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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Focus on National Healthy Vision Month

American Foundation for the Blind offers tips and resources

New York (May 2, 2005)—Are you or an older person in your life having a harder time reading small print, navigating dimly lit hallways, or attending public gatherings? Age-related vision loss could be the cause. May is Healthy Vision Month and an opportunity to learn about strategies and devices that enable people with vision loss to maintain their independence and quality of life.

Here's what you can do:

  • Encourage eye examinations. Make sure your friends and family are examined by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eye diseases.
  • Reduce glare and use contrast. Replace lamps with high wattage or three way bulbs to avoid glare. Place dark colored items against lighter background for clearer distinction.
  • Eliminate Hazards. Keep furniture in the same place at all times, and remove objects that present a tripping hazard, such as throw rugs and low tables.
  • Update the environment. Replace standard everyday household items, such as playing cards, wall clocks, and kitchen timers, with large print or tactile versions.
  • Use magnification. Handheld magnifiers can help people read small print on items such as prescription bottles. Mirrors with 5X and 10X magnification allow people with vision loss to see their reflection clearly so they can maintain their appearance independently.

An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 55 and older are blind or severely visually impaired. That's about one in 10 older Americans. One in three people age 85 and older has some degree of vision loss. By making some simple adjustments, such as the ones listed above, you can help a person with vision loss preserve their independence.

AFB recently opened The National Center on Age-Related Vision Loss in Dallas, Texas, to educate people with vision loss and their families on how they can maintain their quality of life. For more information on AFB and the Center, or to find resources in your local area visit:, call us toll free at (800) AFB-LINE (800-232-5463), or email


Contact: Carrie L. Fernandez
AFB Communications

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