There are many things you can do to make living with low
vision easier and safer. Low-vision rehabilitation specialists can give you
detailed information and training on doing your household tasks and other
activities that can be more challenging when you have reduced vision.
Position lighting so that it is aimed at what
you want to see, and away from your eyes.
Add table and floor lamps
in areas where extra lighting is frequently needed.
coverings that allow you to adjust the level of natural
Make sure potentially hazardous areas such as entries and
stairways are well lit.
Contrast makes use of your eyes' ability to distinguish objects and
their surroundings based on differences in brightness or color, rather than
shape or location. If you have low vision, you may need more light to be able
to distinguish objects with similar brightness or color (low contrast).
Place light objects against dark backgrounds,
or dark objects against a light background. For example, if you have white or
light-colored walls, use dark switch plates to mark the location of light
switches. You can also use lighted switches that glow softly and so are easier
You can also use paint in a contrasting color to mark
electrical outlets, oven dials, thermostats, and other items so that they are
easier to find and use.
Paint door frames in a contrasting color. If the door is light, paint the frame with a dark color. Use dark doorknobs on
In your bathroom, use contrasting color for
items such as cups, soap dishes, and even the soap.
Label and mark
Use high contrast, such as bold black lettering
on a white background, when making labels, signs, and other markings. Post
signs at eye level.
Label any medicines that you take so that they
are easily and clearly identified. Use colored, high-contrast labels to "color
code" medicines, spices, foods, and other items.
positions of the temperature settings you use most frequently on your stove and
oven controls, as well as the "on" and "off" positions. Some appliances are
available with extra-large, high-contrast markings and
In the kitchen and bathroom, mark the settings for the
faucets that provide the right water temperature. To prevent overfilling a sink
or bathtub, mark the water level you want with a strip of waterproof tape or
Mark the areas around stairways and ramps with paint or tape,
preferably with a high-contrast color such as dark tape on light
Avoid potential hazards
Replace or remove any worn carpeting or floor
coverings. If you use throw rugs or area rugs, tape them down or remove
Avoid smooth floor coverings, and don't wax kitchen and
bathroom floors. Use nonskid, nonglare cleaners on smooth
Remove electrical cords from areas where you need to walk.
If this isn't possible, tape them down so you won't trip over
Arrange your furniture so it doesn't stick out into areas
where you need to walk. Keep chairs pushed in under tables and desks when not
in use. Keep desk, cabinet, and bureau drawers closed.
Keep doors either fully opened or fully closed, but not halfway.
If you have doors that stick out into a room or hallway, keep them closed.
the handrails on stairways and ramps extend beyond the top and bottom steps,
because people often stumble when they miss a step at the top or bottom of an
incline. Consider installing handrails in other potentially hazardous
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.