Low Vision Devices

A wide variety of rehabilitation options are available to help people with low vision live and/or work more effectively, efficiently, and safely. Most people can be helped with one or more low vision treatment options. Unfortunately, only about 20-25 percent of those who could benefit from these treatment options have been seen by a low vision optometrist. The more commonly prescribed devices are:

  • Spectacle-mounted magnifiers – A magnifying lens is mounted in spectacles (this type of system is called a microscope) or on a special headband. This allows use of both hands to complete the close-up task, such as reading.

  • Hand-held or spectacle-mounted telescopes – These miniature telescopes are useful for seeing longer distances, such as across the room to watch television, and can also be modified for near (reading) tasks.

  • Hand-held and stand magnifiers – These can serve as supplements to other specialized systems. They are convenient for short-term reading of things such as price tags, labels, and instrument dials. Both types can be equipped with lights.

  • Video magnification – Table-top (closed-circuit television) or head-mounted systems enlarge reading material on a video display. Some systems can be used for distance views tasks.  These are portable systems, and those that can be used with a computer or monitor. Image brightness, image size, contrast, and foreground/background color and illumination can be customized.

In addition, there are numerous other products to assist those with a vision impairment, such as large-type books, magazines, and newspapers, books-on-tape, talking wristwatches, self-threading needles, and more.