Vision Health

6 Common Signs of Vision Loss

Aging brings unpredictable changes to our senses, often making them less sharp. As you age, being aware of how these senses may change will ensure your safety and comfort and promote overall well-being.

Here, from the experts at, are six 6 common indications of vision loss that you need to be aware of:

Changes in the way you read, watch television, walk or perform other tasks

Difficulty identifying faces or objects

Squinting or tilting head to the side to get an object in focus

Holding reading material close to the face or at an angle

Bumping into walls, objects or people when walking

Spilling food or liquids during meals

If you or a loved one is experiencing vision loss, you may be vulnerable to tripping and falling, especially in unfamiliar environments. Older adults with declining visual acuity may also accidentally leave appliances running if they can no longer see the off/on switch. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your safety:

Ensure adequate lighting. Try to increase the amount of lighting directly over the activity that you are doing (e.g., eating in the kitchen, reading in the living room). It’s also a good idea to have a working flashlight nearby, especially during evenings and nights.

Use color contrast. Eat meals on bright plates that are in sharp contrast to the color of the table and consider using colored duct tape to mark light switches and stove dials.

Stay organized. Come up with methods of organization (e.g., cereal goes in the cabinet next to the sink) that work best for you. You might consider labeling containers in the fridge and cabinets using masking tape and a black marker.

Ask for support. For outdoor walking, or walking in unfamiliar places, the Family Caregiver Alliance recommends using the “sighted guide technique” where someone holds onto your arm just above the elbow and walks about half a pace behind you. Daily physical activity is important, and if you need some extra assistance to get in your favorite neighborhood walk, don’t be embarrassed to ask a friend or family member to accompany you. This is a great excuse to enjoy quality time together!

Home Care Assistance is an agency that helps family members find and hire caregivers. For more information, click here.

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