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HealthInfo Canterbury

Coping with vision loss

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It's always a shock to learn that you have permanent vision loss, and it takes time to adjust. People have different feelings, from acceptance to anger and disbelief.

Many people need help to work through these feelings, so don't be ashamed of asking for help if you need it. For advice and practical tips, consider getting in touch with one of the support groups listed on Self-care for low vision.

When someone is diagnosed with low vision, they might become depressed or anxious about their future. If you or someone you care for is experiencing signs of depression, talk to a healthcare professional. You might also find these pages on depression helpful.

Some people experiencing vision loss for the first time may find everyday activities challenging. However, with information, you can overcome these challenges to keep a good quality of life and stay independent. The more you know about your condition, its effects and options for dealing with the challenges it presents, the more confident you'll feel.

To make the most of what you can do with low vision, it helps to take control. Get started by having a low-vision assessment. This will help you to find the best strategies and support options for your individual needs. Contact your optometrist for an assessment.

If you need more specialised assessment, your optometrist can refer you to the Low Vision Clinic at Burwood Hospital. Low-vision support includes advice on the best lighting, visual aids and technology to help you manage your daily tasks.

You might also like to investigate the services and resources available from Blind Low Vision NZ.

By staying positive, persevering and asking for the help and support they need, many people with low vision can keep their quality of life and independence in work, home and in social settings.

On the next page: Self-care for low vision

Written by Canterbury optometrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2019.

Page reference: 121147

Review key: HILOV-121114