Winter safety for those with impaired vision

It’s an understatement to say that winter is a complicated season. It can bring any number of combinations of sleet, snow, ice, and freezing rain. It is an unpredictable force of nature that can turn pavement into black ice and sidewalks into skating rinks in a moment’s notice. Staying safe and preventing winter falls depends upon navigating ever-changing conditions underfoot – an especially tricky proposition for those with low vision impairments.
If you suffer with vision impairment from significant eye disease (macular degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease, cataracts, glaucoma, and many more) there are three important things you can do to prepare for winter:

1. Wear good treads
2. Install good lighting
3. Buy a great emergency kit

Here’s how:

Good treads: Footwear with strong support and superior traction is essential to prevent winter falls. Sneakers and other footwear with good treads aren’t made for ice and snow and may make you slip and fall. The shoes and boots you wear should be made specifically for winter conditions. They should have heavy, non-slip, treads with a non-skid surface. Winter footwear will have treads that are deep enough to prevent snow from clogging on the bottom and creating a slippery surface.

Good lighting: Bright lights will help you to determine the hazards outside your door in winter. Make sure that you have the brightest lights possible outside every door you use and that the entrance, stairs and walkways to your home are well lit.

• Ask a friend or family member to walk the route to your door to make sure that there are no shadows on the walkway. Spotlights can be installed and lights can illuminate the walkway at ground level.

• Make sure that the area inside your door is well lit. Snow and ice has a way of tracking inside and good lighting will help to avoid falls once you get in the door.

• Try to use a goose neck lamp when possible and bring it close to the area where you desire to read or perform other near activities. When you bring lighting 2x times closer, you will improve the illumination by 4x times.

A great emergency kit: The chances are good that the power will go out at some point during the winter. Don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure that you have a good emergency kit with flashlights that illuminate a large path and new batteries. Buy a flashlight with the maximum number of lumens in order to get the brightest light across the longest and widest distance. As part of your emergency kit, make plans with friends and family about how you will contact them should the power go out.

Even before winter becomes a hazardous white maze, we would like the opportunity to enhance your vision. We specialize in improving functional vision for those who have been told that nothing more can be done. Our advanced medical devices help those suffering with macular degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cataracts, glaucoma, cone-rod dystrophy and other low vision impairing diseases to read, drive and enjoy hobbies once again.

Call us to schedule a consultation. We believe in life after vision loss and we want to help you. (410) 505-4846