Useful tips

Living with sight loss is something that every birdshotter worries about. For most of us, any loss of vision is quite gradual. Without treatment, we are liable to become sight impaired. With better treatments becoming available, this is fortunately less likely to happen.

In his presentation given at the Birdshot Day No 4, 2018, Julian Jackson tells us what it is like to live with sight loss. He suffers from retinitis pigmentosa and in his 40’s lost his sight completely.

Preeti Singla, a low vision specialist, gives tips on how to maximise vision through the use of apps and equipment that does not have to cost a fortune. 

A copy of her handout on apps and gadgets is here:

  • RNIB Technology Support Service

The RNIB Technology Support Service aims to help blind and partially-sighted people to remain or become independent. If your vision has been badly affected by your birdshot, or if you know someone else who could use this help, you might like to get in touch with RNIB to find out more.  Note you do not have to be registered as partially sighted, but you do need to be based in the UK to use the service.

RNIB specialist volunteers – known collectively as the Technology Support Squad – are available to help with all kinds of technology-related tasks such as installing DVD players, connecting PC’s or laptops, helping individuals access audio libraries, using the DAISY talking book player, and many other technical kinds of problems which you might find difficult on your own.

They also have a network of volunteers who are available to help people by visiting them in their homes.

If you think you could benefit from this service, get in touch with the Technology Support Squad on 0303 123 9999; email or find them online at  

The UK NHS runs an annual Autumn and Winter campaign to encourage certain groups of people to have a free flu injection. Importantly for birdshotters, being on immunosuppressant treatment, including oral steroids, at any age, places you in a priority group to have the free flu jab from your GP or pharmacist.

Other priority groups for the free flu jab include the over-65s and those caring for the over-65s, and people with long-term health conditions like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease, or who have had a stroke. 

Getting flu on top of other health conditions can easily develop into something more serious and could land you in hospital, so getting your annual free flu immunisation is recommended. 

Note: in UK and other countries, the injectable flu vaccine is an ‘inactivated’ vaccine, so it can be safely given to people taking immunosuppressants. However, in UK and elsewhere, there is also a ‘live’ nasal flu vaccine which is given to children in UK via the nose. This ‘live’ nasal vaccine should not be given to anyone who is immunosuppressed.

More information:   

This NHS site is regularly updated.

Revised February 2024