When you first notice a change in or reduced vision, you should consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. You may need a referral from your primary physician or an optometrist, depending upon your medical coverage. Some vision problems can be corrected with glasses or other devices. Many eye diseases start with no symptoms. Some diseases, such as glaucoma, can be managed with an early diagnosis and medication. If you do not have an eye doctor, call the Academy of Ophthalmology at 1-800-443-9370.

The ophthalmologist will tell you what your particular eyesight problem is, and what can be done about it. It is important not to panic and be aware that there is a lot of assistance available to help you adjust to whatever degree of sight loss you may have.

When you’re ready, Braille Institute is here to help you make the most of your remaining sight and help you in your adjustment to living with low vision. For immediate assistance call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553).

Tips for Coping with Sight Loss

If you live within the 10 counties of Southern California, Braille Institute can help in many ways. You may come to one of our five centers and enroll in free classes that will help you learn to adjust to your sight loss and teach you new ways of doing things.

If you still have some sight and are looking for ways to use your remaining vision, you may make an appointment for a free Low Vision Rehabilitation consultation with Braille Institute’s trained specialists. They will recommend ways to maximize your remaining vision with special lights and magnifiers.

If you love to read, but can no longer manage print, you may enroll in our free Library Services and receive books on tape or in braille and magazines from a large selection of titles. Get more information about our free Library Services.

Our retail store, Vistas, has many useful adaptive products to assist you, including talking clocks and watches, braille games, large-print books, writing, sewing and cooking aids, and much more. Get more information about our Vistas stores and to download our latest catalog.


Every year Braille Institute hosts several free seminars on different aspects of sight loss. Subjects include macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, understanding visual loss, diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, low vision and other informative topics. Guest speakers include distinguished ophthalmologists and other medical professionals. Free audiotapes or CDs of the seminars are available in some cases. Simply call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) for more information or View our upcoming events calendar.


In the”Services” section of our Web site you will find a number of free resources for people who are visually impaired.

For more information call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST).