low vision aids

Optical / non optical / electronic devices that improve or enhance residual vision by MAGNIFYING  the image of the object.














smartlux digital

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The Smartlux Digital features a generous depth of focus and includes a stand that, when placed in its fully extended position, is ideal for reading. When placed in its half-extended position, it is ideal for writing. 

The two small SMD-LEDs on the underside of the device can be switched off when viewing other backlit displays, such as cell phones, to avoid screen glare.

visolux digital hd

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The Visolux Digital HD combines modern technology with intuitive operation and provides the ultimate reading comfort. This advanced video magnifier features an extra-large 7” LCD screen with anti-glare coating, an HD camera, built-instand, and many other features, all at a competitive price.

The device’s unique Dynamic Line Scrolling (DLS) feature allows the user to scroll side to side on the screen in higher magnification levels without having to move the device. Its HD camera actually sees more than what’s shown on the screen, making reading a book or magazine easier than ever. The optional Visolux Digital HD Base increases the distance away from the image area so that writing underneath is easier.

The Visolux Digital HD’s built-in HDMI and USB ports allow the user the option to transmit images directly to their computer and live stream to a television screen. It’s unmatched connectivity options and superior image quality make this the ultimate low vision device! 



OrCam MyEye 2 is a lightweight smart camera that attaches to virtually any glasses frame.

Using Artificial Intelligence technology, it instantly and discreetly reads printed and digital text aloud from any surface, recognizes faces, products, money notes and more, all in real time.



How EnCHroma Glasses Work?

Enables people with color vision deficiency to see colors they only previously imagined.

EnCHroma lens technology increases contrast between the red and green color signals, alleviating symptoms of color blindness for richer experience of the world.

They told me nothing can be done…really?!

A 50 plus year old patient came to me once with very poor vision. She has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).

RP is a degenerative disease of the eye that results in loss of vision, even blindness. It involves the light receptors of the eye called the rods and cones. The rods are responsible for night and peripheral vision while the cones are responsible for central vision and color vision. In RP, the rods are affected first so that the most common symptom of the patient would be night blindness. Then there is loss of peripheral vision that eventually deteriorates further and ends up in tunnel vision. Patients with early signs of RP would be having difficulty at night, and would be bumping into things in the surroundings. In the later stage, they may have tunnel vision. Imagine looking through a keyhole, So on examination, the patient may be seeing 20/20 but actually is just seeing through a tunnel or keyhole. Some patients however progress to blindness. This is often hereditary although may be sporadic.

This patient that came was already Light perception. She could only see light, nothing else. She came in with her son who guides her when she walks. In a low vision exam, we concentrate on the patients function. So I ask the patient her history, what used to do before, when did she stop her job and if it was vision related, and what she would like to do for now. This patient came too late for low vision gadgets to work. She would need more audio devices.

She goes on to say that her doctors told her nothing can be done for RP. So as she was losing her sight, she had to look for ways to cope with it. She researched and she found Resources for the Blind, that taught her how to walk around with a white cane. She now tutors her children at home but her children have to read the assignments to her. So I asked how I could help her.

These were her simple requests. I was taught to walk with a cane indoors, but outdoors are a problem as there are many obstacles. Are there canes that vibrate so I would know when I have to avoid something instead of bumping into them? Next request was she wanted to know where she can learn massage therapy for the blind. Third request was to find a support group for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Three simple requests that would make her happy. Her complaint: If I only knew there were low vision specialists who could have helped me cope with my vision loss.

AND HERE LIES THE PROBLEM. Many doctors diagnose Retinitis Pigmentosa and tell the patients that there is no treatment and that they would go blind. Nothing more can be done for the eye. 

Here are some truths about people who are blind or almost blind:

Technology today has made accessibility better for the blind. 

There are audio books, smartphones that talk. There are free audiobooks in the App Store and in You tube.

There is a computer school for the blind and visually impaired called ATRIEV (Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration, and Empowerment of the Visually impaired). The school helps the blind and low vision people learn how to use the computer and eventually find jobs that are computer related. (atriev.wordpress.com)

Resources for the blind has services for the blind and low vision. They have a school for blind children, and they have training for orientation and mobility with a white cane, and training for some job opportunities. (blind.org.ph)

There are many innovations now that help the blind incorporate into society. Accessibility is the key and accessibility is here.

So even if it may be true that nothing can be done for the eye, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSON.

Making print more readable

For visually impaired people reading is difficult because the contrast of the print is affected by reduced lighting. Also especially when their macula is involved, they cannot read small print.  Here are some guidelines to making print more accessible especially for students.

Using the highest contrast possible is best.  Use light letters on a dark background or dark letters on a light background. 

It is also preferable to use large print size, from about 16 point or 18 point at the least. 

The Font type should be recognizable characters,  using upper and lower case, avoiding italics, all caps, or slanted print.  Also do not use decorative fonts.  Recommended fonts are arial, verdana, and better if they can be bold.  

It is important to avoid glossy papers as they can cause glare. 

There must be adequate spacing between letters and words.  When the letters are too close to each other, they are especially difficult to read for persons with central field defects.  The recommended spacing between lines of text is 1.5 rather than single space, as recommended by the American Foundation for the Blind.  Also students may use a marker below the line to help them remain in the same line.  

An extra wide binding margin makes it easier to  the use low vision devices such as stand magnifiers and portable videomagnifiers, as it is better to read with these devices on a flat surface.  

Sometimes, all it takes to make life easier in school for students with visual impairment is to make print legible for them.  Simple adjustments can make a difference in a person’s life.



Don’t forget the 3Bs

Bigger, Bolder and Brighter are the 3 Bs that every person with eye problems should never forget. These are the three most important concepts in maximizing your vision.

Magnify: Bigger

Increase contrast: Bolder

Improve lighting: Brighter

Today I will talk about magnification. Patients afflicted with a central scotoma or a central blind spot benefit well from magnifying. By magnifying, more of the image is projected in the part of the retina that can see. Examples of diseases with a central scotoma or a maculopathy are macular degeneration, macular dystrophies , and macular scars.

There are many kinds of magnifiers. The most common ones are the hand held magnifiers, which could be lighted. Your low vision specialist or ophthalmologist will know what power you need. The thing with hand held magnifiers is that it could be tiring to use for prolonged reading as a certain distance has to be maintained. Also the bigger the magnification (in the second picture 5x), the smaller the field of vision (smaller lens). The smaller the magnification (3x rectangular), the bigger the field allowing you to read more letters without having to move the magnifier. However, for this hand held magnifiers, you have to maintain a certain distance and this could be tiring to use for prolonged reading, especially if the person has tremors.

The same goes with stand magnifiers. The disadvantages of stand magnifiers are they are bulky and heavier but these are placed on the reading material without having to adjust the distance. With the lower 2 pictures, a lower magnification stand magnifier 4x sees more words while the higher magnification at 6x shows bigger letters but less words to view. However, stand magnifiers are heavier than handheld magnifiers.

The best quality magnifiers are the digital magnifiers

With digital magnifiers, the magnification, contrast and brightness can be modified. There is no distortion. This magnifiers can also be used to write.

There was this 92 year old male who was brought to me by his daughter for a low vision consult. He has had age related macular degeneration in both eyes for quite some time. Everything had been done, from injections to lasers and surgery, and nothing more could be done for him. He was very depressed. He could not read and that was the only thing he enjoyed doing.

When I showed him the Videomagnifier, he read the smallest print, which is smaller than newspaper print. He was not so interested as he did not want to learn to use the device. I told him that he can read, but he has to learn how to read with this device. His daughter got the device for him anyway. After a few months of having the device, he began to read and hasn’t stopped since then. He spends his time reading and he is not as depressed as he used to be.

To see more features of this device, go to you tube and look for smartlux digital videomagnifier or go to


There is always hope for the visually impaired.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited disease that affects the photoreceptor cells of the retina. These are cells that process light and help us to see. The first symptom is usually night blindness. Other symptoms are decrease in color vision, and eventually peripheral vision. When peripheral vision is progressively lost, this ends up in what is referred to as tunnel vision. This is like looking through a keyhole.

Since this is hereditary, family members should be screened for the disease.

To date, there is still no treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa. As this disease is progressive, vision rehabilitation can help you maximize your visual potential through devices and solutions.

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