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Vision Panel

Age-related changes in vision can make everyday tasks like reading, cooking, or navigating your surroundings more challenging. This can lead to frustration, a reliance on others, and even a potential safety hazard.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Difficulty reading text or seeing objects clearly at a distance.

This can lead to a reduced ability to read books, newspapers, or medication labels.

Magnifying devices: Handheld magnifiers or illuminated magnifiers enhance the size and clarity of text and small objects.

Blurry or distorted vision, difficulty distinguishing colours.

This can lead to challenges with everyday tasks like cooking, identifying medications, or recognising faces.

Low vision aids: Specialised glasses or electronic devices can magnify objects, enhance contrast, and improve visual clarity.

Glare sensitivity: Discomfort or difficulty seeing in bright light conditions.

This can lead to increased difficulty reading outdoors or in brightly lit environments.

Visors and brimmed hats: Provide shade and reduce glare for improved vision in bright light.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Difficulty seeing central vision.

This can lead to challenges with tasks like reading or recognising faces.

Eccentric viewing techniques: Training to use peripheral vision to compensate for central vision loss.


Common vision problems affecting daily life

Here are some everyday tasks that can become difficult with age-related vision changes:

  • Reading: Difficulty reading text in books, newspapers, or on medication labels.
  • Seeing objects clearly: Blurred vision or difficulty focusing on objects at a distance can make tasks like preparing meals or identifying medications challenging.
  • Sensitivity to light: Glare from sunlight or bright lights can cause discomfort and hinder your ability to see clearly.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): This condition can cause central vision loss, making it difficult to read or recognise faces.

Vision aids to empower your daily activities

By incorporating these vision aids into your routine, you can continue managing daily tasks with confidence and independence:

Magnifying devices

  • Handheld magnifiers: These portable magnifiers offer quick magnification for reading labels, menus, or small print.
  • Stand magnifiers: Ideal for hands-free magnification while reading books, newspapers, or completing tasks requiring detailed visual attention.
  • Illuminated magnifiers: Provide additional lighting to enhance clarity, particularly for individuals with low vision.

Low-vision aids

  • Telescopic glasses: Magnify objects at a distance, making it easier to read signs, recognise faces, or watch television.
  • Bioptic telescopes: Small telescopes embedded in regular eyeglasses for magnified near and distance vision.
  • Electronic video magnifiers: Portable devices that project magnified images onto a screen, allowing for adjustable magnification and contrast settings.

Other helpful tools

  • Visors and brimmed hats: Reduce glare from sunlight or bright overhead lights, improving visual comfort and clarity outdoors or in brightly lit environments.
  • High-contrast books and labels: Large print books and labels with bold colours offer increased contrast for easier reading.
  • Talking devices: Talking clocks, watches, and medication dispensers can provide audible information for individuals with significant vision loss.

Tips for managing vision loss

  • Lighting adjustments: Increase lighting in your home to improve visibility, especially in frequently used areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Colour contrast: Utilise high-contrast colour schemes in your home environment to differentiate between surfaces and objects.
  • Eccentric viewing techniques: These techniques can be learned with the help of a low vision therapist to compensate for central vision loss by utilising your peripheral vision.

Where to buy equipment to help you with your hearing

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

More information



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