Low Vision Aids

Low vision aids are useful to help improve vision for patients with retinal disease.

After the onset of retinal disease, it is useful to have your glasses checked by the optician as the refraction of the eye can change.

Halogen lights

As the retina becomes damaged good lighting can help vision, particularly near vision. In particular a Halogen light, which can be focused on the page. These can be either free standing or table based. It is also worth making sure your home is well lit, perhaps with brighter lampshades and more lights.

Low visual aids

Low visual aids can be prescribed by an experienced ophthalmic optician who will measure your visual performance with each type of visual aid used, and find those most suitable for your condition.

Magnification lens

A good product is a magnification lens with illumination based on an angle poise system.

Hand Magnifiers

With poorer vision hand held magnification is sometimes helpful. The key is to have a good light. Many of the magnifiers have inbuilt illumination. However the more the lens magnifies the more difficult it is to read the whole word / text.

Stand Magnifiers

Stand magnifiers work in the same way and may be helpful for people with a hand shake, as this is made worse by the magnifier! They magnify between 2-20 times and again can come with built in light.

Monoculars / Binoculars

For distance vision Monoculars or binoculars are helpful. These are mini telescopes and can magnify between 2-10 times. Watching TV with binoculars is rewarding. However hand shake and arm ache are issues with these magnifiers and some can be mounted on spectacle frames.

Telescopes can be spectacle-mounted for near or distance work. The telescope devices protrude from the spectacle frame, and can be used with one or both eyes. However objects should be held much closer to your eyes than normal. Some spectacles act like bifocals, allowing you to switch between near and distance vision.

Video magnifiers

Video magnifiers get around the distortion caused by lenses and the lack of light. However they are bulky – difficult to put in a pocket. They give excellent magnification, and come with colour monitors, autofocus etc. They allow some patients to view pictures as well as type.

 iPad, Kindles etc

There are many electronic reading devices which can help patients with poor vision as the text can be enlarged to be suitable and they have inbuilt illumination.

There are many options to help aid vision, and I would recommend a trial before purchasing any equipment. The RNIB have great data sheets regarding these devices and the Good Hope website is excellent.