Vision Loss: Tips for Staying Organized

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Although vision loss and blindness can make life more difficult, following a few simple guidelines can help you live life to the fullest. Contrary to what many people think, there is little a blind person cannot do if they keep everything organized. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is vision loss?

Vision loss is an impairment which, unlike complete blindness, involves only partial loss of sight. It is usually caused by other disorders, such as diabetes, brain injury, or albinism. Age-related conditions such as macular degeneration are also among the leading causes of vision loss.

There are different types of vision loss, and not all consist of typical blurred vision. For example, a person may lose their side vision, but their central vision may remain intact. Other types of vision loss include night blindness (inability to see in dimly lit areas) and blurred vision (everything appears to be covered in film).

Common signs of vision loss include:

  • Inability or difficulty concentrating on objects
  • Dark or blind spots
  • Red and irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Hypersensitivity to light

Although low vision cannot be cured except in specific cases, there are some things you can do to overcome the condition. Along with getting visual aids like magnifying glasses, staying organized within your household will go a long way in helping you live with vision loss.

How can I stay organized if I lose my sight?

Whether you only have partial vision loss or complete blindness, there are a few strategies you can follow to overcome your condition. Life with blindness can seem difficult, but with coping techniques, you can live without depending on relatives or friends.

Avoid clutter. The most important step you can take to adapt to visual impairments is to declutter your home. Everything from unopened mail to items in the garage that you no longer use should go. Not only will this save you from tripping and falling, but it will also help you keep track of everything you need.

Get everything in designated places. Finding a place for everyday items will help you save a lot of time. For example, try putting all your remotes in a small tray, making sure you never leave one out. Otherwise, you could spend an entire afternoon looking under the couch pillows.

Sort your belongings by frequency of use. Try to identify the items you use the most and distribute them accordingly. Some, like a salt shaker, will probably fit on a counter by the stove, while a large jar you use once a month will go in a cupboard.

Create a system for documents and letters. Paperwork can quickly become messy for the blind and visually impaired. But organizing everything into categories can be a lifesaver. For example, try separating junk mail, bills, work-related letters, and important documents into different drawers.

Kitchen and bathroom organization

It’s no surprise that the kitchen and bathroom are often problematic for people living with blindness or vision loss. However, keeping everything tidy and organized can make your daily life much easier.

Sort your kitchen items. Kitchen items are usually distinguished by their weight, size and shape. Combining this with storing confusing items in different places will help you get what you need quickly and effortlessly.

Get a shower caddy. Shower carts allow you to store bathroom items at different levels, making it easier to distinguish between them. For example, shampoo and conditioner may be similar, so try storing them away from each other.

Keep your medications recognizable. Medications can be difficult to arrange for people with visual impairments. But labeling them in large print and sorting them by how often you need them will avoid most common problems.

Make the house safer

Besides organization, it is also crucial to ensure your safety if you find that you lose your sight. Trips and falls are common for people with visual impairments, but cooking and showering can also be difficult. Nevertheless, with a few small adjustments, you can ensure that your home is safe even if you choose to live alone.

Install handrails on all stairs. An obvious first step to take to ensure your safety is to install handrails on every staircase in your home. Along the same lines, it’s also crucial to put shiny, light-reflecting tape on the first and last step.

Get your hands on elbow-length oven mitts. To avoid burns when using ovens and stoves, buy a few long oven mitts. You’ll find elbow-length gloves that can help make cooking a safer and easier task at most stores.

Install grab bars near the toilet and inside the shower. Tripping inside your bathroom can be dangerous, so installing grab bars where possible is always a good idea. To take it a step further, wrap them in colorful textured tape to make them easier to see.

Remove area rugs. While mats can be aesthetically pleasing, they present an unnecessary tripping hazard. In cases where they are needed, such as in the bathroom, make sure they are colored to create contrast with the floor.

Buy contrasting cutting boards. Slicing food while preparing a meal can also be dangerous, so make sure you have contrasting cutting boards. For example, black cutting boards may be ideal for dicing onions, while white ones may be better for vegetables like lettuce.

Should I change the lightning?

Usually, a change in lighting is required when a person loses their sight. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are some general guidelines you can follow to get started.

For example, keeping all rooms well lit is a must to avoid having to adjust your eyes when moving from room to room. These should be brighter than usual – LED bulbs are generally better for this, as they are more energy efficient.

Also, try to keep lamps that you can move near your desk or other places where you need to work. Attaching task lamps to a movable table can be a great solution if you can’t afford a flexible desk lamp.

However, each person will find over time what suits them best. Some may prefer ample lighting, while others may only need to reduce the glare produced by the sun. If you feel lost, know that you are not alone – try looking for blind resources online, as there is valuable advice all over the internet.

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