Filters for Low Vision

Sometimes, low vision patients experience vision difficulty in certain lighting conditions. Fortunately, specialized filters exist which can help maintain comfort in all environments.

Filters for Low Vision in Olympia

What are Filters for Low Vision?

Some low vision patients have difficulty seeing in certain lighting conditions. There is a range of filter types that can help these patients see better in those conditions, and the type and intensity of the filter will vary based on a patient’s individual condition.

Filters may be recommended for patients that have difficulty with:

  • Bright lights 
  • Night driving
  • Outdoors in bright sunlight 
  • While on the computer or phone

There are two categories of filters for low vision:

Polarizing filters: These filters reduce glare, and also heighten the perception of color and relief.

Color Filters: Color filters improve visual function by optimizing contrast perception .


American Family Vision Clinic

How do Filters Work?

Filters for low vision patients function in a similar manner to sunglasses, in that they affect the amount of and type of light that enters the eyes. In addition to increasing visibility and comfort, they can also provide protection for the eyes.

For color filters, the different tints change the nature of the light entering the eyes to provide additional clarity and contrast in different situations (for some, filters are needed while outdoors while sunny or while cloudy; for others, while indoors.

Polarizing filters filter out glare to increase comfort and to increase visibility outdoors.

How Are Filters Prescribed?

Filters for low vision patients are either prescribed by a low vision doctor, following a low vision eye exam, which tests for color contrast deficits.  After the exam the doctor or low vision therapist will walk you through the options of filters that are available and match the doctor's recommendations. 

How Are Filters Prescribed?
Types of Filter Lenses

Types of Filter Lenses

There are a few types of lenses which utilize filters.

Fitovers: These are lenses that can go over regular glasses lenses, and are ideal for patients who wear prescription glasses but do not need a medical tint at all times. Additionally, patients who want lenses for low vision as quickly as possible, and those who wear different types of glasses and want an option that works with all of their frames.

Fitover lenses are also often more affordable

Clip-on: Clip-on lenses are also easily removable, but are more fitted for a specific pair of frames, making it hard to use with multiple pairs of glasses.

Plano glasses: Plano glasses are a lightweight, convenient option for patients who do not already wear prescription glasses.

Built In on lens filters: Filters can be ordered for your prescription lens. Another example of filters are escoop glasses that include slight magnification and prisms. 

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Filter lenses, which can be fit over the glasses you already wear, can be extremely helpful for low vision patients who are having difficulty seeing in certain conditions. While not all filters need to be prescribed, filter purchases should be made based on the advice of a low vision doctor. If you think filters can help you, you can contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment for a low vision eye exam. Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.



Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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