What Are Low Vision Telescopes?
Low Vision optical devices are aimed at making life for low vision patients much better by allowing them to use the maximum of their remaining vision. They help such people to perform day-today activities like reading, watching television, visiting the grandkids, knitting, playing cards etc., in a much more comfortable and independent way.
Types of Low Vision Devices
Depending on the purpose they need to be used, there are several types of low vision devices. We will be outlining some of the low vision devices, however, it is recommended to call for a free phone consultation with Dr. Schoenbart to assess your specific visual needs and the latest devices available.
The following are two broad categories of these devices:
- ‘Near’ Optical Devices - For people who do a lot of activities involving detailed viewing like reading, writing, and sewing. Some ‘Near’ vision aids are hand-held and digital stand magnifiers, magnifying reading glasses, loupes, and telescope glasses. The optical magnifier sits on your eyeglasses and helps magnify what you are looking at. Your low vision doctor may also recommend special tints or coatings which can reduce glare and improve contrast. The main benefit of the telescope glasses over other near vision devices is that its handsfree, portable, and provides superior optical results for the patient.
- ‘Distance’ Optical Devices - These devices, on the other hand, are suited for spot viewing and for viewing things at a distance greater than an arm’s length like watching TV, seeing faces, reading signs and boards on the street. Examples of this type are hand-held, spectacle-mounted, and bioptic telescopes.
These telescopes are attached permanently to the lenses of your glasses. As they are hands-free, they are useful for viewing for relatively long periods. For example, for viewing TV or a sport, reading a book. They offer the following advantages:
- Magnify objects well
- Can choose between monocular and binocular depending on what you need
- Can choose between different magnification powers
A few disadvantages:
- Lenses may be difficult to focus if you have motor control problems like tremors and arthritis
These fall under the category of spectacle-mounted telescopic devices. They are mounted towards the top of the glasses. Due to this position, the user can use them to look at the magnified images while looking at the distant view through the original glasses. In most states including New York State, people wearing bioptic telescopes can drive, depending on the level of vision. They, however, demand a high level of concentration and quick responses while driving, and it is encouraged to undergo some drivers training before taking the road test again. So, they are not suitable for everybody. These can be used for walking and many other tasks.
Mid Distance Telescopes
Telescope glasses are designed to enable viewing objects in an intermediate distance away, may be a good fit for certain patients. Compared to magnifiers, they allow viewing at a comfortable distance. So, they are useful in tasks like reading sheet music, using the computer, playing cards, and watching television. They help to view crisp images. As they can be mounted on your glasses, they allow you to work hands-free.
To learn more about telescope glasses for low vision, schedule a free ten minute consultation with Dr. Schoenbart today.