Coping with sight loss at Christmas

Posted: Monday 19 November 2018

Many people with macular disease tell us that losing their sight feels worse at times like Christmas.

Anna finds she’s tripping over furniture, or needing to ask for help at home, because friends and family have moved things around to make room for their Christmas tree. These little things can leave her feeling frustrated and isolated. 

She has shared her top tips on coping with macular disease at Christmas time, which could help you make the most of the festive season: 

• If you are cooking the turkey this year buy a rolled turkey breast from a local butcher, as it saves having to faff with bones and there is no wastage. It makes carving safer too.

• Try to avoid too much extra clutter at the dinner table, as it can make it hard to see what you actually need.

• Buy crackers that are a different colour to the tablecloth.

• Shopping on the internet is really useful, but can be generic. There are some good websites for unusual things, but shop early as delivery can take a while.

Some of our members have also shared their tips on how to make Christmas easier to cope with when you have macular disease. Here are just a few: 

• Always keep your red wine at least half full, it makes it easier to see it against a white tablecloth.

• When wrapping presents, before starting, cut up several lengths of Sellotape and stick them to the edge of a desk (loose end dangling) - it makes it easier to fold and stick the package without having to find the end of the Sellotape each time.

• Keep all Christmas hats away from candles!

• Forget burning brandy over the Christmas pudding, it's far too dangerous and you are much better to drink the brandy in any case.

• Appoint one person with good sight to read out the cracker jokes. It can be uncomfortable for someone with poor vision to be singled out accidentally.

• When opening presents, try to get people to say what they got out loud so you don't feel left out.

• If choosing games for the party, try to choose games that everyone present can take part in – again it means nobody will be left out at Christmas time. For example, a great game to play is 'Guess the smell'. Buy 6-12 different small scented candles. Place each one in a small paper bag and take it in turns to pass each one around to guess the fragrance. The winner of the most correct answers wins the candles. You can buy wax melts too, which also work well.

Look out for part two of our Christmas tips, which will be posted on Monday 10 December. 

If you have any tips to share, please get in touch by emailing us at

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