Low Vision Magnifiers: See All of the Little Details
Depending on the cause and extent of a person’s low vision, they may require more help than a simple pair of glasses can provide. Low vision magnifiers can help those with sight impairments to perform the regular duties of their jobs, engage in their favourite hobbies and generally overcome some of the barriers that they would otherwise face.
Just as hearing aids can restore or open up opportunities to the hearing impaired, there are a number of low vision magnifiers which can improve the quality of life for those with low vision.
Different Kinds of Low Vision Magnifiers
Firstly, it is important to understand that magnifiers work differently than eyeglasses. Eyeglasses are designed to help people who have refractive problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Low vision magnifiers on the other hand can help those with more serious issues such as permanent blind spots or loss of peripheral vision.
Categories of magnifiers include telescopes, video camera magnifiers, handheld magnifiers, magnifiers which mount on to eyeglasses and low vision reading glasses. It is important to consult a professional to determine what type of magnifier will work best for your specific condition.
Who Can Benefit From a Low Vision Magnifier?
Many people with vision problems can benefit from the use of a low vision magnifier. As we age, we become more likely to experience a condition called macular degeneration. The macula is located in the centre of your retina and when it becomes damaged it causes some degree of vision loss. If macular degeneration is severe, it can even cause a blind spot in a person’s central vision meaning you’d be able to see around the edges but require help to see images in the centre.
For those with damage to the macula, a magnifier can compensate for the lost vision and help you to see with the parts of your eyes that are still healthy.
Other eye conditions which may benefit from the use of a low vision magnifier may include certain eye injuries which affect vision sharpness, loss of night vision, or conditions in which a person has difficulty distinguishing certain colour contrasts.
How to Choose the Right Low Vision Magnifier
The type of low vision magnifier that will work best for you will depend largely on what it will be used for.
For example, if you are a student, a camera-like telescopic device might be used to take a picture of an image at the front of the lecture room and display it on your laptop.
For very simple reading – such as the price tags in a store, a handheld device can work very well
– but if you like to read novels, something a little larger might be more appropriate. For someone who enjoys hobbies that require the use of one’s hands – knitting or painting for example, a device which attaches to your eyeglasses might work best.
There is no one size fits all solution, so it’s a good idea to try out a number of devices to see what will work best for you.