Finding a Magnification Device

When choosing a magnification device, it is best to begin by identifying the exact purpose for the use of a magnification device – for example, reading a book or menu, watching TV, working on hobbies, working with a computer, reading road, street or supermarket aisle signs, watching a play, etc.

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Once you know the task, you’ll need to determine the following four factors:

  1. Task distance
  2. Task duration
  3. Magnification Devices
  4. Illumination

1. Task Distance

Man using magnification device to look at phoneTask distance refers to the space between the viewer and the object being viewed. This distance bears dramatically on the type of magnifier design required. The distance of the task can be categorized as follows:

2. Task Duration

Distance TasksThis term refers to the time period for which you will be using the magnification device to accomplish a given task. It is easier to think of task durations as follows:

The grid below graphically depicts the relationship between the Distance and Duration of the visual task desired and the category of magnifying devices that are best suited to comfortably accomplish these tasks.

To use the chart below, identify the task distance and duration and find the square where the two factors line up. For example: if you wanted to read a menu, that would be considered a Near Spotting Task and you could choose between a hand-held magnifier, a spectacle magnifier, a telescope or a video magnifier to accomplish this task.

Table of Vision Aids and Their Applications

3. Magnification Devices

The next factor to consider is magnification. There is a wide range of magnification devices to choose from and the correct option depends on the task you are trying to accomplish and the type and severity of the vision impairment, among other factors. To find the best magnification device for you, it is best to contact an eye care or vision rehabilitation professional who is well-trained in determining the best devices for the visually impaired.

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To view different magnification devices, check out our searchable Product Catalog
For tips on how to properly use magnification devices, view ‘Using a Magnification Device’.

4. Illumination

The final factor to consider is Illumination. Depending on your underlying eye disease and the ambient lighting of the room where you are trying to accomplish your task, you may or may not need additional illumination. If you do need additional illumination, there are a number of options to choose from including LED, halogen, incandescent and fluorescent lighting.

To find the best illumination solution for you, it is best to contact an eye care or vision rehabilitation professional who is well-trained in determining the best devices for the visually impaired.

Find a low vision specialist near you.

To view different illumination options, check out our searchable Product Catalog.

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