Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says a new resource is available to help people with low vision better manage everyday tasks.
Low vision — reduced vision or vision loss that cannot be corrected or improved by glasses, medicine or surgery — affects an estimated 29,000 New Zealanders.
“Low vision can create problems with depth perception and peripheral vision, making it difficult to identify landmarks or obstacles. People with low vision can also have difficulty reading and writing, identifying faces or seeing at a distance,” Ms Wagner says.
“This new resource has information about how to cope with daily tasks using lighting, contrast, and inexpensive aids and devices, including large-print books, large-numbered clocks and different-coloured measuring cups.”
There is also a range of computerised or electronic equipment that can help, including large-print keyboards, speech recognition software and electronic magnifiers.
“Losing vision doesn’t mean giving up your usual activities but it can mean finding new ways of doing them,” Ms Wagner says.
“Regular eye examinations are the best way to prevent low vision or detect it early, so I encourage anyone experiencing problems with their eyesight to consult an eye health professional.”
The resource is available in both audio and print: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/living-low-vision