Low Vision Aids for the Visually Impaired

If you have Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataracts, or are otherwise visually impaired, you’ll be pleased to know that Low Vision Aids can help! Low vision aids are also clinically proven to improve reading speed!

What are Low Vision Aids?

Lady reading

Low Vision Aids are tools that help those with vision loss maximize their remaining vision and these devices fall into one of three broad categories:

  • Optical devices
  • Electronic devices
  • Non-optical devices

Low Vision aids are like tools in a tool box. Just as a carpenter needs a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers to complete different tasks, so too will someone who is visually impaired need a number of Low Vision devices to perform various activities. A hand held magnifier may work great to read a menu, but not so well to read a book as you would get tired of holding it in your hands. In that case, a stand magnifier or pair of high-powered spectacles would work better. Typically, patients find success in maximizing their remaining vision with 3-5 different Low Vision aids.

Do Low Vision Aids work?

Yes! There is absolutely no reason to accept a loss of independence! Using low vision devices and/or making minor modifications to daily life can help you maintain a high level of independence! A recent study on the benefits of using low vision aids among a group of 530 AMD patients (average age 82 years) published in Acta Ophthalmologica concludes the following:

  1. Low vision aids are clinically proven to work! In the study, only 16% of the visually impaired patients were able to read, but, with the help of a low vision aid, it jumped to 94% - almost everyone in the study could read again—thanks to a low vision aid!
  2. Low vision aids are clinically proven to improve reading speed! The reading speed jumped from an average of 20 words per minute (wpm) with no low vision device, to 72 wpm when a low vision aid was used—an increase of 360%!

Learn more about the various types of optical and electronic magnification devices.

Learn more about the various types of non-optical devices.

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