This is one of the oldest and most simple solutions for many forms of vision loss. A simple magnifier, some with light, some without, can be a game-changing tool. These devices range in optical quality, with or without lighting, and of course in various sizes.
Magnifiers range in price from just a few dollars to $200.00 and more depending upon the features and quality of the optics.
Hand-held telescopes are mainly used for enhancing distance vision, but can occasionally be used for near as well. They range from about 2x magnification to an upper limit of about 12. Similar to using a binocular, a hand-held telescope is for use with one eye rather than two. These devices are great for “spot reading” distance tasks such as street signs, or faces at a distance. Hand held telescopes start at about $100.00.
Unlike a monocular hand-held telescope, a telescope can be mounted directly into glasses via a very delicate and precise drilling process. The scope must be mounted in the exact right location, at the exact right angle of elevation to provide the ideal view. in normal straight ahead view, the user is looking UNDER the scope. Then by dropping their chin, the user is then able to view THROUGH the scope for brief amounts of time. These are used for everyday use, as well as assisting drivers to “spot” street signs.
Magnification can be created using hand held devices, as well as in spectacles. by increasing the strength of the reading portion of eyeglasses, magnification can be created. There is a trade-off though; the higher the power, the closer one must hold the print, and the thicker and heavier the glasses become. There are some “tricks” that can be played to relieve the weight, however, the working distance must always be close. It sounds bad, but this is a very functional option for many with low vision. Prices range from an additional fee added on to standard glasses (from $100) to custom-designed reading optics which start at $300.
Hand-held Electronic Magnifiers
Electronic magnification is an incredible step up in technology for those with low vision. Taking a digital image, and enlarging it, provides an amazing amount of magnification for the user. There are dozens of manufacturers, each making devices with slightly different features. Our doctors and experienced technicians will be very helpful in assisting you to identify the ideal device. Prices range from about $500 to $1000.
Desktop Electronic Magnifiers
A technological step above hand held electronic magnifiers is the desk-top electronic magnifier. These devices provide incredible functionality with respect to the ability to write, do crafts, with both hands free! Many have a move-able table so that as the user watches the screen, the table can be moved left and right, forward and back, to navigate a page, a newspaper, a book, or essentially any item you can hold in your hands. Prices start at about $1500 and are dependent upon features of the device.