Low Vision Aids

what are low vision aids?

Low Vision Aids are devices designed to help people with poor vision read and see. Examples include standing and hand-held magnifiers, strong magnifying reading glasses, loupes, and small telescopes. Because these devices provide greatly increased magnification powers along with higher-quality optics (i.e., the way the lens bends or refracts light), they are different from commercially available glasses and magnifiers and are often prescribed by an eye doctor.

Most low vision aids are task-specific – there are devices for reading, devices for watching television and seeing faces, and yet others for viewing computer screens. IrisVision harnesses the latest technology to combine all of these functions into a single, portable device.

How is IrisVision Different from Other Low Vision Aids?

In listing other low vision aid options, the first difference arises: it takes a list of several other products to match up with the capabilities of IrisVision. Each of these is suited only to one or two specific tasks. IrisVision can do them all, and provide you with more comfort and features.

Electronic Low Vision Aids:

  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Video Magnifiers:
    • These bulky machines must remain plugged into a wall outlet (if you can make space for it) and require that reading materials be brought to it to be placed on a reading plate. These require you to be sitting or standing near it, and have an average cost of $3000
  • Handheld Video Magnifiers:
    • Lighter than their older, CCTV counterparts, these camcorder-like devices were welcome developments, but still had several drawbacks. A small display and narrow focal range meant that users could easily become tired from holding the camera steady while reading or inspecting an object.

Optical/Magnifying Low Vision Aids:

Magnifying glasses and telescopic devices all have the same drawbacks:

    • Fixed Range: A magnifying glass can only show detail on objects that are close-up, and a telescopic device can only show detail on objects at a distance. Seeing objects at different distances requires different lenses.
    • Limited Field of View: Because of the structural properties, weight, and cost of glass, these devices can only be so large and are almost always intended for viewing one object at a time.

Low vision research has shown that it is common for a patient to own 6 to 8 different devices to accomplish all the tasks necessary for daily living. This could include a magnifying glass for spot reading, a portable electronic magnifier for reading mail or setting a wall thermostat, a desktop CCTV to read magazines or books, and several distance devices for watching TV or entertainment outings.

IrisVision harnesses groundbreaking technology into a single, hands-free device to help with many common functional tasks needed by those who live with a vision impairment. It boasts an extra large LED screen and expansive field of view, and a powerful camera with auto-focus capabilities. Best of all? You only need one!

next: how irisvision works