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.
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.