Handheld Magnifying Glasses

A handheld magnifying glass can be a very powerful tool for people with low vision. It is portable, affordable and simple to use for a variety of tasks.

Handheld Magnifying Glasses in Olympia

What are Handheld Magnifying Glasses for Low Vision?

Handheld magnifiers are simply as their name states - a magnifying glass, often with some type of handle. It can allow a person to focus on a small area, such as reading labels on products at the supermarket, and makes the target appear bigger. The handheld magnifying glass can be easily controlled as the person using it can direct it to the spot that he wants to see clearer. It is important to consult with your low vision optometrist to figure out what your daily activities are and if the handheld magnifier can suit your needs.

These magnifiers come in different shapes and sizes; some will be easy to carry around to use as needed, while others may be larger and best to use at home. There are magnifying glasses that can be worn as a pendant on a necklace for easy access. Some more advanced models will also have a built-in light to allow for increased effectiveness in darker conditions.

American Family Vision Clinic

Who Can Benefit from a Handheld Magnifying Glass?

The handheld magnifying glass can be beneficial to anyone who has difficulty seeing up close and whose hands are steady and available to hold the visual aid. It is helpful to many people, including those who have various different eye conditions, such as impaired central vision. Some examples include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Macular hole
  • Macular dystrophy
  • Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Visual field defects
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal detachment

Advantages of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

Handheld magnifiers come with several advantages, including:

  • Portability
  • Relatively affordability
  • Easy learning curve as it generally requires very little instruction and many people are already familiar with handheld magnifying glasses
  • Models exist in a wide range of shapes, sizes and magnification strengths, allowing you to find one that works best for you
  • Possible feature of an included light which can function effectively even in the dark
Advantages of Handheld Magnifying Glasses
Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

While handheld magnifiers offer many advantages, they are not suitable for all scenarios and thus it is important to understand some limitations before deciding which low vision aid is right for you and your daily activities.

Some points to keep in mind about the handheld magnifying glass include:

  • There is a small visual field so it only allows for reading a little bit of text at a time and therefore it is not recommended to use for longer reading, such as reading a book
  • They require steady hands and good fine motor control to use effectively

If you have any hesitations or questions, please consult with Dr. Zurcher as there are many visual aids available to choose from.

Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

How to Use a Handheld Magnifier

Handheld magnifying glasses are perhaps the easiest low vision aid to use. You simply hold it over the target that you want to magnify, and adjust the distance of the magnifying glass between the object or text and your eyes to achieve the best focus. Your low vision optometrist will be able to make informed suggestions for you on which handheld magnifying glass to choose and how to use it, based on your personal needs and preferences.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Handheld magnifying glasses tend to be the most affordable low vision aid and the easiest kind to learn how to use. If you have low vision and you find it challenging to read fine print, such as reading the menu at a restaurant, you can Book an Appointment at American Family Vision Clinic  to find out if a handheld magnifying glass can suit your needs. 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. Dr. Zurcher will be happy to help you find the best visual aid to improve your quality of life.


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
1 2 3



Understanding Foggy vision

Is foggy vision troubling you? Let our experienced optometrist restore your sight – book an appointment today and see the difference! The term foggy vision often refers to a visual disturbance characterized by blurred, cloudy, or hazy vision, which can make seeing clearly challenging. As your local optometrist, we recognize the significance of maintaining optimal […]

Read More

Vision Therapy for Nystagmus: Improving Visual Function and Quality of Life

According to the National Eye Institute, nystagmus affects approximately 0.24% of the general population in the United States. This means a whopping 720,000 individuals in the US face the challenges of nystagmus. How does Nystagmus Impact Vision?  Nystagmus is a condition that affects the eyes, causing involuntary and rapid movements that can make it difficult to […]

Read More

Cleaning Your Eyelids With Hypochlorous Acid: The Ultimate Solution for Eyelid Infections and Inflammation From Blepharitis

Are you tired of dealing with eyelid inflammation? Well, there's good news for you! Hypochlorous acid, a natural bactericidal compound, has been clinically shown to help fight against various eyelid conditions such as blepharitis, and it's even effective at preventing the development of styes and other eyelid infections. In this blog, we'll be exploring the […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

American Family Vision Clinic Logo

Working Hours




400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 459-1097
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
For Patients
Call Us
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram