Understanding the differences between optical devices and their uses is one of the most important first steps you can take when battling back against low vision problems such as macular degeneration among others. Some devices are meant to help with only a specific task, and some devices can help with an array of activities.
Additionally, some low vision devices can help with a task that helps provide near sighted individuals with eye relief as opposed to individuals who need help with far-sighted task or distance related task. That’s one of the big topics we want to cover here today. I see a lot of confusion circling around about the differences. The question I’ve seen come up recently is simple. What are near vision low vision aids? With being in the industry for several years, here’s what I can tell you on the topic.
So, what is near vision low vision aids? Near vision low vision aids are used for a task that is performed close up or that require more detailed viewings and clarity from a short distance. Examples could include reading, writing, shop work, coin and stamp collecting. The devices that are offered vary significantly based on your specific needs.
Understanding which devices can help with a certain task is part two in the process. Each device will pose strengths and weaknesses so choosing one that can undoubtedly serve up the best results for you is the most ideal situation to be in. Let’s cover how to go about figuring that out.
Options for Near Vision Low Vision Aids and What It Entails
Let’s start by breaking down some of the near vision low vision aids that can aid you with the various task you’re looking to complete and inform you of all the options you can consider in your journey battling against low vision problems.
Here’s a look into all the options.
A stand magnifier can be one of the easiest to use devices for reading or scanning pages quickly. Stand magnifiers will be fixed on the page meaning it’s resting against the reading material. You can simply use the handle and scan through the text quickly and enhance the images and text back to you relieving eye strain.
One of the features most individuals like most about stand magnifiers is the hands-free operation (for the most part) and can provide relief for more extended periods of time.
Also, many stand magnifiers come with built-in lighting to enhance the use even further. For a full overview of stand magnifiers and how they work, be sure to see our post here. It will break down everything you need to know.
Hand Held Magnifiers
Handheld magnifiers are a lot alike to stand magnifiers except they are not hands-free. They are both inexpensive low visions aids used for nearsighted activities. Handheld magnifiers are best however to use on the go or take with you for various activities, task, and hobbies.
Handheld magnifiers also have a relatively small field of view, and for a long extended period of use, you may be better suited using the stand magnifier we mentioned previously.
Regular Reading Glasses (Prescription Eye Glasses)
Prescription eyeglasses are another low vision tool that is designed to help with nearsighted vision problems. The advantages are clear. Hands-free and can provide eye relief for as long as you need.
Reading glasses do require items to be very close for enhanced vision and lighting is not an option with reading glasses so further enhancement is not a luxury afforded with reading glasses as opposed to other devices you could potentially choose from that we mentioned previously.
We talk about loupes in several of another blog post. They can come in handy for many task and hobbies that require the ability to see close distance objects with much more detail. These are relatively cheap devices that can allow you to take the device with you on the go.
Depending on which kind of loupe you opt to purchase they may carry some disadvantages as well. If your loupe has high magnification levels, it may only be suited to do one or two different tasks such as coin collecting or inspecting jewelery.
If you opt for a loupe that attaches to your reading glasses, they can be slightly distracting and bothersome. Overall for the cost and the vision enhancement they provide for nearsighted activities, they are still a strong consideration when it comes to low vision aids.
Tele microscopic Glasses
Tele microscopic glasses are regular eyeglasses but with telescopes attached to one lens or both lenses to help enhance vision for a nearsighted task. These come in many different designs and options but can be useful for various task including but not limited to the following.
• Using Computers
• Doing Handy Related Work
• Playing Cards
These can also vary in cost significantly, so it’s important to find out which device you need to provide the most relief. You will still gain the benefit of the device being hands-free but they also provide a very small field of view which can leave many users frustrated.
Additionally, no lighting is added to these devices making it dark at times to see your materials, and it can make your glasses feel heavier or bulky than usual which is a downfall many users reports.
Which Device Is Best for You?
That’s too hard to narrow down. Seeing a specialist and learning about the eye condition you are suffering from could help to narrow down the search. It also depends heavily on what task you complete with the most frequency. Each of the nearsighted devices we discussed is going to pose unique strengths and weaknesses and enhance your vision one way or another.
Putting It All Together
To wrap things up, learning the differences between near vision and distance sighted low vision aids is crucial towards putting you on the correct path towards finding a device that’s going to provide the most relief. You may even potentially require devices for both near and distance related activities.
Whatever brings the quality of life back and lets you begin enjoying everyday activities is the most important thing to accomplish. Shopping various devices and being educated on the functions will undoubtedly help get you 1 step closer towards providing yourself some much-needed relief.