The options available on the market for low vision devices and aids is huge. You have handheld magnifiers, bar magnifiers, and loupes. That’s 3 of about 100 hundred total options. Depending on your hobbies and exact needs it can be difficult to know which one may suit you best and what you need to know before purchasing a low-vision aid. I don’t blame you for being a little hesitant and understand your reservations about the topic. Recently, I was asked a simple question. Do stand magnifiers work? Here’s everything you should know about this topic.
So, do stand magnifiers work? Yes, stand magnifiers work very well for several applications. Reading in a fixed position or using this magnifier at your work desk or bedside is two of the primary applications. Stand magnifiers are great for someone suffering from low vision conditions such as macular degeneration.
Let’s dive into these stand magnifiers even further and see if I can tell you everything you to know about them. By the end of this post, I’m trusting that you should be a seasoned pro with understanding the product and the benefits it can potentially provide to you.
Let’s get started.
A Deep Dive into Stand Magnifiers and How They Work
Stand magnifiers offer a vast array of benefits. In fact, stand magnifiers can even be useful to those individuals who have good vision. Sometimes even individuals with good eyesight can make great use of stand magnifiers in situations where light and additional magnification can be needed or useful.
For individuals with low vision problems, they are even more useful. They can give hope to accomplishing the reading task and enjoying some hobbies again. Let’s break down some of the power and design specifications with many of the stand magnifiers on the market today.
Main Features of Stand Magnifiers
Stand magnifiers often sit on a flat surface and sit at a fixed distance. Some individuals find hand magnifiers uncomfortable to hold or maintain a steady handle while reading or enjoying a hobby for long periods of time. Stand magnifiers can be a perfect solution in these situations.
Power and Design
With a good stand magnifier resting over your print or text, your images and text will appear with very crisp including the edges. Of course, quality stand magnifiers will be desired to accomplish this, but this is better than some of cheaper versions of store purchased magnifiers that typically distort or make images appear blurred around the edges.
Therefore, it’s always important to shop for quality when looking for any low-vision aid or magnifier. When it comes to your vision, it’s no time to skimp over a few dollars. Your eyes will thank you for it later. Your frustration levels will thank you as well.
Differences Between Stand Magnifiers and Hand Magnifiers
With a hand magnifier, you also must use your hands regularly. With, stand magnifiers, you will have the option to be hands-free and to leave your stand magnifier to rest on a paper or a form of print. Stand magnifiers can also allow for more comfortable sitting positions to read and complete the task.
Also, stand magnifiers allow the use of both eyes with more ease compared to hand magnifiers.
Available Strengths and Lenses That Are Optional with Stand Magnifiers
Stand magnifiers are always available in a wide range of powers and magnification levels. Lower power lenses are usually rectangular. With higher power magnification, the lenses are generally circular. 12.5x is one of the stronger magnification levels. With quality lenses and optical design, a 12.5x should be about the most magnification you would likely need for everyday use.
Comfort and Design That Can’t Be Beat
Another significant component you can look for is a magnifier that’s exceptionally comfortable to hold. A lot of emphases has been placed on hand comfort over the years. Even being comfortable while using a mouse and keyboard on a computer is something that’s a hot topic.
Even handheld magnifiers; you should be looking for the same comfort and placing heavy emphasis on the topic. It should be comfortable to hold, convenient to view with it and comfortable for your eyes. It doesn’t help much if they are not pleasant to hold while trying to read your favorite book.
Stand magnifiers remove this concern completely. They are in fixed position and 100% hands free.
Field of View and Making the Most Out of Your Stand Magnifier
Field of view is always relevant with a magnifier. Having multiple lenses will allow for a larger and clearer field of view but will also add some overall weight to the product. Most individuals are okay with this trade-off considering these are easily used in hands-free mode.
Keep in mind the point we made about weight and the field of view. One of the benefits of going the other direction with this idea is that if you have a lighter magnifier, you can often lift the reading material and the stand magnifier at the same time which can serve beneficial when reading things such as books, newspaper, and other lightweight print.
A large two lens stand magnifier can even have a large enough field of view to allow for two individuals to view the magnifier such as a grandmother and granddaughter reading a book or looking at pictures together.
Importance of Lighting with Stand Magnifiers
One big factor to consider is to make sure that the lighting is distributed evenly into the field of view and that no glare occurs when you move your magnifier closer to the object. Many stand magnifiers will allow you to pick from 2-3 color temperatures for the lighting.
This has shown to help with relief for certain eye diseases such as cataracts or Macular Degeneration.
Also, you will usually be able to select from cool or warm lighting temperatures. This is more based on your mood and personal preference more than anything else. A downfall is that lighting does add some extra weight.
Most devices also have automatic shutoffs such as killing the lights if the magnifier hasn’t been used for more than 30 minutes. This can help save battery life over time if you happen to doze off or take a nice nap after reading a good book.
Removing lighting from the design will reduce weight and make the magnifier more portable. In addition, a lot of magnifier models already use clear casings that allow natural light and light in your home to fall onto the page. If you don’t read in the dark or bedside very often, opting to have no LED lighting could be an option for you and may even save you a few dollars on the total purchase.
Task-Specific Qualities Stand Magnifiers Can Be Great With
Writing, working on puzzles or even writing checks are examples of when a stand magnifier can come in handy for completing a specific task. Some stand magnifiers can begin with “legs” that can elevate it off the table-top giving room to write or perform another task beneath the field of view and beneath the lens. This is a huge benefit to have if you ask me.
You’re not wearing your arm out trying to move the magnifier all over the place and it’s in a comfortable position to allow you to complete an everyday task. Overall a win-win in my book.
Recapping All the Benefits of Stand Magnifiers
Here’s one more look at the key benefits of stand magnifiers and why they could be precisely what you are looking for to provide relief to the low vision problems you are currently battling daily.
· Fixed Lenses to Object Distance
· Can Be Left on the Page or Surface
· Wider Range of Powers
· May Be used For Writing
· Greater Range of Designs to Suit the Task
· Easy to Use Without Much Confusion or Complication Involved.
· Hands-Free Capable
Putting It All Together, Magnifiers Are Much More Beneficial Than Many Believe
I know. We covered a lot here today, and I appreciate you sticking around. My hopes are that you can see the functions and benefits of having a stand magnifier. It can help you get back to completing the everyday task and help you get back to enjoying life. If you aren’t necessarily looking for stand magnifiers and wanted something more portable, be sure to stop by our other post to take a look at the many options you have.
Outside of that, be sure to weigh all the options we discussed here today. Determine which benefits you need and desire the most and the ones that aren’t very important you can opt to leave out of your purchase. In most circumstances, this is going to shave your cost and the total weight of the magnifier in the long run.
What’s your experience shopping for low vision aids? What do you believe is the best stand magnifier? Be sure to drop a comment below.