Low vision aids are devices that help a person with a visual disability function to the best of their ability. These devices can be high powered spectacles, optical aids (e.g. magnifiers) or electronic aids (e.g. CCTVs).
Low vision aids such as magnifiers and Electronic Magnifying Units (CCTVs) are easier to learn while vision is still reasonably good.
High powered spectacles
These are the simplest and most effective low vision aids in early cases of Macular Degeneration. Stronger reading glasses improve vision by making you hold the book closer and effectively magnifying the size of the print.
Some people find the close working distances of high powered readers uncomfortable and prefer to use standard magnifiers.
Optical low vision aids
Optical aids include a large range of magnifiers (e.g. hand, stand, head-mounted, bar, visuolette). These are the most commonly prescribed low vision aids, are relatively inexpensive and in most cases very useful.
A low vision assessment is needed to help provide you with the low vision aid that best suits your condition
Magnification and a bit more light can help in performing activities such as reading. Magnifying Lamps are ideal. It is a freestanding magnifier with lamp which allows free hands while performing various tasks.
Electronic Magnifying Units (CCTVs)
While optical aids are easy to carry and useful in many situations, they can be difficult to use and restricted in the amount of print that can be seen.
Electronic magnification units (commonly called CCTVs) can enlarge text onto a screen with a high level of magnification. The size of the print can be enlarged or reduced and contrast improved using a zoom control. The Electronic Magnifying Unit can be a highly useful aid for people with visual disability.
These units come in a range of different types from hand held (with a small screen) to a portable and larger unit (placed on a table).
A range of Electronic Magnifying Units (CCTVs) can be found at the following websites:
Reading Machines have been developed that can scan printed text, convert it to digital information and then talk the text out over a loudspeaker.
Our optometrist can not only help assess what vision aid would work best for your individual needs, but also demonstrate how to use it correctly and effectively. The optometrist may even suggest a referral onto a specific organisation which can help you stay independent in your home while copy with your reduced visual performance.