What to Look For in a Low Vision Magnifier?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, February 11, 2021

Asking yourself these questions before deciding on a low vision device to ensure you will gain from your low vision aid.

Experiencing life with low vision is very challenging. Take your time to find out as much information as you can, by reading guides on low vision and asking the right questions.

There is even much that can be done at home to improve your ability to perform daily tasks.

These questions will help you seek the right information when selecting a low vision magnifier, allowing you to maximize on your remaining vision and get back to enjoying your life.

1. Does the device fulfill your needs?

When it comes to purchasing a new low vision device, each individual has his own personal needs, as well as set goals they wish to achieve in order to enhance their quality of life. It is strongly recommended to speak with your eye doctor, low vision specialist, and even your loved ones to help you determine what you would like to accomplish with your magnifier.

Some people may wish to drive again, while others desire increased independence while cooking, shopping, or applying makeup.

Keep this in mind as you search through your options, and ask as many questions as you wish to obtain a clear understanding of each device.

2. Is the device portable?

Being able to travel with your magnifier is generally one of the biggest advantages you can look for in a low vision device. A portable device will allow you to bring your magnifier wherever you go (even just around your home), and enable you to perform your daily routine tasks with an increased sense of independence.

3. Does it have OCR technology or voice commands?

Text to speech technology is a feature that will ease your daily struggle with low vision. Some specific features to look for include: the ability to read text out loud, voice quality, and the ability to detect and read different languages.

 4. Does it provide internet connectivity?

In recent years, internet connectivity has become available on almost all digital devices— so why shouldn’t your low vision device also provide an easy way to connect to cyberspace? With the ability to connect to the internet, you wont need to carry around extra devices to download or upload images, read documents, or search the web.

The Find an Eye Doctor directory can provide a list of eye doctors near you that can discuss the best options to allow you to maximize your vision and enjoy your life

SEE RELATED: Using a Smartphone for Low Vision

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5. Is the device easy to use?

Being able to comfortably navigate through your device and access all of its unique features is an essential factor when choosing a magnifier. Before settling on the magnifier of choice, try out all of the device’s features to ensure that they are easy to find and easy to use.

6. What type of magnification power does it provide?

As a general rule, the lower the magnification power, the more you will be able to see in your visual field. A higher magnification strength is ideal for reading labels or ingredients on a package, but as the words get bigger, the number of words that can appear on the screen are reduced. Therefore, if you are looking for a magnifier that you can use when reading a book or magazine, or using a computer, look for a lower magnification strength.

Which magnifier is right for you?

Understanding the differences between each type of low vision magnifier will help you to make an educated decision, based on your individual needs and preferences.

Are you a student who needs a low vision device to see the board? A portable camera magnifier will be able to capture the image and send it to the viewing screen on your desk.

Do you work with your hands all day as a carpenter, mechanic, or seamstress? A magnifier that can be fixed to your eyeglasses will be able to provide the vision you need, for an extended period of time.

Do you need a magnifier that you can bring with you to the market to read labels, or the post office to pick up your packages? A handheld magnifier will be your best option, as you are searching for a device that provides easy access without the need for extended use.

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Low Vision

The Find an Eye Doctor directory can provide a list of eye doctors near you that will discuss the best options to maximize your vision and allow you to enjoy your life.