Having low vision due to macular degeneration or another retina condition can negatively impact a person’s quality of life in a number of ways. Not only can this be an extremely scary and frustrating condition, it also makes regular day to day activities such as reading, doing hobbies and watching tv difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of low vision aids which can help to make life a little easier.
The type of low vision aid or aids that will work best for you or a loved one will depend a lot on the extent of their eye damage as well as the purpose for which they need it. It is best to consult with a low vision optometrist before investing in any of these devices.
Near Vision Aids
Near vision aids can assist a person with activities that require close up vision such as reading, writing, playing cards and doing hobbies such as knitting or wood working.
These may include low vision glasses which use two lenses in order to increase magnification and reduce the size of a person’s blind spots.
Other near vision aids include dome magnifiers (also known as bright filed magnifiers or Visolett magnifiers), as well as hand held and stand magnifiers. All of these types of magnifiers help the person with low vision to see items, drawing and written words close up.
Distance Vision Aids
Patients with low vision usually require addition vision aids for activities which require them to see at a distance including watching tv, a movie or sports game, or even simply appreciating the scenery around them.
Special telescopes and binoculars may be either handheld or clipped to a person’s eyeglasses in order to help them see at a distance. The normal range of magnification for these devices is between 2 and 8 times magnification.
While a patient may think they need the highest magnification possible it is still important to try these devices out. The more magnification the device has, the more you will have to sacrifice in terms of field of view. In other words, as magnification increases, field of view decreases.