Glaucoma and computer use

This week (March 10-16) is Glaucoma Awareness Week. Glaucoma describes a range of conditions where the optic nerve is affected - Moorfields Eys Hospital in London estimate that 480,000 people in the UK have the condition. 

One of the main issues for people with the condition is that they lose their peripheral vision .

Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes I find that when I'm browsing the internet I "lose" parts of the text. What can I do to help myself?

It might be a good idea to use the inbuilt magnification software. If that doesn't work you could consider using the inbuilt screen reading software where the computer "speaks out to you". 

Is there any way of changing the colours on my screen to make the text stand out more

You can certainly change the colours on your screen to match your requirments and step by step instructions can be found on our My Computer My Way site. 

Can using a computer cause glaucoma?

The Glaucoma  Research Federation, a US based charity feels that the use of computer screens is not directly linked to glaucoma. Excessive computer use may put you at risk for other eye complaints such as dry-eyes. The point that they do make however is that with older CRT monitors there could be excessive glare.  

Case study

Betty contacted our helpline as she has Glaucoma and finds that she misses out parts of text when she is reading stories on her Ipad.  We sent one of our volunteers out to see her and they turned text to speech on so that she can continue to enjoy reading her e-books.

How we can help:

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help people with disabilities and older people use computers and other digital technology to achieve their goals. There are a number of ways and situations in which you can contact us and request our help:

  • Call our free helpline - our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help with many computer problems and questions about adapting digital technology to your needs. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • In a work environment, all employers have a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments to ensure people with disabilities can access the same opportunities and services as everybody else. For more details read How to Identify Reasonable Adjustments and visit the Clear Talents website.
  • Arrange a home visit - we have a network of volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you remotely over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets which can be downloaded for free and contain comprehensive information about technology that might help you.
  • My Computer My Way - a free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones

Related content:

Workstation adjustments for visually impaired people

Three cool smart glasses to help people who are blind or have sight loss

World Glaucoma Week 2018