• DO ask if you can be of help.
  • DO ask if they want to take your arm.
  • DO speak in a normal voice (most blind people are not deaf).
  • DO identify yourself on entering a room and tell them if you are leaving.
  • DO allow them the respect and dignity due to any individual.
  • DON’T give unwanted assistance.
  • DON’T grab, push or pull them.
  • DON’T avoid words such as “look” or “see.” They’re in everyone’s vocabulary!
  • DON’T play “guess who,” or walk away and leave them talking to themselves.
To prevent eyestrain, follow these good reading habits:
  • Use a good reading lamp or sufficient light source.
  • Hold reading material 16-18 inches from your eyes.
  • Avoid reading in moving vehicles which may put added strain on the eyes.
  • Make sure you have properly fitted eyeglasses for reading (if needed).
To remove grit or foreign bodies from your eye . . .
  • Flush your eye liberally with eye wash or clean tap water. Give your tears a chance to wash out the speck.
  • If the object is under your upper lid, lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid so that the foreign body may stick to it.
  • Try to wipe the speck out gently with moistened sterile gauze or the moistened tip of a clean handkerchief.
  • If the object is under the lower lid, pull down the lower lid and wipe the speck out gently.
If the foreign object doesn’t come out . . .
  • Keep your eye closed.
  • Place gauze pads or clean cloths over the eye and hold it in place lightly with adhesive tape.
  • Do not rub the eye.
  • Seek professional medical help immediately.
If the eye is cut or scratched . . .
  • Do not wash the eye out with water.
  • Bandage it lightly.
  • Seek professional medical help immediately.
Injuries to the eyes are still a major cause of blindness. About 90,000 people — most of them children — lost their sight to blinding accidents last year. Tragically, many of these injuries could have been prevented. Follow these tips to help protect the vision of your loved ones:
  • Keep scissors, knives, pens and other sharp or pointed instruments out of the reach of babies and toddlers.
  • Examine toys to determine if your child is old enough to play with them safely.
  • Teach older children how to carefully handle archery equipment and BB guns.
  • Supervise the play activities of your own children and their playmates whenever possible.
  • Make sure your child’s glasses are fitted with shatterproof lenses.
  • Wear safety goggles if your job requires them.
  • Consult your doctor if you receive a blow to the eye or a black eye.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve leading to reduced vision or blindness.
  • It affects three million Americans yearly.
  • Half of the people with glaucoma don’t know they have it.
  • It usually destroys eyesight without any pain or symptoms.
  • By the time any changes in vision are noted permanent visual loss may have occurred.
  • Early detection and treatment may prevent significant loss of sight.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should be examined for glaucoma or other eye problems:

  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • Difficulty adjusting your eyes in darkened rooms
  • Loss of vision
  • Blurred or foggy vision
  • Rainbow colored rings around lights.
DON’T wait for symptoms to appear before seeing an eye doctor!
Regular eye exams are the most important tool in detecting glaucoma early.


There’s more to testing your child’s vision than just reading an eye chart.
  • Vision is complex. It involves the ability to focus, distinguish colors, and coordinate head and eye movements.
  • Many children don’t know they have eye problems and so they don’t seek help. Parents have to be on the alert.
  • By 6 months of age, a baby’s eyes should be steady and straight.
  • To be sure that the eyes are functioning properly, have your child’ vision thoroughly examined during infancy and annually thereafter.
  • Between checkups, look for these clues to vision problems.
  • The physical appearance of the eye may change when there is an impairment.
  • Changes include excessive watering, hazy pupils, swollen or encrusted eyelids, frequent sties and extreme sensitivity to light.
  • Often, coordination problems are the tip-off.
    • Does the baby have difficulty picking things up?
    • Does the child frequently bump into things, trip and stumble?
    • Does the baby turn his or her head strangely?
  • Headaches, squinting, blinking, favoring one eye and rubbing the eyes may indicate problems.
  • A child who holds objects very close or very far away may be having problems focusing.
  • School-age children with vision disorders sometimes have trouble reading the blackboard.
  • Their written work may provide clues such as poor alignment, confusion of letters and unusual color choices.
  • These children may also become irritable when doing work or playing games which require vision skills.