aids can help people with partial vision loss function at higher levels.
Low vision aids do not restore sight but make it easier for people with
vision loss to take advantage of their remaining abilities. These visual
devices fall into three categories:
Non-optical aids, optical aids, and electronic aids.
- Adequate lighting is the most important aid to good vision.
Use high-intensity, adjustable lamps to allow light to fall directly on the items
to be viewed and not into the eyes. If vision is better in one eye than the other, position the light source over the shoulder of the better eye. Curtains and window blinds should
be adjusted to allow daylight to fall on your work as well.
sure lighting is adequate, day and night, in key areas:
flashlights in your car and in a bag for unexpected situations.
your vision is best in the morning, schedule your reading and detailed
your ability to see in the dark is diminished or you have increased
sensitivity to glare:
caution when walking near traffic.
only on well-lit roads.
your windshield, headlights and glasses clean.
avoiding driving at night.
not driving at all.
- A typoscope is a dark piece of matte cardboard with an oblong
slot cut from the middle. When placed over text, the typoscope frames
a visible section, eliminating glare from the surrounding white space.
The cardboard is slid across text to read it. Although sold at low-vision
resource centers, typoscopes are easily hand-made.
stands - A reading stand raises reading materials so that low-vision
sufferers do not need to stoop over their work.
- Magnifiers come in all shapes, sizes and strengths. From hand-held
pocket sized to those with tabletop stands, some models enlarge text
up to 15 times. Rectangular shapes are better for reading, round for
lenses can be fit over your glasses or on a headband. Some people
find these difficult to use, as text must be held very close to
the lenses. These may be used in conjunction with hand-held magnifiers.
hand-held, stand-alone, or eyeglass-mounted, strong magnifiers will
distort images unless they have curved lenses. The stronger the
magnifier, the smaller its field of view.
magnifiers are available for use in poor lighting.
- For spotting street signs or checking airplane departure time,
hand-held or eyeglass-mounted telescopes can be invaluable tools.
Monacle (fitted for one eye) or binocular (fitted for both eyes) telescopes
may help people with low vision work at distances greater than arm's length
circuit televisions - Closed circuit televisions (CCTV) are available
to alter images electronically, improving their contrast, brightness
matter is electronically input by a scanner or video camera, greatly
enlarged, and displayed on a television screen or computer monitor.
Some plug into a normal television set. With some models, the reader
moves the scanner back and forth over across the text. Other devices
use a full-page document scanner. CCTVs are stationary units, usually
set up on a desk at the home or in the office.
displays - Head-mounted displays are wearable electronic magnification
systems - in essence, portable CCTVs. These capture images through a
video camera, then transmit them at higher magnification to a head-mounted
display unit. Many units cannot display animated images. Some users
may find head-mounted displays to be heavy or uncomfortable.
Not all low-vision
aids are appropriate with everyone with partial vision loss. Each person's
needs vary. Several factors influence the successful use of the various
low vision aids, including proper training, comfort and ease of use. Your
eye doctor and low-vision specialists can help you select suitable devices
and learn how to use them to their full potential.