One of the most annoying aspects of having macular disease is losing the ability to recognize faces. With macular problems, your sharpest vision is right up close to you, absolutely. So unless a friend or spouse is prompted to whisper the name of someone who is waving at you, you will miss the contact entirely. With me, I just stopped looking at people, because I had to stare so long to get any information. That might seem to others a bit odd, but who wants to be staring? Unfortunately, people unfamiliar with your eye situation will wonder if you are in a bad mood.

For casual social encounters, or for walking around in stores, restaurants, or on streets, there is really no low vision aid I know to remedy this problem completely. Specialized bi optic glasses might offer some help. I will post another time on this topic, or I invite you to call me about it. But bi optic spectacles aren’t an answer as you look a bit like a spy trying to look at people when you wear them. It is about as off-putting as a space helmet.

There are two devices, however, that are well suited to help you see faces when you are stationary, like at a concert in the park, or at a meeting. Max TV glasses can be fun for watching mid-distance activity or focusing on faces. You likely will be able to read notes on a chalk board, too, as long you sit within 12 feet of the board.

These TV glasses work optimally in the focal distance range of 4′ – 12.’ It is worth noting that the lenses require adjustment of focus at different distances– a little adjusting, not too onerous, in my view. However, these sweet little spectacles do have a slightly odd look, so if you are especially self conscious, they may not be right for you in public, but useful with family in your home, and great for TV. About being self-conscious? My thought is that there is always a trade-off between what you gain and what you give up. You need to weigh it out for yourself. What I like most about these spectacles is that they are light and easy to take with you. They also work.

Max TV glasses have been available for a few years, by the way. They are for me indispensable for TV watching. It has been a joy discovering these other things to do with them. So get your lawn chair out and go to the next summer concert in your park! You might even get to watch some people dancing!