The glasses prescribed to Age-Related Macula Degeneration (AMD) patients have different characteristics than regular glasses, because they aim to make use of residual peripheric vision.
The selection of the right glasses for AMD patients is important because if the right glasses are not used, patients can give up quickly, thinking the glasses are not useful at all. However, even the small improvements in the patient’s vision due to the glasses can make a positive contribution in his/her daily activities.
Glasses for far (distance) vision: AMD patients who do not need an important correction do not need to use far vision glasses. Glasses with uncolored lenses are usually recommended for indoor use.
The use of multifocal glasses may be more challenging for patients with AMD. If you want to use multi-focals, please discuss this with your eye-care provider and your optician.
It is important to use a spectacle glass with a UV filter as UV and blue wavelengths of the sun light are harmful to the macula. Most of the lenses on the market have an UV filter. Moreover, there are non-colored glass lenses on the market which contain filters that also block some of the harmful blue wavelength light rays. It is recommended that your sunglasses also have the filter to block blue light.
The use of prismatic glasses for far vision is also increasing. These glasses are aimed at redirecting the image to the healthy retina, rather than the macula.
The most important issue to keep in mind is that when you begin to use your prescribed glasses, you may not immediately experience a change. But please note that even small improvements will resolve some of the problems you encounter in everyday life.
*Telescopes: Telescopes are important vision aides used by low vision patients. They help increase visual acuity. Unfortunately, their usage is very limited because telescope lenses narrow visual field. They are large and clumsy, they narrow down the visual field, so most patients do not feel comfortable with them if they move around. They are often used when the patient sits down and watches something, such as the TV or a spectacle.
In bioptic telescopic spectacles, telescopes are placed on the upper position of the distance glasses. This makes it easier to use telescopes while the patient is moving.
It is also possible to use the telescopes for near vision with the help of a set of covers fitted on the telescopic lenses.
After an evaluation of your vision, your eye-care provider may decide if the use of telescopic glasses are suitable for you or not.
Sunglasses: It is important that AMD patients should be protected from the sun’s harmful UV and blue wavelength radiation. These rays are considered as one of the three most important causes of AMD today. For this purpose, there are special glasses with protective filter in yellow – brown colors. Sunglasses with or without corrections for AMD patients must have UV and blue light filtering lenses. It is also recommended that the patients with AMD use hats with visors.
Near/Reading glasses: Reading glasses we use in AMD patients show different characteristics compared to standard reading glasses. Each patient has different characteristics and needs, so it is best to check with your eye-care provider. For example, some patients can read with only one eye, so it may be necessary to block the other eye with an opaque lens. Other patients may require special prismatic lenses.
Especially in the case of patients using computers and tablets, it is necessary to keep in mind that the screens may also be a blue light source. It is also advisable to use colorless blue light filters in near glasses.
To enable reading as well as possible, it is important to be careful on the following points:
1.Adjusting the reading distance
2. Using appropriate light
It’s easier to read with the lights that are situated behind you, with the light illuminate the text.
Reading in a bad light can be impossible. When you first buy your glasses, you can find it hard to read right away in an optician’s shop, in an unsuitable light and with out adjusting the distance.
Remember, you may face some difficulties in reading at first, but this will improve as you read and do exercises.