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LO(W) AND BEHOLD!

Individuals suffering from “low vision” (defined as 20/70 vision or worse that cannot be corrected by conventional lenses) must make the most of the vision they have left. While low-tech solutions such as handheld magnifying glasses continue to be an effective option, there are also some newer high-tech alternatives that offer greater capability. For example, a hand-held digital magnifier or portable CCTV (closed-circuit television) is perfect for such tasks as inspecting food labels or reading outside the home. When the device is placed over the reading matter, simply pressing a button increases or decreases magnification, enhances the contrast, or freezes the image. For the solution that best suits their needs, those with low vision should get an assistive technology evaluation.   

To determine the extent of their useful vision, those with low vision should undergo an examination that includes refraction, visual field, and ocular motility tests. Low vision aids, such as magnifying devices, assist many patients lead comfortable, normal lives with few interruptions of regular activities.  Whether or not you experience vision problems, it is important to have routine eye exams because the symptoms of many vision diseases can go unnoticed.