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Eye Health

Some changes in vision are normal as we grow older. This section of our website discusses these normal vision changes, explains the parts of the eye and how the eye works, alerts you to symptoms of possible vision problems, and provides you with a list of questions to ask your eye doctor.

What Is Low Vision? | Ask an Eye M.D. | Anatomy of the Eye | Normal Vision Changes | Eye Examination | Symptoms of Vision Problems | Types of Eye Care Professionals | Preparing for the Visit to Your Eye Care Specialist | Questions to Ask Your Eye Care Specialist | Questions to Ask About a Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury | For Doctors: Talking to Your Patients About Visual Impairment | Women and Eye Health | Vision Simulation Video

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an incurable and progressive retinal eye disease and the leading cause of low vision, severe vision loss, and legal blindness for people aged 60 and older in the United States.

Macular Degeneration: An Overview | Risk Factors for AMD | How Does AMD Affect Vision? | Symptoms of AMD and Diagnosis | Difference Between Wet and Dry AMD | Treatments for Dry Macular Degeneration | Treatments for Wet Macular Degeneration | The Implantable Telescope for End-Stage AMD | Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) | AMD Resources

Cataracts

A cataract is a progressive cloudiness, hardening, and yellowing of the normally transparent lens of the eye.

An Introduction to Cataracts and Cataract Surgery | Vision Changes Related to Cataracts | What Causes Cataracts? | Different Types of Cataracts | Symptoms of a Cataract | Diagnosing a Cataract | Considering Cataract Surgery | Risks of Cataract Surgery | After the Decision to Have Surgery | Types of Artificial Lenses | How Is Cataract Surgery Performed? | Recovery Time After Cataract Surgery | Can a Cataract Come Back? | Information and Resources

Introduction to Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. It can cause "blind spots," blurry vision, and vision loss.

Diabetes Guides in English and Spanish with Lessons Following Seven Self-Care Behaviors | Coping with Loss as a Result of Diabetes and Visual Impairment | What Is Diabetes? | Diabetic Eye Disease | Managing Your Diabetes | Blood Glucose Levels | Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia | Treatments for Diabetic Eye Disease | Resources and Support | Atlanta Diabetes Support Group | Taking Charge of Diabetes, a Doctor's Story |

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. The eye continuously produces a fluid, called the aqueous, that must drain from the eye to maintain healthy eye pressure.

An Overview | Glaucoma Facts | Risk Factors | Detecting Glaucoma | The Different Types of Glaucoma | Treatments for Glaucoma | Eye Drop Tips | Vision Loss from Glaucoma | Patient's Guide to Living with Glaucoma

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common of a large group of progressive retinal degenerations or dystrophies (i.e., degenerative disorders).

How Is Retinitis Pigmentosa Diagnosed? | What Is the Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa? | Resources for More Information About Retinitis Pigmentosa | Kathy: Retinitis Pigmentosa and the Argus II "Bionic Eye"

Glossary of Eye Conditions

Learn more about a variety of eye conditions that can cause vision loss and problems with everyday functioning.

Macular Hole | Charles Bonnet Syndrome: Why Am I Having These Visual Hallucinations? | Albinism | Amblyopia | Aniridia | AZOOR | Conjunctivitis | Dry Eye | Floaters, Retinal Tears, and Retinal Detachments | Keratoconus | Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) | Refractive Error and Astigmatism | Stroke

A Glossary of Vision-Related Terminology

A glossary of vision-related terminology.


Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss

Personal Stories: Living with Vision Loss

No two people experience vision loss in the same way. Each person dealing with vision loss is unique; each has a compelling story to tell.

Family & Friends Personal Stories | Living and Coping with Vision Loss | Eye Conditions Personal Stories | Eye Care Professional Stories | Recreation & Leisure Personal Stories | Using Technology Personal Stories | Working Life Personal Stories | Brain Injury Personal Stories | Getting Around Personal Stories | Veterans Personal Stories | Crime and Domestic Violence Stories

Handling the News About Your Vision

The examination is over. The test results are in. Your eye care specialist has arrived at a conclusion and is prepared to give you a diagnosis. Maybe it's advanced glaucoma, or macular degeneration. The specific condition is probably less important to you at this moment than the effect it is having—or soon will have—on your life.

"Getting Started" Kit for People New to Vision Loss | Reclaiming Your Life | Laughter Is Often the Best Medicine | From Personal Loss to Personal Growth and the Road to Independence

Coping with Vision Loss

Some experts have likened initial reactions to vision loss to the "stages of grief," defined by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, after the loss of a loved one—taking one from denial to anger and depression, and finally, acceptance. Navigating the various stages successfully begins with understanding how they affect you and those around you. With understanding comes the ability to straightforwardly address conflicts, allay fears, and move forward.

Reading to Enhance Mental Health and Well–Being | Help Others Understand Your Vision Problems | The Coping with Vision Loss Study | Questions Children Ask About Blindness and Vision Loss | Recognizing People You Know | Meeting New People

A Guide to Vision Loss for Family and Friends

Vision loss happens to families, not just individuals. If you have a parent, spouse, other family member, or friend who is experiencing sight problems, the information here can provide advice and direction on how to assist your loved one with adapting successfully to the many changes ahead.

Introduction to Blind Parenting Series | Steps to Take to Get Help for You and Your Family Member | Communication Tips | When the Caregiver Is Blind or Visually Impaired | Sandwich Generation: What It Means for the Caregiver Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired | Taking Care of Yourself | Ten Tips for Caregivers of Individuals with Vision Loss | Resource List for Caregivers of Individuals with Vision Loss

Dealing with Crime or Domestic Violence As a Person with a Disability

This section includes information about crime and domestic violence against people with disabilities, include those with visual impairment or blindness.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft | Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities | Crime Against Persons with Disabilities: The Facts | "Sightless Self-Defense" Training Program

Skills You Need for Everyday Living

Essential Skills for Everyday Living with Vision Loss

Vision loss does not have to prevent you from living an active, healthy, fulfilling life. There are many tips and techniques you can learn on your own to retain your independence; in addition, vision rehabilitation services and instruction can provide you with techniques that can help you accomplish many daily living skills safely and independently.

Vision Rehabilitation Services | Orientation and Mobility Skills | Learn to Use Your Other Senses to Help You Cope with Blindness and Vision Loss | Reading, Writing, and Vision Loss | Personal Self-Care | Managing Your Medication | Eating Techniques | Cooking and Meals: Master Your Kitchen | Using the Telephone and Telephone Adaptations for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision | Money Management | Information for Veterans Coping with Vision Loss | Shopping | Housecleaning Tips | Household Organization

Helpful Products and Technology for Living with Vision Loss

The best products to help you adjust to vision loss.

Using Apps After Vision Loss | AccessWorld® Product Reviews | Overview of Low Vision Devices | Using a Computer | Selected Clocks | Choosing a Clock | Selecting an Adapted Watch | Products and Devices to Help You Identify Your Medications | Holiday Gift Guide for People with Vision Loss

Organizing and Modifying Your Home

Information and resources to help you make home modifications𔃉such as lighting and glare, color and contrast—that you can use to make room-by-room changes throughout your home and maintain control of your personal living environment after vision loss.

Lighting and Glare | Labeling and Marking | Redesigning Your Home: Room-By-Room | Safety in the Home | House Hunting with Vision Loss | Home Evaluation | Adaptaciones del hogar | Meet Erin Schambureck, Registered Interior Designer | Contrast and Color | Home Adaptations Video

Recreation and Leisure for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

There are many recreation and leisure activities that can be adapted for people who are blind or have low vision, or for seniors who are losing their sight.

Sports and Exercise with Visual Impairment | Gardening and Yard Work Tips | Arts and Crafts After Vision Loss | Playing Cards and Games After Vision Loss | Enjoying Cultural Activities When You Are Blind or Visually Impaired | Getting Ready for the Holidays for Individuals with Vision Loss | Summer Camp Experience | Television with Vision Loss | Television on the Internet | Dating 101 for People with Vision Loss

Home Repairs

In this section, we'll introduce you to adaptations and organizational tips for basic home repairs, furniture repair, simple carpentry, and basic auto maintenance.

Gil's Guide to Home Repairs | Gil's Guide to Woodworking | Home Repairs Safety and Preparation Checklist | Organizing Your Workshop Area | Hanging Pictures | Making Car Repairs

Driving and Transportation Alternatives

Whether you ride, fly, float, or drive, vision loss can present challenges to the process of transportation.

The Transportation Problem | Driving Safety for Older Adults | Driving with Low Vision | Deciding When to Stop Driving | Finding and Hiring a Driver | Accessible Public Transportation | Traveling on Trains and Buses | Air Travel and Vision Loss

Working Life

Employment and Workplace Adaptations for Adults Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Is vision loss beginning to affect your job performance? Is it becoming difficult to travel to and from your workplace? Do you want to learn more about your legal rights? Are you looking for resources and information that can help and support you? If these are your concerns, or those of your family members, relatives, co-workers, and friends, be assured that you don?t have to face these challenges alone.

The Americans with Disabilities Act in Context: Looking Backward and Forward | Your Legal Rights | Reasonable Accommodation | Social Security Disability Benefits: A Basic Understanding | How Employment Affects Social Security Disability Benefits

Resources for Employment and Training

There are a number of helpful resources available, in addition to the services you receive from your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, state or local community-based vision rehabilitation agency, and other employment, educational, and training organizations.

Training in Assistive Technology | Individualized Plan for Employment | Vocational Rehabilitation | Job Training Programs

Workplace Technology

A wide range of assistive or access technology products are available to help you continue to work with low or no vision. Many helpful workplace adaptations are actually fairly low-tech and inexpensive. Your particular job responsibilities and your level of vision will play a large role in determining what accommodations will work best for you. In this section, you can learn more about:

Assistive or Adaptive Technology | Figuring Out What You Need | Cost of Workplace Adaptations | How to Use a Video Magnifier

CareerConnect Stories

CareerConnect® has many first-hand accounts from CareerConnect mentors of working as an employee who is blind or has low vision as well as articles about mentors in various occupations who have been spotlighted by the media, and more! VisionAware highlights these stories for you as they are published to give you a sample of the great information you can find about employment on CareerConnect.

Angela Winfield: The Power of Thinking Less and Believing More

Working As a Senior with Vision Loss

More than 35 million Americans are already over age 65. As baby boomers continue to age, that number is expected to double by the year 2035.* What does this mean to you? It means that shifting demographics are also shifting attitudes, and you now have a little more of an advantage. Instead of giving up and booting yourself out the door because you are getting older and/or experiencing vision loss, consider these demographics.New to vision loss? Our How Can I Keep My Job? | Employers and Older Workers with Visual Impairment | Exploring Opportunities for Work | What Do I Need to Know About Today's Job Search? | AFB Radio Dramas Related to Finding a Job as an Older Person | Empowerment to Work | Reasons to Keep Working | Learn What Other Seniors Have to Say About Finding or Keeping a Job | Videos on Setting up a Home Office | Employment of Older Persons Who Are Visually Impaired Video


For Seniors with Vision Loss

Age-Related Vision Loss

Just as the body changes with age, our eyes undergo changes, too. Our eyes function differently in our 60s than they did in our 30s. Such changes in vision are normal, offer few serious risks, are not caused by disease or illness, and, in general, can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Other changes in vision, however, can be a sign of eye disease.

Ask an Eye M.D.

Life Changes

As we grow older, life brings many changes, some positive and some not so positive.

Esther's Insights: Speak Up for Yourself! | Evolving Family Dynamics: Adult Children | Sandwich Generation: What It Means for the Caregiver Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired | When the Caregiver Is Blind or Visually Impaired | Your Rights: Practicing Self-Advocacy | Loss of a Spouse and Bereavement

Health and Aging

Medication Management
Fitness and Fun
Vision Loss and Other Medical Concerns

Vision Loss and the Challenges of Aging | Managing Your Medication | Fitness and Fun | Dr. Elizabeth Cleino, Advocate for Wellness | Low Vision and the White Cane: A Tool for Fall Prevention | Understanding Home Health Services

Retirement Living and Vision Loss

Trying to decide where to live in retirement is often a difficult decision to make. Do you want to live in sunny Florida or a place with four seasons? Do you want to live near your children, grandchildren, other family members?

Changing Your Home | Adaptations in the Community | Checklist for Choosing a Retirement or Assisted Living Community | Help for Seniors with Vision Loss: Tips for Assisted Living Staff Members | Recreational Activities for Seniors with Visual Impairments

Get Connected

About VisionAware

If you have just begun to deal with vision loss, you probably have many questions, frustrations and even fears. VisionAware was created to help you answer those questions, cope with those frustrations, and connect with others who are dealing with the same issues.

VisionAware Contributors | Partners | Acknowledgements | History | Link to Us

Past Newsletters from VisionAware: Resources for Independent Living with Vision Loss

Newsletter from VisionAware: Resources for Independent Living with Vision Loss

November Highlights The Challenges of Caregiving | September-Healthy Aging and Fall Prevention Awareness | Celebrating the ADA Everyday | VisionAware Celebrates 5th Birthday | May–A Trifecta Month! | March Is National Reading Month | February- It’s Low Vision and AMD Month | It's December! Tune into VisionAware and Explore Our New Look and Holiday Gift Guides | October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month | Finding Balance | July—A Time to Celebrate the ADA and Independence | VisionAware Celebrates Another Birthday! | VisionAware in Bloom | March Blows in a New Look to VisionAware | February Is Low Vision and AMD Month | VisionAware Brings in the New Year | Interesting Things You May Have Missed on VisionAware | Moving into Fall 2015 | VisionAware Celebrates 3rd Anniversary | March Madness—Full of Basketball and Much More! | February 2015-Low Vision and AMD Month | January 2015-A Time for Resolutions | 2014 Holiday News | October-Special Month for People with Disabilities | September--Healthy Aging Month | End of Summer News | VisionAware Turns Two | April Showers 2014 | VisionAware March Madness | Happy Valentine's Day | Happy 2014 from VisionAware | Happy Holidays | Happy Thanksgiving_2013 | Getting Started Kits Launch in October | September News—Healthy Aging Month | Heading into Fall-August 2013 | VisionAware Celebrates VRT Week | Take Our New Survey and Read VisionAware News Online | Using a Pusher | Plastic Trays as Organizing Tools | New Ways to Chop Your Veggies | Luggage Locator | Using a Power Strip | Wearing a Visor | Grocery Shopping | Comparison of Stand and Handheld Magnifiers | Organizing Your Music | A Simple and Safe Way to Plug In Appliances

VisionAware Peer Advisor Life Support (PALS) Program

VisionAware Peer Advisors

Amy Bovaird | Ashley Nemeth | Audrey Demmitt, R.N. | Beckie Horter | Dave Steele | DeAnna Quietwater Noriega | Elizabeth Sammons | Empish J. Thomas | Holly Bonner, MPA, MSW, CASAC | J Steele-Louchart | Jeannie Johnson | Joy Thomas | Kerry Kijewski | Lenore Dillon, CVRT | Linda Fugate, EdD, CVRT | Lynda Jones, CVRT | | Lynley Hood, MSc LittD | Maribel Steel | Mary Hiland | Maxwell Ivey | Sandra Burgess, MSW, LCSW | Sheila Rousey, MA | Steph McCoy | Steven Wilson | Sue Wiygul Martin, LVT and VRT | Susan Kennedy | Trina Bassak, DPT |

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