Low Vision

Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. It can range from blurriness to near blindness. It affects a person's ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading, writing, driving, and recognizing faces. Low vision can be caused by a variety of conditions including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. It is estimated that over 285 million people worldwide are affected by low vision.

If you have low vision or other visual impairments, we can help you live your life fully again. We have one of the largest selections of low-vision devices including traditional and digital magnifiers, reading and bioptic telescopes, CCTV's and even full-diameter microscopes. No matter what visual impairment you or a loved one may have, we have a device that can help make the world accessible and regain independence.

Bioptic Telescopes

Telescopes are the only optical devices that assist a low-vision person with distance tasks. Two primary types of telescopes are used: handheld or frame-mounted. If mobility and ease of use are desired, a hand-held telescope provides a simple, optical tool for viewing objects outside the person’s visual capability. However, if hands-free viewing is needed, a bioptic-mounted design works best. This type is typically chosen when the visually impaired person is seeking the privilege to drive a motor vehicle and needs magnification to meet state licensing standards. Both telescopes give great improvement to anyone who needs to improve distance spotting.

Illuminated Stand Magnifier

Hand-held magnifiers are the most common low-vision device used by the visually impaired. Most provide good-quality magnification for simple, short-term reading tasks such as reading price tags, medicine bottles, and food packaging labels. However, longer-term reading often requires a more stable optical system, thus an illuminated stand magnifier is chosen. These magnifiers have housings around the lens that provide proper working distance and clarity for the user. Stand magnifiers are better choices for reading mail, newspapers, magazines, and books.

Full Diameter Microscopes

A microscope is a high plus powered lens used primarily for reading and is typically fitted only to the better eye. Most require a closer working distance between 5 inches to as close as 1 ½ inches from the lens. Reading material is brought close and the microscope creates a clear image from edge to edge improving the reading experience. The greatest advantage is that it allows both hands to be free to hold the reading material. Microscopes also provide a wide field of view compared to some hand-held magnifiers held much further away.

Handheld Video Magnifiers

An electronic, battery-operated magnification system used primarily for short-term near-viewing tasks such as reading mail, recipes, food package labels, price tags, and restaurant menus. Utilizing the same optical systems as larger, desktop systems, the compact design provides portability and enhancement abilities many visually impaired persons need to read on the go.

Closed Circuit TV Systems (CCTV Systems)

An electronic video magnification system provides enhancement of all print types with both contrast changes for better viewing of print to high magnification capability for easier reading of the smallest print types. These desktop units can be compatible with computer systems to provide the visually impaired user with split-screen viewing for multi-tasking needs at work, school, or home. The CCTV has been shown to increase reading performance, speed, and duration when compared to a traditional magnifier whose field of view is narrow. Many systems now incorporate OCR technology for text-to-speech capability.

Reading Telescopes

Typically considered by dentists and surgeons as the magnification tool of choice for working in small areas, these devices can be used by visually impaired persons who need a longer working distance with good magnification for accomplishing many near-focused tasks. Most reading telescopes are binoculars, but can be used only with one eye if necessary. These devices are great for tasks requiring hands-free reading, typing, sewing, or craft work. The biggest disadvantage is a narrow viewing field.