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Top ten tips to living with macular degeneration

Top tips to adjusting to life with macular degeneration

People living with macular degeneration share their top tips to adapting to life with sight loss.

  1. Get all the information you can about living with macular degeneration.
  2. Get in touch with local and national support organisations like North East Sensory Services (NESS) and the Macular Society – they provide a wealth of information, advice, practical and emotional support.
  3. Join a local Macular support group: the Macular Society runs local support groups across the country. The Aberdeen Macular Group meets at NESS, 21 John Street, Aberdeen AB25 1BT on the 3rd Friday of every month (except for over the summer and Christmas holidays).  The Dundee Support Group meets regularly in Dundee Blind and Partially Sighted Society.
  4. Be open and assertive with others about what you find difficult and what helps.
  5. Become confident with your symbol cane or white cane or wear a badge saying you have macular degeneration. Others will be more aware that you have a visual impairment and are more likely to be helpful and considerate of your needs. 
  6. Make use of technology – there are gadgets and technology to help you with all sorts of activities and tasks from using the phone to reading to travelling by bus. Some gadgets are very high tech, others are low tech. 
  7. Simple changes can make a big difference to your quality of life – find what works for you.
  8. Continue to be as active and healthy as you can be. Talk to someone about how you are feeling.  Talk to your GP about getting support if you are feeling your mood is low or you are feeling depressed.
  9. Eat dark green vegetables. There is some research that suggests dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale may reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  While they won’t restore the sight you have lost and won’t “cure” macular degeneration, they are part of a healthy diet which helps to maintain good eye health.  For more information, visit the Macular Society Website.
  10. There is increasing evidence of a genetic link for macular degeneration so let your family know about your macular degeneration and encourage them to monitor their eye health.

Support is available

If you or someone you know has macular degeneration in Aberdeen, Dundee, Moray or Angus and would like some information or support you can contact North East Sensory Services (NESS).  Our mission is “achieving independence for blind and deaf people”.  We provide a range of services providing practical and emotional support to people with a sight and/or hearing loss living across the North East of Scotland.  For more information contact 0345 271 2345, email info@nesensoryservices.org or visit www.nesensoryservices.org/.

The Macular Society is a national organisation providing information, advice and support to those living with macular diseases.  For more information about the Macular Society visit www.macularsociety.org/.