You'll be surprised to find how many device options are available for vision problems. Click here to learn more.

Locate Us

We can provide treatment and services at many locations. Find a location near you!

Technology is rapidly improving. Click here to discover the latest new devices.

Patient Education

Illumination and Persons with Low Vision

Most persons with macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye conditions often state that they need a lot of light in order to read or to do other tasks. They are right—good illumination is often one of the main keys to success in being able to read, write a check, sew, or do other near tasks.

One of the reasons for this is that their “cone” cells have been damaged by their eye disease. Cone cells receive light, and also help us with color vision. Since these cone cells are damaged, a person with AMD or other types of vision loss does not receive as much light, and things look darker. They may ask their spouse, “Why is it so dark in here?” The spouse may say, “It’s not that dark.” But it is for the person with macular degeneration (or other eye diseases). It’s as though someone had closed the drapes and turned down the lights. What is needed is good lighting.

By “good lighting,” I don’t mean getting on a chair and changing the light bulb in the ceiling to one with a higher wattage. That is not safe, and does not make that much difference clear up in the ceiling. What is needed is a desk lamp on the table right next to where you are reading, writing, or eating. That will make a lot of difference. By bringing the lamp closer and adjusting it to bring it right down to where you are reading or working, it will make it much brighter. A gooseneck desk lamp may only cost about $15.

Using a flashlight to help you see better when you turn a key or plug something into an outlet will also be helpful. The new “LED” (light emitting diode) flashlights are very bright, and the batteries in those units last a very long time. You may able to keep a small LED flashlight in your purse or on a keychain.

A press-on lamp that is battery operated can be attached to a wall in your closet to help give you extra lighting when you pick out your clothes. It can also be attached inside a cupboard to help you pick out your dishes. Finally, they can be attached under a counter in the kitchen or near a work bench, to give you instant, extra lighting. These are now available in LED as well, and therefore can last for years, are very bright, and the batteries last a long time. They only cost a few dollars at a hardware store.

Return to Patient Education