Low Vision Glasses & Aids To Help You Regain Your Independence
Our patients come to us and are told there is nothing else that can be done about their vision loss. Hope is lost. The good news is that we can help. An increasing number of Americans are seeing their way to better vision with the help of technology. Macular degeneration is the most common eye disease among the senior population. As many as 25% of those over the age of 65 have some form of degeneration. The macula is one small part of the retina, but it is the most sensitive and gives us the ability to see sharp images.
With the help of new technology, eye doctors are now able to overcome the visual effects of such eye diseases as macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma, and retinitis pigmentosa.
Believing there is life after vision loss, our eye doctor, Dr. Rinkov, uses miniature telescopes positioned in prescription glasses to help those with vision loss perform such activities as reading, writing, playing cards, and making out faces.
Doctor Rinkov offers a free consultation with every patient in order to determine if an evaluation would be beneficial. Once it is determined that Dr. Rinkov can help, you may be scheduled for a 60 - 90 minute low vision evaluation.
When standard eyeglasses cannot provide you with sufficient vision, and medical treatment, such as surgery, is not a suitable option for you – it’s time to consult with Dr. Rinkov about the most helpful low vision aids! Low vision aids and devices come in a wide range of designs and powers. 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 begins with a thorough eye examination by an eye doctor or low vision expert. This eye exam is not the same as routine vision testing or an eye health exam; the results will help Dr. Rinkov match you with the ideal low vision Aids available in our Columbus, Ohio area office. Regardless of whether 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.
Tools to Enhance Your Sight.
Most devices to assist with low vision are categorized as either optical, electronic or non-optical. Each type of tool is geared towards a different visual task. Therefore, patients generally require a few different low vision aids in order to maximize their sight under a range of circumstances.
Low Vision Glasses: Telescopes, Escoop, Readers and More
Low Vision glasses can help you regain your independence and enjoy life. Whether you are having trouble reading, seeing faces or walking safely, we have the solution.
With Telescopes, our eye doctor is able to incorporate a patients glasses prescription to help them see as well as their eyes will let them see. Telescopes help low vision patients maintain their independence and lifestyle. They can walk around with a bioptic telescope. They can sit in their favorite chair and watch TV and see their grandkids faces with telescopes. They can sit in their favorite chair and wear reading telescopes.
The 3 most common goals my low vision patients want to be able to do is:
1. See Faces and TV better.
2. To be able to read again.
3. Continue seeing things at a distance as a passenger in a car. See your grandchildren play sports and start going to the theater or concerts again.
While there are other products to assist low vision patients such as handheld magnifiers and digital magnifiers, they all have serious setbacks in usability. Telescopic glasses enable a patient to perform multiple tasks, in various settings, all while remaining hands free. When it comes to quality of life, there is no replacement for the freedom and versatility of telescope glasses.
These are special glasses to bridge the gap between regular glasses and telescopes. They work well for patients with a mild decrease in vision whose current glasses or contact lenses are not working well. These are for people who are not quite in need of telescopes. With macular degeneration patients, their central vision is effected. Usually, their peripheral vision is intact. The concept of the E Scoops is that they use prisms to shift the image away from the macula onto a healthier part of the retina. We find that our patients prefer this as they look more or less like normal glasses.
There are 5 main components to the E Scoop lenses:
- Lens Thickness. (magnifies image some) not as much as a telescope, but more that regular glasses.
- Prisms. Yoked prisms (up or down depending on patient need)
- Reflection Free Lenses (cut down on glare). Also called tints
- Yellow or Amber tint (cuts down glare, even at night time)
- Base Curve of Lens
Full Diameter Telescopes
Instead of a small bioptic lens on top of the glasses, this device covers the entire lens. It takes up the full diameter. This is great for use for indoor items such as watching TV and doing house chores. Patients will like this when looking at items within 10-15 feet. They will allow you to once again make out people's faces. We also like these because you can put a small cap on them to increase the power for reading.
Prismatic Reading Glasses
These are extra strong reading glasses. In general, when you have such a strong prescription for reading, your eyes tend to turn out. The prismatic reading glasses thus magnify object in a way that will get your eyes to turn back in and more comfortable. This makes it more comfortable to read.
Readers With Anti Glare Coating
Reading glasses with enhanced UV light protection reduces the glare which can improve the ability to see clearly. Come with enhanced blue light protection, ideal for protecting your eyes while on the computer.
Computer Software For The Visually Impaired
The computer offers the ability to learn about the world, stay in contact with loved ones, and work. Low vision people have trouble with using a computer due to resolution, contrast, size, and more. With the latest software designed for the visually impaired, computer use is attainable.
Both eyes are used to see far into the distance; many lens powers and sizes of binoculars are available in our Columbus, Ohio area office.
Known as CCTV, video magnifiers use a stand-mounted camera to enlarge and project objects onto a screen. The power of magnification varies, and there are color or black-and-white types. Some models can be used efficiently with a home computer. [Image via thoughtco.]
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]
Adaptive Low Vision Devices
The selection of helpful visual aids is vast! To name a few – there are large print materials, devices to create high contrast, “talking” features that read information to the person with visual impairment, writing guides, large print phones, etc… We are proud to supply an inventive collection of advanced low vision aids and customized options in our Columbus, Ohio area office.
HD Digital Readers
These handheld devices come in a variety of screen sizes, 5,7, and 12 inches. They magnify the text so the patient can see clearly. Their power ranges from 2x-22X. They also offer variable contrasts such as black on white, white on black, yellow on blue, etc... They usually come with a built-in kickstand that you can easily place over the book as you read.
We typically like to recommend the prismatic lenses for patients looking for help with reading and if things are so bad, we look at the digital readers.
Special software on the iPad can help blind and low-vision users by using an iPad to have the text read out loud. We can help you learn more about this.
These gadgets typically magnify between 1.5 – 20 times. They come in foldable types that tuck into your pocket or purse easily, and some feature battery-powered lights.
Mounted on eyeglass frames, these magnifiers are available as telescopes for distance vision or microscopes for close-up tasks. They can be used with one or two eyes and protrude from your glasses. A Low Vision Expert, such as Dr. Rinkov will evaluate your vision and prescribe this specialized eyewear.
Mounted on stands, they rest flat above the page you are viewing. The lens magnifies between 2-20 times, and you can move them across the text to see each individual line. Some types come with illumination, either electrical or battery operated. If your hands shake or lack strength, stand magnifiers are very useful. [Image via Sirchie]
Computers And Low Vision
The internet has become one of the most valuable resources, allowing us to stay in touch, read the news, and see photos of our grandkids. For patients with visual impairment, computer usage can be difficult or even near impossible.
Luckily there are many options out there that help people with low vision use computers.
Dr. Rinkov will talk with you about the specific requirements that your vision impairment necessitates, and will advise you on the best software for your particular needs.
Some common features that many patients require are:
- Easily zooming in and out of images and text.
- Automatic talking or reading of the text and options in a loud and clear voice.
- A special set up for your mouse or keyboard.
- The ability to change contrast, color, and flicker on your monitor.
CCTVs (close circuit tv) sometimes called digital magnifiers, are good for some people. However, most are not portable. They are usually bulky and a patient must sit at a desk or table to use it. They can not sit in their favorite chair.
Dr. Rinkov now has different sizes of portable HD reader devices with adjustable magnification that enable most everyone to be able to read easily and at any place they desire. They are good for reading the newspaper, books, and as well as menus at restaurants and looking at price tags.
Hand Held Magnifiers
Dr. Rinkov generally does not recommend hand held magnifiers. Each week we have patients arrive with a bag overflowing with hand held magnifiers that they have purchased but cannot use. And if they are older and their hands shake, hand magnifiers are difficult to hold for longer periods of time.
In many cases when they are reading they must juggle keeping the hand magnifier steady and holding the reading material steady, and turning pages, which can be difficult and most definitely makes reading a chore. Then, if they want to write something, they do not have a 3rd hand.
With a reading telescope, their hands are free to hold reading material and a pencil if needed and is the preferred choice.