Has your vision decreased to the point that you can no longer read with contact lenses, prescription glasses or readers? If so, magnification may be able to help. There are many different electronic magnifiers on the market today with the ability to assist you with everyday tasks.
Electronic or video magnifiers are versatile tools for accessing print information and data. Technological developments have opened up many solutions for those with low vision. Today there are many portable options available. Some devices not only magnify the text on a screen but can actually read the text to you.
Some of the advantages of electronic magnifiers include the ability to view more text at one time. Many offer an array of versatile settings that allow the user to customize the magnification levels, contrast and brightness needed to meet their personal needs.
Hand-held video magnifiers can be used to magnify print, handwriting and images. These are portable and powerful and offer a great range of magnification levels; from as little as double the normal size and up to 70 times the normal size.
Several video magnifiers offer features that allow you to zoom in on the exact information you wish to read. They offer the assistance with daily tasks such as reading and writing grocery lists, filling out forms and reading the mail.
There are also some video magnifiers that allow you to view text at a distance and are ideal for reading whiteboards and film strips in a classroom setting.
Magnifiers come in a wide variety. Styles vary from the inexpensive over-the-counter models to the more costly electronic magnifiers.
The magnifier or magnifiers that are best for you is really dependent on your individual needs and the type of vision loss that you have.
Most people need more than one magnifier. It is always good to have one at home and a portable magnifier that allows for mobility and independence.
Traditional optical magnifiers are less expensive and more durable than electronic magnifiers. They do not need an external powers source or batteries. On the other hand, these may not be strong enough to assist those with severe vision loss. Magnification usually ranges from 2 to 12 times. Some offer illumination and usually cost between $12 and $175.
Electronic magnifiers, also known as CCTVs (closed circuit television magnifiers) made their debut in the 1960's and supplied great magnification to meet the needs for the visually impaired. A desktop CCTV offers you the ability to magnify a larger area of text and images. They are durable and can provide years of use. The cost is one of their drawbacks. New models cost between $2,000 and $3,500.
Small portable video magnifiers are usually around 3 to 7 inches in length. They easily slip into a pocket or purse and weigh under a pound. These are less expensive than a desktop CCTV and are ideal for those still working or active people who can benefit from their portability.
To find which magnifiers are best for you, take the time to do a little research about the benefits of each type of magnifier. Many low vision centers and manufacturers provide you with the opportunity to experiment with the different types of magnifiers that best enhance your life.