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Resources for People With Vision Loss

Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) provides support and training to people with vision loss from age 14 up to 100+. Most of the people are not totally blind but are experiencing low vision from types of ocular diseases that impact their ability to clearly see such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or cataracts. The degree of vision loss depends on the disorder and how advanced it is.

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) has several symptoms a few of which are blurry/fuzzy vision, difficulty recognizing familiar faces, loss of central vision (which may appear as a dark, empty area, or blind spot in the center of vision), hallucinations, etc. Approximately one in five people living with AMD experience hallucinations also known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Hallucinations are one symptom which may lead the individual and/or caregivers to believe the individual has dementia, mental illness, or another similar health care concern.

SBVI staff can offer ideas such as the use of large print, talking equipment, directional lighting, methods of reducing glare and ideas for magnification.  Staff can also provide tips for coping with the hallucinations which include but are not limited to turning on a light, concentrating on one item, looking at something else, closing and reopening the eyes, standing up, etc.

If you are interested in learning more or wish to talk with South Dakota’s Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired about solutions for people with vision loss, call 1-800-265-9684 or visit their website.

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