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Coping and Support

Not everyone with AMD develops late AMD or gets it in both eyes. But if you do, living with vision loss from AMD can be challenging.
Vision loss from macular degeneration can affect your ability to do things such as read, recognize faces and drive. These tips may help you cope with your changing vision:

  • Ask your eye doctor to check your eyeglass prescription. If you wear contacts or glasses, be sure your prescription is up to date. If new glasses don’t help, ask for a referral to a low vision specialist.
  • Use magnifiers. A variety of magnifying devices can help you with reading and other close-up work such as sewing. Such devices include hand-held magnifying lenses or magnifying lenses you wear like glasses. You may also use a closed-circuit television system that uses a video camera to magnify reading material and project it on a video screen.
  • Change your computer display and add audio systems. Adjust the font size in your computer’s settings and just your monitor to show more contrast. You may also add speech-output systems or other technologies to your computer.
  • Use electronic reading aids and voice interface. Try large-print books, tablet computers and audio books. Some tablet and smartphone apps are designed to help people with low vision. Many of these devices now come with a voice recognition feature.
  • Select special appliances made for low vision. Some clocks, radios, telephones and other appliances have extra-large numbers. You may find it easier to watch a television with a larger high-definition screen or you may want to sit closer to the screen.
  • Use brighter lights in your home. Better lighting helps with reading and other daily activities and it may also reduce the risk of falling.
  • Consider your transportation options. If you drive check with your doctor to see if it’s safe to continue doing so. Be extra cautious in certain situations such as driving at night, in heavy traffic or in bad weather. Use public transportation or ask a friend or family member to help especially with night driving. Make arrangements to use local van or shuttle services, volunteer driving networks or rideshares.
  • Get support. Having macular degeneration can be difficult and you may need to make changes in your life. You may go through many emotions as you adjust. Consider talking to a counselor or joining a support group. Spend time with supportive family members and friends.

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