Visual Aids and Devices

People with low vision are commonly told “there is nothing more that can be done”, however for most people there are life changing visual aids that will allow them to regain their independence and enjoy many of the tasks that they enjoyed before vision loss. Each person has different needs and navigating the many options can be difficult or overwhelming. Our low vision optometrist can help you find the right devices to match each patient's needs and budget.


Visual Aids and Devices in Olympia

What Kinds of Visual Devices Help People with Low Vision?

Low vision can be caused by many conditions including diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and inoperable cataracts. The diagnosis refers to deficits that cannot be corrected with standard measures. People with low vision struggle with daily activities and routine tasks. 

American Family Vision Clinic

It is important to visit a low vision optometrist to help you navigate your way around the wide variety of available devices, in order to find the right devices for your individual needs that match your budget. Visual aids and devices include the following:

  • Magnifiers: Magnifiers can be standard or attachable to a computer screen. They can be hand-held or mounted. A CCTV is a visual aid device that uses an electronic magnifier.
  • Lighting: Proper lighting is essential for low vision. LED lights are popular among people with this condition.
  • Telescopes: These can be handheld or mounted and are used for distance vision. 
  • Hardware: Computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices feature settings that can be modified to enlarge or magnify the screen, and to change color, contrast, and brightness. Additional options include screens to reduce glare or provide magnification, keyboards with large numbers, and using command options in place of a mouse.
  • Glasses: Low vision glasses include bioptics for long-distance viewing, prismatics for reading, and microscopic versions for close-up work.
  • CCTV: An electronic magnification technology which projects images on a monitor. 
  • Assistive Technology Devices: These range from voice-recognition to virtual assistance programs like SIRI, text-to-speech, and speech-to-text. 
  • Audio Books: Bookworms may enjoy having works read to them by talented voice actors. Many companies offer audio books in a variety of categories that can be easily accessed online. They may be an enjoyable alternative for low vision readers. 
  • Tints: These can assist with color contrast
  • High tech devices: Include such devices as OrCam, eSight, and Iris Vision for advanced improvement in visual acuity.
  • Prisms: These can shift an image from the damaged region of the eye to a new focal point.

If you have low vision, there are many visual aids to assist you with daily activities and to improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with our low vision optometrist who has in depth knowledge and experience in helping people navigate these options.

Hi-Tech Visual Aids For Visual Impairment

The following article addresses a variety of hi-tech visual aids for people with low vision. Our low vision doctor has extensive experience in helping people select the appropriate visual devices for their needs.

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Hands-Free Magnification: CCTV

The following article will discuss the benefits of CCTV devices for those with low vision.

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Hands-free Telescopes for Low Vision

The following article discusses the wide variety of hands-free telescopic devices that are available for people with low vision, as well as the many benefits of using these devices over hand-held options.

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Using a Computer and Phone with Low Vision

This article discusses the problems low vision patients experience when using computers, smartphones, and other digital devices, with suggestions for them on how to improve the use of these devices.

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Hands-Free Magnification: Telescopic, Microscopic, and Prismatic Low Vision Glasses

Low vision patients may benefit from hands-free vision devices for improving their quality of life. Such options include the use of microscopic, prismatic, and telescopic glasses.

See more

Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Visual Aids and Devices

The following article addresses the wide variety of visual aids and equipment that are available today to assist people with low vision. Our Low Vision Optometrist can help you find the right device for you to help you regain visual activity and independence. 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.

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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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