Prisms for Low Vision

Prisms are a popular, specialized device for low vision patients that helps those with visual field defects and other vision problems too great for regular corrective lenses to fix.

Prisms for Low Vision in Olympia

What Do Prisms For Low Vision Do?

Many people who suffer from low vision experience a decrease in their peripheral vision and visual field. In conditions such as scotoma, patients can develop non-seeing areas in their visual field which make many tasks more difficult. Prism lenses can also help patients who have central vision loss, double vision, and symptoms associated with that such as headaches and balance issues.

While for most low vision patients the vision loss cannot be reversed, there are devices, such as prisms, designed to help improve their vision and allow them to regain some measure of their independence.

Prisms also help reduce the eye strain that can be caused by using close vision with glasses for extended periods of time. For patients who need high levels of magnification, prisms allow them to keep working for extended periods in comfort.

These prisms, also known as fresnel prisms, are made of optical polyvinyl chloride, which increases the chromatic dispersion and produces a loss of contrast. These effects have been found to be helpful for patients with blurry and diplopic vision with distance viewing.

For visual field issues, the prisms can focus the image into a part of the retina unaffected by vision loss. Additionally, if the eyes have different visual capabilities, prism lenses can help equalize things and help avoid eye strain.

American Family Vision Clinic

Press-on Prism Lenses

These are very thin lenses designed to fit onto ophthalmic lenses to provide additional lens power without making the lenses overly thick (which is an issue with standard high power prism lenses.) This makes the glasses both more comfortable to wear, and better looking. It will be less obvious that the wearer requires significant vision assistance.

Built-in Prism Glasses

Another option are custom made prism glasses. These are great for patients with a regular need of prism visual assistance, though they are thicker, and  have a different look from regular glasses.

Low Vision Readers

Low vision readers are prism lenses specifically designed to help patients with central scotomas have an easier time reading. Through significant magnification, they reduce the impact of the scotoma and make reading less of a struggle. Low vision readers can be both handheld and hands-free.

Low Vision Readers
Where Can I Get Prisms for Low Vision?

Where Can I Get Prisms for Low Vision?

Prism lenses are prescription products, so you will need to see a low vision optometrist for a low vision eye exam, so they can determine what type and strength of prisms will be best for you to maximize your vision to suit your needs. The wrong prisms can lead to discomfort and eye strain, so properly prescribed prism lenses are vital.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Prism lenses can be extremely helpful for patients with vision loss stemming from low vision conditions like scotoma. As prescription products, it is important to see a low vision doctor to receive a low vision exam and prescription. If you are suffering from low vision and think prism lenses could help you, you can contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment for an eye exam and 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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