There is an enormous range of optical magnifiers available with different magnification strengths and sizes to suit individual reading requirements for use at home and work, and when out and about in the community.
Hand held magnifiers
Pocket size magnifiers
Pocket size magnifiers are useful for checking bus timetables and price tags, or participating in hobbies such as tying lines when fishing. There is a wide range of pocket magnifiers to choose from including:
- Prismatic half eye magnification glasses or clip-on mini reading glasses in different styles and colours
- Clip-on magnifiers that attach to glasses for detailed work
- Telescopes in a range of sizes and styles that help with close and distance vision
- Monoculars or binoculars that help people see items at a distance, such as street signs, an upcoming bus, or to play bowls
- Specially designed lightweight binocular glasses for watching television
Highly portable hand held
Highly portable hand-held optical devices are the starting point for the majority of people with low vision who use them for identification and spot reading.
Typically, people will progress to using options of increasing strength as their vision deteriorates. As magnification increases, the useful reading area of a hand held optical device decreases.
There are many options available in this category in prices that range from $50 to around $200. They do not require power and very little training is needed.
Hand held illuminated
Hand held iIluminated optical magnifiers enhance vision by illuminating the source material. Bright and soft light options are available for these slim easily managed devices, which are useful for identifying objects and spot reading.
Battery powered units are portable, however they are heavier than non-illuminated optical magnifiers. Mains powered devices have restricted use when they are taken away from home.
There are many options with prices that range from $100 to around $350. Batteries or mains power is required and there is little need for training.
A stand magnifier is basically a lens mounted on legs that fix the distance from the lens to the object. They rest on the page and do not need to be focused. They may either be illuminated or non-illuminated.
Stand magnifiers are used for extended reading and other activities, such as crosswords. They provide low levels of magnification and are most useful for people with early stage vision loss. Prices range from approximately $200 to $400. Batteries or mains power is required and there is little need for training.
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