Low Vision Optical Devices

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Low Vision Optical Devices

While our ability to detect, diagnose and treat eye disease and eye health problems that can result in vision loss has continued to improve tremendously, we still encounter patients-particularly seniors with age related macular degeneration (AMD) or those with diabetic retinopathy who can benefit from using low vision optical devices.

About Low Vision Devices
A lot of patients with low vision needs discover magnifying lenses on their own but introduction to new more sophisticated devices is very important. A person's visual function is not considered to be impaired until the vision in the better eye has deteriorated to at least 20/50 or worse. Magnification devices are available for both near and distance. The degree of magnification required depends on the patient's visual acuity and the work for which the patient wishes to use the optical aid. There are a few different kinds of low vision optical devices.

Hand Readers-the advantage of a hand magnifier is that it is small and relatively inexpensive and easy to carry in a pocket or purse. The strength of hand magnifiers ranges from 1x (4D) to 20x (80D). Most patients, when buying magnifiers, believe that the larger the lens area, the greater the magnification. Exactly the reverse is true. A large plus lens cannot be a strong plus lens or, conversely, the higher the plus power of the lens, the smaller the lens must be to reduce distortion. It is good to know that holding a strong lens close to the eye increases the viewing area.

Stand Magnifiers-provide a prefocused mounting, allowing stability for patients with tremors to rest the magnifier directly on the material to be seen. The power of these magnifiers can be as great as 60 diopters and some have illumination incorporated within their design.

Telescopes-allow magnification of an object in the distance by increasing the retinal image size. Telescopes can be hand held or spectacle framed. They come as binocular or monocular and most are focusable. Telescopes allow the spotting of street signs, classroom materials, bus signs, etc.

Projection Devices-closed circuit television is a useful aid, with the camera scanning the reading material and projecting the image on a monitor. The benefit of CCTV is that the magnification is available to 60x and the contrast and brightness can be adjusted. In addition, there projection devices that can read documents back to patients.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about low vision devices, please call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates offices are located at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.