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Low Vision Blog

Conventional Low Vision Devices for Near Tasks

This week I’d like to present information about near vision optical devices; specifically the advantages and disadvantages to some of the most common devices. Near vision optical devices are the most commonly sought-after aids when it comes to low vision. Why? Because they assist with reading, and fine-detail work. Many of my patients wish to read the newspaper, the Bible, or read cards they receive in the mail. Using near vision optical devices can help with such activities.



-       Wider field of view than handheld magnifiers

-       Binocular viewing (in powers up to about 12 diopters)

-       Can provide relatively normal appearance


-       Shorter working distance than handheld magnifiers

-       Do not have built-in illumination

Hand Held Magnifiers


-       Provide longer working distance than spectacles

-       Built-in illumination available


-       Smaller field of view than spectacles

-       Requires the use of one hand to position the magnifier

-       Requires a steady grip

-       Indicates to others that person has reduced vision (this may also be considered an advantage by some people)

Stand Magnifiers


-       Steady grip not required

-       Built-in illumination available


-       Limited range of working distances for presbyopia (diminished ability to focus on objects at near, usually with age)

-       Indicates to others that person has reduced vision (this may also be considered an advantage by some people)

If these low vision devices sound interesting to you, or if you’d like to learn more, please call to set up an appointment for a functional low vision assessment.


ForSight Vision
Telephone: 717-848-1690
Toll Free: 800-255-6578
Fax: 717-845-3889

Adams County
Telephone: 800-255-6578

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