Top Home Tips for Low Vision

Editor: Dr. Russel Lazarus, Published May 3, 2021

One in six adults over age of 45 and one in four adults over age 75 has low vision.

Having low vision – vision that can’t be improved with glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery –  can make it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks..

Fortunately, there are many things a person with low vision can do to remain independent and do the things they enjoy and love.

Contact an eye doctor near you so that you can live your best life with low vision.

Below are a few helpful household tips:

Low vision tips for around the house 

1. Pouring liquids: 

When pouring dark liquids, such as coffee, from a container into a cup, pour the liquid into a light-colored cup to create contrast. The light-colored cup should be placed on a dark-colored placemat or tray. The opposite should be done for light-colored liquids, such as milk.

2. Chopping food: 

When chopping food, use a dark cutting board for light-colored foods, and a light-colored cutting board for dark food.

3. Colorful Tape:

Use brightly contrasting colored tape or paint on the handles of kitchen utensils and equipment.

  1. To avoid accidents  due to reaching over a flame or touching a heated front burner, tape over the knobs of the back burners of the stove.
  2. Use brightly colored cloth or vinyl tape to provide color contrast when locating household items such as the electrical outlets, light switches, thermostat, or drawstrings on blinds.
  3. Mark the edge of indoor and outdoor stairs with tape that contrasts with the color of the stairs

4. Timer: 

Rather than visually checking on food to see if it’s ready, set a timer.

5. Recipes:

Write recipes on 5” x 8” index cards in large print with a black felt tip pen and color-code the cards. For example, have one color for meat recipes, another for desserts, and a third for poultry.

6. Lighting:

When eating, use bright lighting. Place a table lamp with a bright light bulb (at least 75W) in a position to illuminate your plate.

  1. When reading or sewing, use a bright light and shine it directly on your book or work.
  2. If using light dishes, place them on a dark tablecloth or placemat, or vice-versa.  In addition, to reduce visual confusion, avoid tablecloths or placemats with a pattern.

7. Crafts: 

When doing needlepoint or hook rugs, place a dark cloth below the canvas.

8. Mirrors: 

Use magnifying mirrors to help with shaving or makeup. A towel on the wall opposite the bathroom mirror, hung at the appropriate height, can be used to provide a contrasting background for your head and hair. If you have light hair, use a dark towel. For dark hair, use a light towel.

9. TV:

Sit as close to the TV screen as needed so you can see the images. People  who are visually impaired will not hurt their eyes by sitting close to the screen.

Don’t let low vision stop you from carrying out tasks and doing the things you enjoy.  

Contact an eye doctor near you who can help you live life to the fullest.