Find Adaptive Devices to Support Your Lifestyle
Macular degeneration (MD) is a progressive degenerative eye disease which causes visual loss or impairment to a person’s center field of vision (The center of the retina is called the macula). Most individuals with MD still have function of their peripheral vision, which compensates for the center vision problems. This condition typically affects adults over the age of 50 and is therefore often referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
What Are the Effects of Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration can manifest itself in several ways. The following images, found on mdsupport.org, illustrate a few of the most common symptoms:
- Picture A shows an example of text that appears blurred.
- Picture B depicts how straight lines are distorted and appear wavy.
- Picture C illustrates how a blank or dark blind spot occurs in the center field of vision.
Other symptoms can include:
- Color discernment may be difficult, particularly distinguishing dark colors from other dark colors and light colors from other light colors. Colors appear dimmer and lose contrast.
- Visual hallucinations, also referred to as Charles Bonnet Syndrome, may develop in mentally healthy individuals with MD. The hallucinations are vivid and often of people or objects, as the brain fills in the missing data from the blind spot.
How Do You Adapt to Macular Degeneration?
Adaptations to macular degeneration come in two main varieties. The first form of adapting is finding ways to improve the quality of visual information you are receiving. This can be done via devices that magnify the images you are seeing, as well as devices that have been designed with large type or images that are easier to see and process than standard equipment. The second form of adaptating is finding ways to reduce reliance on visual information altogether, often through talking and/or voice-activated devices.
What Products Can Assist You in Living with Macular Degeneration?
EnableMart offers a wide variety of adaptive devices that significantly assist individuals experiencing the effects of macular degeneration.
Portable Handheld Video Magnifiers
Portable handheld video magnifiers offer great assistance with reading, whether it’s a magazine, mail, box labels, or menus. A video magnifier also has different contrast viewing modes that may be very beneficial to MD individuals who find it difficult to distinguish between certain colors.
Amplified phones not only clarify and amplify sound, but typically offer large keypad numbers for dialing. Some amplified phones are voice activated which helps those with visual difficulties to be even more independent.
Talking devices such as a talking watch or talking calculator are simple to use, featuring large buttons that are easier to see and press. The watches speak the time and date at the touch of a button. The calculators read answers out loud, with the user able to choose to have answers read by complete number, i.e. 24, or by individual number, i.e. 2, 4.