It is important to make the best use of your remaining vision with the following 5
vision enhancement techniques. A vision enhancement technique is a way to
alter your environment in order to see better.
1. Contrast: A person is more likely to see an object if it contrasts in colour to its
background. For example: A white mug on a black cafeteria tray or a white plate
on a black placemat. Take a look around your home and consider how you could
make items contrast to their environment. You could simply place a white, yellow
or red strip of electrical tape around a telephone or remote control so it contrasts
in colour to the coffee table or night stand.
2. Colour: Determine the colours you are able to see best and use these colours
to your advantage. For example, you could place a brightly-coloured orange
plastic key identification ring on your house key or place a yellow bin in your
freezer to contain poultry products and a red bin for meat products.
3. Lighting: Experiment with different light sources (e.g. incandescent,
fluorescent, halogen, LED, full-spectrum or natural daylight). Everybody reacts
differently to light. Find the type of light that works best for you. In addition,
experiment with the placement of the light. This is made easier with a task lamp
that has a flexible gooseneck. Years ago, it was believed that the light should be
positioned over the shoulder, in a way that prevents glare and shadowing. But,
further research indicates that the light should be coming from somewhere in
front of your body, below the level of your eyes, and about 15-20 centimetres (6-
8 inches) away from the target or the object being illuminated.
4. Figure-Ground: Imagine that you place a pen on a floral-patterned table-cloth.
There is a good chance that you will not see the pen because it blends into the
pattern. Clutter has the same effect as a patterned surface. You are more likely
to see an object if it is placed on a solid-coloured surface or a surface that is
clutter-free. A table-cloth of a medium tone might allow you to see both light and
dark objects. You don't necessarily have to replace your treasured heirloom table
cloth or quilted bedspread; just don't put things on it that you expect to find later!
You may like to have a tray or basket on your bedroom dresser or kitchen
counter to place loose objects in until you have time to put the items back where
5. Eccentric viewing: Many people with remaining functional vision will have a
certain portion of sight that is better than the rest. Experiment to determine your
best area of vision. Hold a small object in front of your face and try turning your
eyes or shifting your head to look out the four corners of your sight. Some people
will have better central vision and others have better peripheral vision. Find that
area of best vision and then train yourself to use it. It might seem awkward at first
if you have your head turned slightly to the left when pouring a cup of coffee, but
it could make a big difference!
If you have some remaining sight, these five tips to enhance vision could be
everything you need to see better!
If you would like to learn additional tips for everyday activities like meal
preparation (e.g. pouring, measuring, chopping vegetables), clothing colour
identification, plugging-in appliances, threading a needle, or applying make-up,
please contact Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, a CNIB organization, at
Copyright 2017 Lynn Jensen