with loss of vision in one eye
David Kinshuck & Jayne Kempster
Adjusting to the loss of some vision in one eye takes time and practice:
the advice below may help a little.
Using your one good eye will not damage it in any way. Sitting close to
the TV, reading, or using your eye for hobbies will not harm it. In particular,
it does no harm to sit close to the television, sit as close as is necessary
to see adequately.
The same applies when using a computer screen. Having only one good eye
does not strain the good eye at all. When reading you may only be able
to read for perhaps 15 minutes before developing tired achy eyes, or headache.
It is then necessary to rest, and then start again later, over and over
again if need be.
For distance vision, an optometrist (optician) cannot fundamentally improve
your sight, may be able to provide spectacles to improve your distant sight.
close work, an optician will aim to provide spectacles that focus at the
distance for your particular requirements. Generally the closer you hold
a book to your eyes the larger the print appears, and an optician can provide
glasses that focus books etc closer to your eyes. Reading is naturally
easier with large print books, or using large text size on your computer.
However, it is always best to try your old spectacles first: it will do
no harm to use your old spectacles. But remember, spectacles only focus
at one distance. Musicians or painters for instance may need a second pair
of spectacles that focus at a distance slightly further away.
- Hold the book or paper in front of the one good eye.
- Move the book or paper you are reading, rather than your eye. This
takes practice, but with practice you will adjust your eye and head movements
- You need a good light, such as an anglepoise light. This is a desk
type light, with a reflector that is not transparent. The reflector needs
to shine all the light on the book or paper, and none in your eye. This
is like reading with the sun behind you. Having a bright light on the
ceiling is not particularly helpful.
If you follow this advice, and reading is still difficult, you need to
see an optician
familiar with patients with poor vision. It may take some time to learn
new reading techniques, and the difficulties increase as you get older.
You really need individual advice from the optician in the eye clinic,
or any another low vision expert. The options include:
- extra strong spectacles
- holding the object closer to you
- special telescopic
spectacles for reading or television
- various magnifying glasses:
These are not ideal for reading for long periods as they are tiring
to use. There are magnifying glasses specially for sewing, or reading
very small print for example.
- Some patients may find electronic aids like special TV cameras
and computers helpful. Computers can
even 'read' books aloud, and input what you say. A
large screen may help.
books are available from the RNIB or local library: there
is a service specially for people with poor sight. Ask your doctor
or clinic nurse for details. See the Birmingham
service , from your local Birmingham library.
Discussed in detail here. In the UK you are
legally allowed to drive a car with only one good eye. If you have lost
the vision suddenly it takes time to adjust, and three months is the accepted
period. Notify the Driving Authority (the DVLA in the UK). You will need
to move your head more to compensate for the loss of vision on one side.
This depends on the cause of the problem in the bad eye. If you have
had problems identified in the clinic, such as high blood pressure, these
need to be treated by your General Practitioner. Generally the UK
Department of Health recommend
- 30 minutes exercise a day
- no smoking
- a diet with minimal animal fat & dairy food
- low in salt
- five portions of vegetables or fruit a day, with high fibre foods