x 11", or hanging it is 17" x 22"

Talking Scale

A talking scale automatically turns on when you step on it and will speak in pounds or kilograms.

These scales can be one of many vision aids for macular degeneration. A clear, understandable voice will state your weight so that you don't have to struggle to read the numbers. However, they usually have a large number display as well for easier reading. They are battery operated.

Some of them offer the option of turning on or off the talking feature. A talking scale makes it possible to manage and monitor one's weight by listening to a voice that reports one's weight in pounds or kilograms.

My Weigh XL-550 Talking Bathroom Scale

Speech to Text Converter

A speech to text converter helps those with macular degeneration by dictating text into almost any Windows application.

Just by using your voice you can search the web, write an e-mail, find a recipe and check the weather.

Click here to find out more about this low vision technology: Speech to Text Converter

Visual aids for macular degeneration are most often specific to a task - such bioptic telescopes for watching TV, page magnifiers for reading the newspaper or large number phones for easier dialing.

For people with AMD, there is a visual aid for almost every task. Adjusting to this visual impairment by using vision aids will reduce frustration and provide a sense of independence.

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