Whether through an illness, an accident or with age, low vision is something that can happen to any of us at any time. Individually fitted low vision devices can help wearers see better and bring a little normality and independence back to their lives.
We would like to provide you with some information about what modern low vision devices can and should do, what aspects you should pay special attention to when buying them, and what alternatives are available.
When their vision deteriorates to such an extent that even glasses do not suffice for reading or enjoying hobbies, most people resort to using a magnifier. But even simple magnifiers display major quality differences between low-end models and products specially fitted by a qualified eye care professional. So, it is really important to first familiarize yourself with the quality criteria that apply to low vision aids.
The number one objective of ZEISS is to achieve the best possible visual performance for each wearer in line with the requirements of the task to be performed and the situation. Furthermore, it is important to select the visual device in accordance with the capabilities of the wearer: he or she must be able to use it easily and effortlessly. ZEISS therefore attaches major importance to ease of use.
Image quality and the size of the field of view the primary factors that determine the quality of a low vision product. ZEISS offers excellent image quality and the largest possible field of view at one and the same time. As the field of view decreases with increasing magnification, it is extremely important that the best possible optics are selected, but with the lowest magnification necessary. This is the only way to avoid rapid eye fatigue.
Plastic lenses featuring a protective hard coating are recommended for low vision devices to ensure optimum resistance to scratching and breakage. ZEISS also offers anti-reflective coatings that additionally enhance visual comfort.
You can also equip low vision products with an illumination system. Older people in particular need more light to see better.
1. Magnifiers: the classic low vision products. Hand-held magnifiers with powers of up to 20 diopters and pocket magnifiers with powers as high as 40 diopters are used.
Simple and functional and yet customized: the design of the optics is the most significant factor in determining whether you really gain enhanced vision. Hand-held ZEISS magnifiers are available with high-quality aspheric lenses that come standard with a protective hard coating. They are also optionally available with a multilayer, broad anti-reflective coating. This coating also facilitates vision for tasks where precision is a must. The protective hard coating – a standard feature – enhances the device’s durability and increases its possible fields of use.
Reading is twice as difficult in unfavorable light: the quality of your vision decreases with reduced contrast. The illuminated pocket and stand magnifiers compensate for this missing light. The homogenous LED illumination, featuring low power consumption and long life, is particularly beneficial.
Simply put them in your pocket and see better when you are out and about; precision work, recognizing fine details – these are tasks any of us may be confronted with in our everyday lives. ZEISS offers you high quality pocket magnifiers that fit into even the smallest pocket and – depending on the model – provide magnification of 3x to 10x across the entire field of view – and all without distortion or chromatic aberrations.
And it gets even smaller: thanks to its small size, the VisuCard® can even fit into your purse or wallet and is there to help you when you need it. A protective hard coating makes this magnifier robust and durable.
2. Magnifying glasses: low vision devices that are easy to use and suitable for use when you are out and about.
Far and near in one. As their name suggests, these offer two powers in a single lens. You can use the upper part for orientation in your surroundings and the lower part for close-up vision.
3. Telescope systems: optical technology that makes life easier
Flexible for near and far: visual performance can partly be improved through telescopic glasses in which magnifying optical systems are incorporated. In principle, these are “mini telescopes” for better distance vision. By simply attaching additional magnifiers to the telescopes, you can then use the device for near vision.
With magnifiers, the working distance may become too small over time – when reading a book, for example. Telescopic glasses enable a comfortable working distance again. The required magnification is of crucial importance for reading and can be specially set with telescopic glasses.
However, these magnifying visual devices can also be used for middle distances, like for watching TV. These glasses cover the weaker eye, and provide the stronger eye with a small telescope. ZEISS offers a maximum field of view, making vision more comfortable.
But please note that telescopic eyeglasses are suitable for stationary use only, not mobile use as this would lead to eyestrain.
Hand-held telescopes offer more mobility. It is frequently the little things that make it almost impossible to be mobile without assistance from other people. Details either in the distance or close-up, such as street names, house numbers or bus timetables, simply cannot be read. Small, inconspicuous hand-held telescopes provide additional safety when you are moving around outdoors. Whether you wear them around your neck or insert them in your jacket pocket, they are always ready to use in next to no time.
With a practical and attractive design, they feature field of view and, of course, coated optics.
4. Filter lenses from ZEISS Vision Care
Filter lenses are helpful for people whose retinas react sensitively to scattered light or glare. Even with standard illumination, vision may be very strenuous for anyone who has this condition.
No uniform, objective criteria exist for prescribing special filter lenses. Instead, particularly in cases of degenerative eye disease such as retinitis pigmentosa or diabetic retinopathy, patients normally select a suitable special filter lens by trying on various alternatives.
They choose the optimum lens by comparing and assessing the visual comfort provided in each case. Binocular lorgnettes or filter clips are available for this purpose.
Many patients need special filter lenses for different light conditions. They often have several pairs of glasses or filter clips with different filter lenses.
Our tip: Check with your vision insurance to determine whether the cost of your needed vision aid is covered.