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Using low vision aids

General


  • Using a vision aid can be tiring as you are learning new methods so practice in small steps – take regular breaks to ease the eyes.
  • The key to success with any low vision aid is ‘motivation’ so it can help when you are learning to use your aid to read something that you are really interested in and want to read about.
  • Extra illumination can help you to see the object you want to view so additional task lighting can help to improve visual performance.
  • Magnifiers are generally designed to be used with your regular eye correction spectacles not to replace them
  • Use your finger to help keep your place on text if you view only a part of the text at once due to the size of the magnifier
  • Bringing the magnifier and object closer to your eye can help to increase the amount to be viewed with an optical magnifier.
  • It can be easier to move the reading material from side to side rather than the magnifier as this helps to keep the optimum reading position in place.
  • Supporting your reading material on a flat surface such as a table or specially designed reading stand can aid the vision process to keep it steady and flat for use with the magnifier.
  • Make sure that you know how to use your low vision aid to get the best from it – for tips on this see the relevant section below.


Hand-held


  • Place the magnifier on the page to be read
  • Whilst wearing your normal spectacles, if you have them, move the magnifier towards you from the page until the image is clear.
  • If you have a powerful magnifier it will need to be fairly close to your eye with the material close to the magnifier to obtain a clear image.


Stand


  • With the reading material on a flat surface place the magnifier over the material to be read.
  • You may need to be close to the material to see it clearly if you need a more powerful magnifier.
  • It can be helpful to angle the material with a reading stand for a more comfortable viewing position if you need to be quite close to see clearly.


Bar and Dome


  • Place directly on the page to be viewed – a flat surface is required
  • As the image from the magnifier is formed close to normal reading distance you will not need to alter the position in which you read.
  • These magnifiers rest on the page so just need to be moved along to view text.
  • The design of the magnifying lens means that the image is equally clear across the full width maximising the amount you can view.


Magnifying Spectacles or Spectacle-mounted


  • Generally you will need to hold the material very close to your eyes.
  • To find the best position for viewing after putting the spectacles on, where everything will appear blurred, gradually bring the material closer to your eyes until it appears clear.
  • It may be easier to move the print from side to side whilst keeping your head still to read, enabling you to maintain the position and distance where you have found the image to be clear and in focus.


Electronic


  • The task to be carried out must be underneath the camera to view. It can be helpful to do this in a regular method.
  • A helpful method is for the user to read the first line from left to right then go back to the start of this line before moving down to ensure they can keep track of progress, i.e. moving along and back and then down to the next line.
  • The contrast reversal option available with this device can also be an advantage to make vision easier for some people.


Lighting


  • Generally the amount of light reflected from a viewed object is increased by 2 times when the distance from the object is halved so the nearer a light is to the object the more light is reflected.
  • As a guide the light can be placed at about 20 cms directly above the object to be viewed. The best position for an adjustable lamp is out in front of you and shining down directly on what you want to look at.
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