Use Touch In Place of Sight

Use Touch In Place of Sight

Posted under Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

When vision is diminished and the ability to see and read fine print or the ability to perform daily tasks becomes challenging use touch instead of sight.  Peggy R. Wolfe has had wet macular degeneration for many years and shares her insights in her book Vision Loss, Strategies for Living with Hope and Independence.  She devotes one of her chapters on developing your sense of touch to compensate for your loss of vision.  One of her recommendations is that you begin to identify objects by feel and writes, “As you go about your daily activities, pay attention to the shapes and sizes of objects you use throughout the day.  You may be surprised by how important your sense of touch is in compensating for a diminishing sense of sight.”  Here are some examples on how you can use touch for everyday activities.


In the Bathroom

Use a pump style toothpaste and apply the paste on a clean finger and then put it in your mouth

Feel your face as you shave to determine you haven’t missed any spots

Put one raised plastic bump on your shampoo bottle and two on the conditioner bottle


In the Kitchen

Apply a special paint pen called Hi-Mark that will leave small, hard, raised dots that are waterproof and dishwasher proof on your measuring cups. Place 1 dot for 1 cup, 2 dots for ½ a cup, 3 dots for ⅓ cup and 4 dots for ¼ cup.

Place rubber bands around cans can to identify your favorite or frequently used foods.  One rubber band for chicken noodle soup and two rubber bands for spaghetti sauce.

Use rubber dots on frequently used buttons.  For example put one dot on the 1 minute button and two dots on the start button of your microwave.  Use a similar system for your dishwasher start button and the automatic or normal wash button.

Dan Roberts the author of The First Year: Age Related Macular Degeneration who lives with low vision, has  written a free guide that shows “how a visually impaired person can preserve or restore up to 99% of all activities of daily living” by substituting non-visual senses for eyesight.  Learn how you can start using touch, smell, taste and hearing to perform your daily activities.  The Self-Help Guide to Nonvisual Skills is available as a free large print book in English or in Spanish with CDs or it can be downloaded as a printable PDF version in English or in Spanish.  Click on the link below to access your copy.

A Self-Help Guide to Non-Visual Skills


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN