Attitude – Adapting to Life with Macular Degeneration

Attitude – Adapting to Life with Macular Degeneration

Posted under Living With Low Vision

Attitude - Adapting to Life with Macular Degeneration

In her book, Macular Disease: Practical Strategies for Living with Vision Loss, Peggy Wolfe writes quite a bit about attitude.  Peggy has lived with age related macular degeneration (AMD) for 11 years, suffering more severe vision loss from wet AMD the past 5 years. When I asked her what attitude has helped her the most with coping with her vision loss, she quickly responded with an attitude of a willingness to adapt. She explained that knowing that she still has control over how she lives her life by finding new ways to do things gives her a sense of power.

It is often said that people with macular degeneration can do many of the things they did before, they just have to do it differently.  Peggy has sought the help of low vision services over the years. These low vision specialists have taught her new strategies for reading, cooking, grooming, and organizing her home.  They’ve also introduced her to many vision aids to use in the kitchen, the bathroom or while out shopping.

Continuing to read becomes a struggle for those with advanced or wet macular degeneration. Words become blurry and the loss of one’s center of vision makes reading books, newspapers, and magazines an exercise in frustration. Rather than give up reading, Peggy experimented with different kinds of lighting and light bulbs to find the right light that helped her to read with less strain and less glare. She then added a book stand that holds the pages at a comfortable distance for her eyes.

Sometimes it will take a combination of vision aids to complete tasks that used to be simple. For instance perhaps a swing arm lamp that can direct the light right to the reading material along with a large print book and a reading magnifier will make reading possible. My father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration found reading too much of a strain and gave up reading books.
While visiting him we found out that the only lighting he was using was a regular table lamp and at that the light bulb wasn’t that bright. The combination of bright LED lights on a swing arm lamp, a full page magnifier, and an electronic book reader adjusted to the largest font has him reading books and the daily newspaper again.

How do you learn about these practical tips to help you live more independently with AMD? You can  find out if there are any low vision specialists in a city near you where you can receive training and help or get more tips and strategies from Peggy by going to:

Tips for Living with Macular Degeneration

Better Health for Better Vision

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN