As we get older there are specific diseases which can affect a person’s eyesight. The most common of these are outlined below:
1. An eye examination using specialised equipment.
2. A questionnaire to identify the person’s history, symptoms, needs and objectives.
3. A demonstration of hand held, stand, spectacle mounted, electronic and non-optical low vision aids is performed as appropriate.
4. Any Low Vision Aids required are provided on loan for a trial period followed by a review appointment.
5. Low Vision Aids which are deemed satisfactory are supplied following adaptation.
Hand Held magnifiers
These are relatively easy to use and are portable allowing tasks such as reading prices in shops, viewing clocks, bus numbers, etc. However they require steady hands and manual dexterity to adjust the focus.
These generally have a fixed focus and can be less tiresome. These are popular for general reading and can be adapted for writing cheques, etc. However, they are less portable and some require illumination.
Spectacle mounted magnifiers
These come in a variety of forms such as telescopes, bifocals, Aspheric Lenses; etc. They are hands free and can be used for many tasks such as watching T.V., playing musical instruments, hobies such as knitting, bridge, etc. They can however take some time to get used to.
There are many variations of electronic magnifiers, from computers with speech recognition and magnified text to portable
CCTVs which can be either stand alone or plug into your existing TV. Other spectacle mounted devices can be used to view outside objects using auto-focus cameras.
Correct illumination is very important for the majority of low vision patients. This is usually achieved through angle poise PLS lamps or self-illuminated magnifiers. Glare can also be a problem and can be reduced through tints, wrap around filters or specially coloured lenses which change due to the amount of available light. A vast array of other non-optical aids for around the house are available such as speaking clocks, reading books etc.