Low Vision Visual Aids

Low Vision Visual Aids

Posted on Feb.25, 2013, under Educational

 Low Vision Aids

Visual aids for macular degeneration or other types of vision loss are useful and helpful for many different tasks. The best way to find out if a vision aid will work for you or your loved one is to be evaluated by a low vision specialist who can make recommendations or have the patient try different magnifiers, gadgets and electronic devices at the low vision clinic.

However, I know that many people for different reasons never get that opportunity. So then a person just needs to give different low vision aids a try to see how they work for them. Whenever we visit my 85 year old father-in-law we bring a couple of things for him to try and have conversations about what options are available to him. Some aids and suggestions were helpful and some were not.

I pulled up an e-book on my ipad and increased the font to the largest size to see if he could read it. He said he could not. But he told me that he COULD read from his Barnes and Noble Nook when he sat in the sunniest room of the house, placed the Nook on a book stand and read it under the floor lamp magnifier we gave him several years ago. So here we see he has combined the use of:

1. Light from the window and LED lights from the floor lamp

2. Electronic Reading Device set at the largest font

3. Book stand for better visibility and comfort

4. Full page floor magnifier placed over the Barnes and Noble Nook

Another example of him finding a winning combination for reading is to sit at the kitchen table which has a large window with a large print book resting flat on the table and a dome magnifier to glide over the pages. Without the dome magnifier, he could not read the large print book.

We also discussed with him the option of listening to books and if he would like to take advantage of the free books on tape from the Library of Congress. At this time he isn’t interested. He wears a watch that he received when he retired more than 20 years ago and has told us that he can still see the hands on it. So we were surprised when he informed us that he would be interested in a talking wrist watch to replace his old one. Guess what he is getting for his upcoming birthday?

Always check to see what the return policy is of the company supplying the vision aids. Then be sure to give the aid a try as soon as it is purchased so that it can be returned within the allotted time frame if it doesn’t meet your needs.

For a list of ideas of low vision aids visit:

List of Low Vision Aids

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN