Approximately 10 million people in North America are dealing with vision loss. "Low vision" is vision loss that cannot be corrected by ordinary glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery. Some signs of low vision include: difficulty recognizing a familiar face; difficulty reading - print appears broken or distorted; or difficulty seeing objects and potential obstacles such as steps, curbs, walls and furniture. But people with low vision retain some usable vision. Ophthalmologists and optometrists specializing in low vision can care for and evaluate patients and may be able to prescribe optical devices to maximize remaining vision. The sources here can provide additional information on coping with vision loss.
Eye Disorders: Merck Manual Home Edition
Based on The Merck Manual, but written in everyday language by 300 outstanding contributors, the site explains eye disorders, who is likely to get them, their symptoms, how they're diagnosed, how they might be prevented, and how they can be treated.
Intended to be a general site for medical information, there is, nonetheless, a great deal of material here relating to eye conditions and eye diseases. There is a dictionary of medical terms, and you can search by symptoms. Both simple and advanced searches are offered. Text may be enlarged. Available in Spanish.
More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic share their expertise to empower you to manage your health on this site. You will find links to diseases, symptoms, medical tests and procedures, and drugs. Browseable and searchable.
MedlinePlus Health Information from the National Library of Medicine
Featuring 800 topics on conditions, diseases and wellness. There are extensive sections on drugs and supplements, a medical encyclopedia, a medical dictionary with spellings and definitions, current health news and announcements, and a service for finding local resources for health related issues. Additionally, there is health information in over 40 languages.
Johns Hopkins Medical School
You can search an extensive list of articles on an exceptionally large number of medical conditions. These range from information that is understandable by the layman to highly technical writings. Hopkins has one, if not the best, of the ophthalmology departments in the country.
Information about Adapting to Vision Loss
This is an excellent, very readable site providing information on low vision, diagnoses, treatment, and ways to maximize remaining vision. Additional resources provided.
Enrichment Audio Resource Services
With the onset of declining vision comes the need to relearn how to do many daily activities. EARS provides free, audio cassette lesson tapes that teach adaptive daily living skills to the visually impaired and their caregivers. The lessons are modeled after current blind rehabilitation techniques for coping with loss of vision. Lesson tapes give uncomplicated, straight-forward ways to help do the things made difficult by low vision: personal grooming, doing the laundry, dialing the telephone, etc. This is an excellent resource for anyone coping with vision loss.
The Low Vision Gateway
The Gateway was created to be your starting point to access information on the World Wide Web related to the fields of low vision and blindness. The purpose is not to present one approach or bias but to provide access to all related information on the Internet.
National Association for Visually Handicapped
NAVH is committed to ensuring that impaired vision does not result in impaired life. Its mission is to help the "hard of seeing", worldwide cope with the psychological effects of visual impairment and to provide low vision services, visual aids and training to anyone in need of these services. NAVH has several print resources for the "hard of seeing." In these Articles, you will find excerpts from NAVHs large print literature on vision, eye disease, treatment options and proper nutrition. Complete articles are available upon request.
The Blind Readers’ Page
This site is a guide to sources of information in alternative formats (Braille, recorded cassettes, large print, e-texts, and web audio) accessible by people with print disabilities. It is also a guide to information about vision loss and other physical disabilities, with a special collection of Wisconsin resources. There are about 2,300 individual links, all evaluated, annotated and organized by subject.
Blindness and Visual Impairment
This About.com site is a good comprehensive portal to the field.
The American Foundation for the Blind
AFB is an outstanding source of information on a wide variety of topics related to vision loss. Links include
Glossary of eye conditions
which contains information on understanding vision loss, finding help & support, changing your home, daily living skills, as well as fitness & fun.
Living with vision loss
which treats how to do daily living tasks such as read and write, raise a family, have a social life, travel, maintain a career, etc.
Assistive or adaptive technology has exploded many barriers to education and employment for visually impaired individuals. Adults with visual impairments can continue to work and pursue a tremendous range of careers in mainstream society because of the use of computers and other devices. A variety of information on technology can be found in this web site section, which features descriptions of adaptive equipment, offers tips on using technology effectively, and gives technology specialists advice on making web sites and computer applications accessible to people who are visually impaired.
Senior Site - American Foundation for the Blind
This claims to be the first web resource of its kind – a virtual community that seniors, their concerned loved ones, and the dedicated professionals who serve them can use to find critical resources and connections to local services they need to live independently. Visitors can see examples of others living with vision loss who have continued to thrive.
If you or someone you love is facing vision problems, you want all the information available. Topics include health and fitness, independent living, computers and education, vocational rehabilitation and more. The strength of the site is that it provides information on topics seldom found elsewhere on the Web.
Read This to Me: Free Reading Service for the Blind
ReadThisToMe allows blind and low-vision people to have printed documents read to them over the phone. All a person needs is a phone line and a fax machine (no computer is required.) The client faxes the document to be read to the ReadThisToMe toll-free fax number: 1-877-333-8848. The first page of the fax needs to be a cover page that includes the client's first name and callback (voice) phone number. The document itself can be just about anything: a handwritten letter, a bill, a can of food, a multi-page magazine article -- just about anything that can be faxed.
One of ReadThisToMe's volunteer readers will call the client back — usually within an hour — and read the document.
"Getting Started" Kit for People New to Vision Los
"The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation have launched VisionAware, a free, easy-to-use informational website for [people losing their vision]. VisionAware helps adults who are losing their sight continue to live full and independent lives by providing timely information, step-by-step daily living techniques, a directory of national and local services, and a supportive online community." Major sections of the site include information on eye conditions, sources of emotional support, suggestions on everyday living, advice on continuing a productive working life, and tip sheets for adjusting to vision loss.
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