Eating out

We all like to go out to eat with friends and family. This does not need to stop because you have macular disease. Going to restaurants is an important thing to keep doing. It should also be an enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help make eating out still enjoyable:

Adjusting the environment

  • Having items such as extra menus and flowers removed from the table will make it easier to see plates, glasses, condiments etc.
  • When booking, remember to ask about lighting over the table. Too much or too little light can cause issues.
  • Don't be embarrassed to ask for a seating area in the restaurant which suits your needs e.g. near a window.
  • Carry your symbol cane so that the restaurant is aware of your needs.
  • Take a small task light - it can help you see the menu and your plate.

Menus

  • Download the Good Food Talks app to your phone or tablet. It enables you to download a restaurant's menu and make it easier to read by adjusting the fonts, size or contrast.
  • Make sure you have your preferred app on your phone for either magnifying the text in a menu or for having it read out to you - for example, the Seeing AI app.
  • Look at the menu online beforehand
  • Don't be embarrassed to ask a member of staff to help you to read the menu. Remember restaurants sometimes also have specials advertised on chalk boards.
  • Ask if the restaurant has a large print menu

Food and Drink

  • If you order meat on the bone, you can always ask the kitchen to remove the bone before serving.
  • Ask the people you are with or a waiter to explain the layout of the table for example where the glasses are.
  • Ask your friends to pour your drink, or take you liquid level indicator with you.
  • Ask one of the other guests or waiter to explain where food is on your plate. You may wish to use the clock face technique.

If you have any additional tips for eating out which you'd like to share, please email Helen on editor@macularsociety.org

See our Nutrition page for more information about the right food to eat as part of a balanced diet to help control the progression of your macular disease.