What are Low Vision Telescopes?
Low Vision Telescopes are special telescopes that are placed on top of regular prescription glasses. These custom made glasses are designed for patients with central vision loss (as is common with AMD and Stargardt).
Each pair of glasses is task/s specific, the patient decides what task/s they want to be able to perform, and the glasses are tailored to those tasks.
It is important to understand that not every patient can be helped with telescope glasses, although we are able to help far more people then most eye doctors realize.
Can Telescope Glasses Help Me?
Telescope Glasses/Telescopic eyeglasses come in a variety of setups to help the patient achieve maximum mobility and freedom. In the United States most states allow driving with Bioptic Telescopes. Currently Canadians are unable to drive aided by bioptic telescope glasses.
Close Vision: Such as reading, sewing, playing cards
Medium Vision: Activities such as watching TV, seeing faces, and working on the computer
Far Vision: Driving, walking, touring, watching sports
Full Diameter Telescope Glasses
Bioptic Telescope Glasses
Near Position Telescope Glasses
Custom Position Telescope Glasses
Full diameter telescope glasses are telescopes that are placed in the middle of the carrier eyeglasses. This provides flexibility for tasks used, however it is limited to people that do not require mobility. Activities that our patients enjoy with full diameter telescopes are; watching television, seeing faces, reading.
Bioptic telescopes are one of the most popular telescope glasses as they allow the patient to switch from looking through their regular prescription carrier glasses to looking through the telescopes by simply tilting the head slightly. The telescopes are small and are mounted at the top of the prescription glasses, and are used for movies/sporting events, socializing/seeing faces, and walking/using the bus.
Near position telescopes are ideal for patients who work with computers or reading text. Unlike handheld or digital magnifiers, they are ultra portable and do not require holding any thing for long periods of time. Each specific task has its own requirements for magnification, focus, field and weight. Our patients enjoy reading, computer use, painting, sewing and playing cards.
Our Optometrist can fit you with customized telescopes including contrast filters, one eye or two eyes (monocular/binocular), as well as multiple positions. Eye doctors with the IALVS have helped patients with many specific needs including one student who required one telescope for reading and another for seeing the teacher and the board. Our optometrist will help you choose the very best option for each patients needs.
For many patients with eye diseases that cause vision loss, the patient or the patients family may be hesitant to invest in telescope glasses. Many times this comes from a lack of understanding of what a person with visual impairment experiences. The sudden loss of vision from eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy causes immense emotional pain, stress, and feelings of despair. In many cases the patient is elderly and feels bad telling their children just how difficult things are. People with vision loss go from being able to accomplish everything they needed to do such as cooking, shopping, and getting around. Now they are dependent on others just to get their shopping or cooking done. Our Optometrist recommends that every patient with vision loss call to asses the options and understand what can and cannot be accomplished for each situation.