Reading is a past time of which many of us love. However, a lot of patients who are partially sighted say that their reading is less enjoyable due to their low vision making it harder and longer to read their books. At Associated Optical, we believe that with the right lighting, magnification and practice these three things can make a real difference.
So we have put together some tips from the experts to help improve your reading experience and make it a more enjoyable one.
eSight Eyewear is changing and improving the lives of people who are experiencing sight loss. You too can see the electronic glasses first-hand for yourself at one of our many clinics to see the real difference they can make to how independently you live your life.
Hundreds of people with sight loss have lived these moments when they first use eSight eyewear. In countless cases the glasses have enabled people to live more independent lives and there are hundreds of testimonials from people who are already using eSight electronic glasses like Brian Casey who saw his wife for the first time in 27 years.
eSight Engineers created a breakthrough technology, taking many years of hard work, investments of tens of millions of dollars, many patented innovations and much trial and error working with numerous legally blind individuals. The end result was eSight - electronic glasses that enable the legally blind to actually see. Today, Associated Optical are proud to say that eSight is the largest, most knowledgeable and well-funded R&D lab in the world dedicated to addressing blindness.
The three B’s is a simple philosophy for maximising the sight you have by enhancing what you are want to read making items appear bolder, bigger and brighter; with the correct training from a low vision professional , selecting the right products and making simple adjustments, can make a big, bold difference to how independent you are.
Electronic magnifiers are one of many product solutions which allow you use the vision you have more effectively. With the inbuilt features of a digital magnifier you can enlarge the size of text, enhance the contrast and increase clarity allowing you to see things clearly.
Fundamentally making the text you are reading appear bigger brighter and bolder.
Stay safer this winter with our top tips on reducing trips and falls both inside and outside your home. Each year, millions of older people fall and more than one out of four older people fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once also doubles your chances of falling again.
There are simple things you can do to keep slips and trips to a minimum. Be your own safety inspector and continually check your living space and keep on top of potential hazards by being aware of your surroundings. Ask a family member or friend to help you do an audit of your home to identify likely causes of trips and falls. By taking preventive measures, this will help with remaining independent at home and build confidence.
Prevention is better than cure. Make your home safer and get your eyes tested regularly.
What are the main causes of slips and trips?
If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking. Sometimes these types of lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
Provide advice and information for people in later life through our Age UK Advice line‚ publications and online.
Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65
Lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm.
Suppliers of low vision aids, challenging perceptions and providing innovative solutions for independent living.
Tel 01628 600410
Disabled Living Foundation
Provides impartial advice on products and equipment that help with daily living. Some of the products mentioned in this article can be found on their website.
Tel: 0300 999 004
More people than ever have taken up reading since J K Rowling released the Harry Potter books and newly awaited book “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” is capturing the imagination of young and old and encouraging thousands of people to re-discover their love of reading.
However, reading is something many people take for granted, and when you can’t see as well as you used to, it can become challenging. With the correct magnification and lighting, reading doesn’t have to be something you used to do but something you can carry on doing.
There is certainly no magic when it comes to magnification but more science, Associated Optical are the UK partner of Eschenbach who have been manufacturing magnifiers since 1913. In addition to their outstanding optical performance, all products from Eschenbach Optik are impressive in terms of their intelligent combination of visually appealing exterior and creative design.
There are many different types of magnifiers on the market and it is important to understand what you want to achieve with said magnifier to ensure you make the right choice. Understanding this is very important as there are many providers that promise magical solutions that do not deliver due to poor quality and over promising.
Stand Magnifiers come in a variety of styles and different strengths of magnifications. These type of magnifiers usually have a built in light which means when you place the stand magnifier over the page, the text is enlarged and the light offers more contrast. These types of products are generally battery operated and simple to use with magnification from 2x to 12.5x. Remember, the higher the magnification the smaller the lens, which is something the user needs to consider.
How to Use Stand Magnifiers;
Electronic magnifiers offer something extra to a basic stand magnifier which is why many people have chosen to use the Eschenbach smartLUX Digital which offers 1.7x to 12 x magnification and can be personalised to suit your individual requirements. By placing the smartLUX over your book, the built in camera magnifies the text onto the display. You can choose to change the display to suit you; the magnification can be increased or decreased. With many other inbuilt features as well as being very simple to use; makes this a truly fantastical solution to reading.
Whether you are enjoying your favourite book or just need a magnifier to read a label or instructions, an illuminated pocket magnifier is an alternative option. For spot reading which is reading for short term use, these types of magnifiers are really useful and come in many different magnification strengths. They are very handy and fit in your pocket or bag, making them ideal to take out with you.
It doesn’t matter what you enjoy reading there is a different magnifier to help you. Whether it’s the latest JR Rowling book, a magazine article, letters or a food label; you can gain more independence and feel confident with the right magnifier.
Myths about magnifiers
When working with magnification devices, it’s important to understand this general concept:
Remember a magnifier can’t hurt your eyes but it can be very frustrating using the wrong type of magnifier and if you do not know what strength magnification you need it is easy to come disheartened and give up reading. Reading has so many benefits and by selecting the right magnifier, you can re-discover the magic and lose yourself with your favourite author.
Top tip; get your eyes tested regularly and if you are worried about your sight ask your doctor to be referred for a low vision assessment where an expert will assess your sight and give you support and guidance on how to make the most of your sight.
Discover more fantastical magnifiers at www.associatedoptical.com or call 01628 600410 for further support.
Baking has never been more popular since programs like Great British Bake off hit our screens. This show has influenced thousands of people across the UK to pick up their whisks put on their aprons and re-discover their passion for baking.
It doesn’t matter whether you see yourself as a Nigella or a Mary Berry or Candice Brown (winner from Great British Bake off)... everyone can and should enjoy baking.
As we get older many people lose their confidence in the kitchen and stop baking as they may not see as well as they used to; but this should not stop you from perfecting your puff pastry or fruit cakes. The key to confidence and success in your kitchen is down to three simple steps;
Lighting is an essential ingredient whilst you are baking; there are simple methods to increase lighting levels in your kitchen. Add extra light by investing in good quality under cupboard lighting, which help to light up dark spaces. Portable lighting like the Z light is great to use in the kitchen as it is battery operated and has no trailing wires which can be a trip hazard, this can be used while you are measuring ingredients or reading recipes.
You don’t need to spend a fortune but make sure the lamp you purchase has enough LED’s to be effective and is bright enough to light up what you want to see and read. Read previous blogs on why lighting makes a difference.
Magnification - A product such as the Eschenbach smartlux DIGITAL can be used to read recipes in a cook book; with up to 12x magnification and a variable eye to lens distance, reading whilst cooking is made so much easier. The built in light is a handy feature too! There are many different magnifiers on the market to choose from and it is important to think about what you want to do and which magnifier is most suited.
Top Tip! Increasing lighting levels and introducing magnification are two key items that you want to add to your shopping list of ingredients. Remember; by increasing lighting and introducing magnification, you increase contrast which makes things much easier to see. Getting a low vision assessment can be arranged through your doctor and you will see someone who can help you determine what type of magnifier would suit your personal requirements.
Reduce Glare - to reduce glare minimise the amount number of shiny surfaces you have in your kitchen. Light shining onto shiny metal can cause glare and discomfort so minimise the amount of shiny stainless steel gadgets you have in your kitchen. You can still be stylish with matt surfaces and there are some fabulous bold colours on the market that are in fashion and can also help to improve contrast.
Contrast- For most people improved contrast means things are easier to see. Think about using different coloured measuring bowls, a white bowl will most likely blend into the background and the ingredients are harder to see. There are some great products on the market that are brightly coloured and offer great contrast like mixing bowls and chopping boards.
Talking kitchen scales are a low cost investment and make measuring ingredients much easier. A ‘Thoughtfully Designed’ set of scales incorporates a measuring jug with big bold numbers which are easier to see and the real icing on the cake is when you pour in your ingredients, the scales will tell you in a friendly voice the weight of the ingredients.
Protection - all responsible bakers need to make sure they can protect themselves against injury and this is no exception. Investing in some extra-long oven gloves will help to protect your arms and hands from accidental burns.
Useful gadgets -There are some great talking timers on the market to help you keep track of cooking times so you don’t end up with a disaster in the kitchen.
With so many gadgets available and great tips, there has never been a better time to carry on baking... Discover more visit www.associatedoptical.com
There are also a range of wider solutions and advice offered by the Disabled Living Foundation to help you keep mobile and independent at home. http://www.dlf.org.uk/living-made-easy
10 top tips to make the most of your sight using light!
With the dark night’s drawing in, we all can benefit from better lighting in our homes. Regardless of your age getting your lighting levels correct is important and the majority of people over the age of 60 need much more lighting than when they were 20. This is especially important for anyone with sight loss. It’s not just about adding light but understanding the type of lighting which will benefit you the most…
So why is the right lighting important?
1. You can make the most of the sight you have by improving the clarity and contrast of what you are looking at. This is especially important for both sight loss and someone living with Dementia.
2. When it is dark in your home, there is a risk of trips and falls and feeling nervous about moving around your home. Good lighting can make you feel more confident and comfortable.
3. Thinking about what you want to do at home and planning your lighting means you can enjoy your hobbies and daily living. If you enjoy cooking make sure you have extra lighting in your kitchen, on your worktops and under cupboard lighting can make a real difference.
4 If you are using portable lighting in your kitchen make sure you don’t have trailing wires as they can be a trip hazard. Ensure trailing wires are tucked away or better yet use battery operated lights to reduce the risks of trips and falls.
5. Reading- a desk lamp or floor standing lamp shining over your book below eye level will give you maximum benefits. Above eye level can cause glare and will make it harder to see what you want to read. Make sure the lamp is sturdy and does not topple easily; the base should be solid and the arm flexible to ensure you can target the light where you need it.
6. Keep lighting even throughout your home so you don’t move from one room to another and are suddenly faced with glare or brighter lights. This can cause confusion and it is much better to keep the lighting in your home even and add extra lighting with floor and desk lamps.
7. Lighting in hall stairs and landing is especially key and by ensuring these spaces are well lit, will help you to feel more confident when walking up and down the stairs. You can add extra sensor lights that come on when you need them most. These are relatively low cost and battery operated.
8. Be Prepared- when you go out take a small travel light with you as this is really useful when reading labels in a supermarket or menu’s. Battery operated lights are the best solution and are small enough to fit in a bag.
9. Choosing suitable portable lighting is important so make sure you buy a lamp that does not get hot to touch, the bulb does not protrude out of the shade and it is flexible allowing you to angle the light where you need it most.
10. Avoid glare which means make sure the lamp does not reflect from shiny surfaces and you are not getting glare from outside shining directly into your eyes. This can affect how independent you are in your home or out and about.
If you are concerned about your sight, a visit to your optician is a good place to start. If a problem is detected, you'll be referred to the hospital to see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Your GP will be kept informed, and will give you extra support and advice if you need it.
Sandra Taylor, Marketing & Executive Coach. Developed solutions to improve the lives of people living with sight loss for over 20 years.