Low Vision Aides in Mascoutah, Illinois
If you or a loved one has an eye disease that has left them with visual impairment that affects their functioning, it is important to use the latest technology to prevent depression and anxiety. Low vision aids and devices come in a wide range of designs and powers, and can provide massive improvements in mobility and the ability to lead a normal life. From simple handheld magnifying lenses to advanced electronic devices, our recommendations are personalized to meet your lifestyle needs and diverse visual requirements.
Optimal eye care for low vision causing diseases such as macular degeneration, stargardt, glaucoma, cataract, retinitis pigmentosa and stroke, begins with a thorough eye examination by a low vision optometrist. The purpose of the exam is to find the best product/s for your vision loss and functional vision needs. For almost all patients, whether their Low Vision is due to macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or another visual impairment, there is a low vision device to improve your independence and quality of life.
Have You Been Told “Nothing More Can Be Done”?
Many patients are told by their retinal specialist or optometrist that there is nothing more that can be done. While from a treatment perspective this may be the case, from the patients lifestyle perspective this is far from the truth. There are hundreds of low vision devices including OrCam MyEye, Digital stand and handheld magnifiers, computer software such as ZoomText, and special glasses such as Escoop and magnified reading glasses.
Most devices to assist with low vision are categorized as either optical, electronic or non-optical. Each type of tool is designed to improve a specific visual task. Therefore, patients may require a few different low vision aids in order to maximize their sight under a range of circumstances such as reading, getting around, and watching the TV.
Examples of Low Vision Aids
These gadgets typically magnify between 1.5 – 20 times. They come in fold-able types that tuck into your pocket or purse easily, and some feature battery-powered lights. More advanced handheld magnifiers use digital technology to create clear text and easy magnification.
Mounted on eyeglass frames, and using your current prescription, these miniature telescopes are mounted on either one or both eyes. A Low Vision eye doctor, such as Dr. McDaniel will evaluate your vision and prescribe this custom designed eyewear. [Image via dlf]
Stand magnifiers are ideal if your hands shake or lack strength. They are also recommended for people who work with text or imagery, such as artists and writers. and have vision loss. The clarity and ease of use of stand magnifiers is incredible, however the lack of portability means that it is not ideal for most people. [Image via Sirchie]
Low Vision Glasses: Telescopes, Escoop, Readers and More
Low Vision glasses are designed to maximize your vision. For each patient there are specific glasses that can help with contrast, magnification, and glare.
Computer Software For The Visually Impaired
Computers offer the visually impaired the chance to stay connected to friends and family and access information and entertainment in the comfort of their home. Common computer related issues for the visually impaired include contrast and magnification. Our Optometrist will let you know what the best tools are for your vision needs.
Known as CCTV, video magnifiers use specially made cameras to project the text on the screen. The benefits of stand magnifiers are the ease of use and clarity of text. Stand magnifiers are ideal for patients that work with text or images. The biggest drawback is the lack of portability. [Image via thoughtco.]
OrCam MyEye is a revolutionary text to voice technology. A ultra small camera is attached to your eyeglasses frame, the sophisticated technology will see and read to you any text that you point at. OrCam is seen as an ideal tool to help people with visual impairment to read, see signs, identify currency, and recognize faces.
Scanners with Sound
These reading machines convert printed material into spoken words. They read the page aloud for you. OCR (optical character recognition) can turn your personal computer into this type of low vision device. [Image via How OCR Works]
These eyeglass lenses are worn over prescription glasses. They reduce glare, eliminate harmful UV rays, heighten visual contrast and control the transition between light and dark environments. By regulating the quantity of light transmitted to your eye, absorptive lenses enhance visual comfort and safety. [Image via AnySunglasses.com]
See the television and faces again with these simple to use tv magnifier glasses. With 2.1X magnification and adjustable lenses for each eye, you no longer need to buy a large screen television to enjoy your favorite shows.
See your playing cards again, see to paint, and sheet music! These 2x magnification glasses are ideal for close vision and are adjustable for each eye.
MAGic® Screen Magnification Software
MAGic is a screen magnification and screen reading solution for low vision computer users. MAGic can help you work more efficiently with business applications, documents, email, navigating the Internet, and engaging in social networking. MAGic delivers smooth, crisp letters, even at the highest magnification levels.
Portable Readers: Ruby, Sapphire, Amigo
Some of the most advanced portable digital readers available today. The all-new portable RUBY 7 HD makes reading easier. The seven-inch screen can display more text and magnifies materials up to 24 times. This ultra-portable device can go anywhere with ease.
Scanning and Reading Appliances
SARA is the next-generation self-contained scanning and reading appliance for people who are blind or have low vision. SARA is simple to use, and quickly converts printed text to spoken text. No computer experience is needed. Read your documents without the need for sighted assistance.
Head worn NuEyes
These hi-tech wireless glasses offer a variety of features such as text to voice, 1x-12x magnification, contrast and color changes, voice activation, movie and tv streaming to the glasses. All of this in a light weight design.
Low Vision Aids Change Lives
The benefits of low vision aids are astounding! A recent study, published in Acta Ophthalmologica, investigated the effects of low vision aids on a group of patients (average age 82 years) with macular degeneration. Results showed:
- 16% of the patients were able to read, yet with use of a low vision aid – this number soared to 94%
- Reading speed increased from 20 words per minute to 72 words per minute when a low vision aid was used
If you or someone you care about is living with impaired vision, please visit our Low Vision Doctor Dr. Marianne McDaniel, to discuss the best ways to improve your daily life and make many tasks easier to do on your own. Dr. McDaniel is a representative of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) in Illinois.