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Low Vision Aids

On this page, you will find the following:

Using Optical Devices

Since people have varying needs and interests, it can be difficult to determine the most effective aids that will help a visually impaired person adapt to everyday life. A low vision therapist can be very helpful in assessing these needs, devising ways to simplify daily activities and recommending the most useful low vision aids for the unique aspects of a person's life. Many low vision aids, as well as print and audio materials, can be purchased or sometimes borrowed at no cost through companies and organizations. Some examples of these aids and materials are listed below, but many more are available.

A few low vision aids include:

  • Reverse telescopes- These can be used for those with tunnel vision; they allow all the light entering the eye to focus within the “tunnel.” People can gain a better sense of their indoor surroundings.
  • Magnifiers- For those with multiple eye problems, magnifiers can be beneficial. However, most glaucoma patients do not need magnifiers.
  • Devices with large letters/numbers - Many devices with extremely large letters or numbers, such as clocks, watches, telephones and remote controls are commercially available for those with low vision.
  • Large print items - Books, newspapers, magazines, cards, puzzles, labels and many other items that require reading are available in large print.
  • Computer and internet enhancements-- Large type keyboards, bigger type sizes, larger monitors, screen magnifiers and audio aids such as screen reading software are all available. Many websites on the internet have adjustable print size and differing contrast options.
  • Audio devices - Talking books, watches, calculators and appliances can help with simple tasks such as reading, making appointments, paying bills and preparing meals.

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Further Information

Many organizations offer products to assist the visually impaired.

The following publications from BrightFocus can provide you with more information:

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Last Review: 08/30/13

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