Tips for Living with Macular Degeneration

Living with macular degeneration requires a willingness to adapt and to try new ways of doing things. Bob Proctor the author of ABC's of Success shares that the three A's of aware, accept and adapt are keys to living life successfully in any area of our lives.

living with low vision

There are many adjustments to make in your every day living with macular degeneration. The most important is your attitude - you need to be willing to try to do things differently.

Some changes are easy - like using colored dinner plates that contrast with your placemat. Some are more difficult and may involve training from a low vision specialist.

Contrast is King

As your macular degeneration progresses it becomes more difficult to see or notice objects when there isn't as much contrast ...

such as a black pen on a black granite counter top, but ...put that black pen on a white counter top it can be seen quite easily.

living with macular degeneration

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Provide contrast to all areas of your home such as:

In the Kitchen:

√ Use a dark rimmed plate on a white tablecloth or placemat

living well with macular degeneration

Avoid plates and dishes that have lots of pattern.  Instead of using a clear glass for your water get a blue one like the one in the picture.

√ Select kitchen canisters that contrast with the color of your countertop

living with macular degeneration

√ Use bright colored and large number measuring cups and spoons

√ Use potholders that are bright, solid colored and contrast with your counters

Drink coffee from a mug that has a white interior.

The contrast of the dark coffee with the white coffee cup makes it easier to pour and to see how much liquid is in the cup.

living with low vision

Drink milk from a dark glass so you can see how much milk is in the cup.

√ Use the dark side of a low vision black and white cutting board when preparing light colored foods like cauliflower, potatoes, onions and mushrooms. 

Use a white cutting board when preparing dark leafy greens, green peppers, or zucchini 

living with low vision

Use Tactile Dots

Buy tactile bumps of different shapes, colors, and material to mark a variety of objects. These bumps are among the most useful things for everyday life.

raised dots

The tactile bumps adhere to most surfaces, and they make it possible to identify all sorts of things by touch - from the start button on your dishwasher to the 1 minute timer on your microwave.

Bathroom Tips

Use colored and not clear soap dispensers and toothbrush holders to easily see and access these frequently used bathroom items.

Also find your lotions, toothpastes, and shampoos in pump bottles so just the right amount gets dispensed. 

living with low vision

Use bathroom towels and washcloths that are a solid color and contrast with your bathtub, sink and counter.

living with macular degeneration

Rest of the House

√ Use dark colored face plates on your electrical switches and outlets if you have light colored walls

√ Put dark colored decals on your sliding glass doors

Use white on black stickers to label your computer keys

√ Paint the edges of your outdoor steps in white or place Yellow Reflective Tape on stairs.

macular degeneration symptoms include loss of depth perception

Talking watches, large print books, bold numbered measuring cups and large print keyboards are just a few of the low vision aids available for those with macular degeneration.

General Lighting and Task Lighting

Living with macular degeneration will involve more lights and brighter lights as your macular degeneration progresses. 

living with low vision

Place more lamps in a room for general lighting and use an adjustable swing arm or gooseneck lamp for tasks like writing bills or reading your mail.

Keep small LED penlights or flashlights handy for a quick read or to see the settings on your washing machine or microwave.

Learn how the right lighting can make your world a little bit brighter :)

Use Pre-Packaged Products

No need to measure and mess up with spills when you use pre-packaged products like these laundry detergent packets

laundry pod 2

Simply toss one packet into the washing machine and use tactile bumps on the dials to help you set the machine to the right wash and dry cycle. 

dishwasher pod

Or there is no need to overfill your dishwasher when you use dishwasher pods.

Tips for Eating Out

"The key to exploring unfamiliar table settings is to go low and slow. This approach avoids knocking things over as we figure out what is where.

Moving low means hovering our hands just above the table itself to explore. That way we'll come into contact with the base of a water glass, for instance instead of the rim."

living with low vision

Watch a short video on how to safely navigate a table when you are at a restaurant or at a friend's or family's home for dinner. 

What's On the Table

Tips for Living with Macular Degeneration by Patient, Peggy

Why not benefit from what someone else with macular degeneration has learned?

living with low vision
Peggy Wolfe, the author of Vision Loss: Strategies for Living with Hope and Independence share with WebRN Macular Degeneration readers some of her best tips for maintaining independence and for coping with loss of central vision from macular degeneration.

Interview with author Peggy Wolfe

Living with macular degeneration means finding new and convenient ways to maximize your independence and reduce your frustration. 

Go from Living with Macular Degeneration to Macular Degeneration Help

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√ Prevention of Macular Degeneration?

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