Reading with your Eyes or Ears

Many people with AMD say that they read only the information that they need and have to read with their eyes. This kind of information might include mail, labels and price tags. Reading with AMD is more work, and the larger the center blank spot is, the harder a person works to read. Because of this, you may find that you rely more on listening to recorded books, TV or radio for large amounts of information. This is OK! Use your eyes enough, though, that you keep the skills you have learned to do the tasks that you need to do. At least a total of five minutes of reading and writing each day will help retain skills.

Remember also that reading with your ears also requires practice until you can do it without thinking about it. Practice active reading habits when you listen to a book. Push the stop button when your mind wanders or when you need to think about what you have just heard. You may need to re-read some parts to really understand them. Read an audio book the same way you used to read print books.


Find your nearest free library service for people with vision impairments by calling 1-800-882-1629. Apply for service, and order a recorded book. Order a book that you read long ago, but want to re-read. That is a good first project. Use earphones if you want to listen in private and hear better. You may not enjoy the first two or three books that you read, because you are learning new reading habits.

Watch three TV programs: News, a game show, a drama or sitcom. How much information did you get from each program? How much did you miss? How close do you need to sit to see best? Does it feel better sometimes to close your eyes and just listen?

If you really miss the information in a newspaper, call the National Federation for the Blind’s free Newsline service at 1-888-882-1629. Using the keypad on your phone, you can select any of over 200 newspapers to listen to. It takes practice to get used to the non-human voice, and to learn to use this service.

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