Technologies in low vision assistive devices have advanced over the years to provide a wide variety of visual aids to individuals with low vision. Along side treatment options, low vision assistive devices help restore individuals to a lifestyle of increased visual independence.
Some low vision aids are more specific to the job or task at hand, including the features and equipment options provided by the device(s). Individuals with specific low vision needs might prefer certain visually supportive features such as stronger magnification, additional lighting options, and portability of device.
Advance Spectacle or Head-Mounted Magnifiers
This type of low vision assistive device combines the increased magnification of microscopic view lenses, and a specialized head apparatus for securing the lenses before your eyes. This may be a useful low vision aid for hobbies, reading, and other close-up visual tasks.
Smaller in size, designed to fit comfortably in your hand, the handheld magnifier can be as simple as the traditional magnifying glass and as advance as an electronic low vision magnifier. Models and manufacturers differ on the size, weight, function, and features available, however the electric handheld magnifier is generally designed to be used with ease and provide multiple magnification strengths. This category of low vision assistive devices offers great visual support for individuals with an on-the-go lifestyle.
Portable Electronic Magnifiers
Perhaps among the most versatile (personal to professional life) low vision assistive devices, the portable electronic magnifiers are able to cover a wide variety of tasks. Some portable electronic magnifiers are extremely lightweight and can be used in the home or in the office. These devices are often capable of being positioned in various directions allowing for information across the room to be gathered clearly and displayed on the personal monitor for enhanced viewing. The ability to adjust the camera (responsible for gathering the images or text) may also be self-directed to provide mirror image viewing, helpful when applying make-up or shaving. Beyond the ease of portability and flexibility, some portable electronic magnifiers offer increased option through viewing modes, adding features like contrast, magnification, computer connectivity and more.
Desktop magnifiers, also called CCTV (closed circuit television) magnifiers are more stationary magnifiers. Providing some of the highest levels of magnification power (depending on model and manufacturer), viewing mode options, along with other features, makes these desktop low vision assistive devices more than just an aid for reading.