Microscopes for Low Vision

Microscope eyeglasses utilize a double lens system to combine a patient’s standard eyeglass prescription with additional magnification to accommodate for their low vision.

Microscopes for Low Vision in Olympia

What are Microscopes for Low Vision?

Microscope glasses utilize a double lens system to provide a low vision patient with vision correction in addition to whatever prescription they had prior to them suffering from low vision.

The lenses in these glasses are piggybacked to reduce the blur which staring through two high powered lenses at once can otherwise cause. Additionally, because they are primarily used for short distance vision, microscope glasses are usually monocular (used with one eye). In most cases, this is the patient’s stronger eye.

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How Do Microscopes Help Low Vision Patients?

Microscopes are a great tool to help low vision patients have the vision aid they need to accommodate for without them needing to wear an additional device for any vision correction required prior to the onset of their low vision symptoms. This works by redirecting the light entering the eye away from the damaged area and toward areas that are still properly working.

Drawbacks of Microscopes for Low Vision

While they do their job well, microscope glasses do have some limitations. Due to the fact that they reduce the patient’s visual field, it may be necessary to hold the object, such as a book, at a specific closer distance to get the best possible assistance from them.


Drawbacks of Microscopes for Low Vision
How Do I Get Microscopes for Low Vision?

How Do I Get Microscopes for Low Vision?

As with other low vision devices, microscope glasses should be prescribed by a low vision doctor following a comprehensive eye exam, to make sure that you get microscopes with the right strength and design to provide you with the most benefit.

How Do I Get Microscopes for Low Vision?

Types of Microscopes for Low Vision

There are several different designs for low vision microscopes, which provide varying cosmetic and functional options. Based on your individual needs, the low vision doctor will be able to recommend types of microscopes or specific brands which would work best for you.

These include:

Bifocal microscopes: These are a microscopic lens system that is designed to be used in a bifocal form. These are great for people who need to regularly switch between near and distance vision. Additionally, the patient’s distance prescription can be incorporated into the lenses, along with a colored tint for patients with light sensitivity.

Full Diameter Microscopes: Full diameter microscopes are meant for near vision use only, and are fairly easy for a patient to learn to use. While the working distance for this microscope type is short, it has a high depth of focus, allowing the wearer to have great focusing flexibility.

Telephoto Microscopes: Telephoto microscopes allow patients to read from a greater distance than other comparable systems, and provides a very wide, clear, and distortion free field of vision.

HighPower Microscopes: These are more made to be more aesthetically appealing for low vision patients in need of increased magnification.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Microscopes are a useful low vision device that allows the patient to get magnification to assist their low vision while also retaining whatever corrective prescription they needed beforehand, all with a single device. If you are experiencing low vision, and think microscope glasses could be a fit for you, you can contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. 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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