Macular degeneration is a condition that affects some people as they grow old, altering their vision and rendering common optical devices useless. This calls for specialized magnifying glasses, which have special characteristics and features designed to compensate for the failing eyesight caused by the condition. Listed below are some examples of magnifying glasses that can be used by sufferers of macular degeneration.
The condition known as age-related macular degeneration can have no early symptoms. It usually results in blurred or complete lack of vision in the center of the visual field, and the cause is a significant amount of damage to the macula, an oval-shaped area near the center of the retina. Prevention can be done by intense exercising, a well-balanced diet and giving up on smoking.
Manufacturers have developed different types of magnifiers, each suitable for certain tasks. Before searching for a product, there are some things to be taken into consideration: the magnification power is the most important, but the environment and period of time while it is used also matter significantly. It is not advised to choose the lens with the greatest power, but one that is suitable to the needs of the patient.
Two materials are commonly used for these devices: glass and acrylic. The first has better optical qualities, allowing more light to pass through it and offering a greater field of view. The latter is impossible to break and is scratch-resistant, and even though it initially produced less qualitative images, with the advance in technology occurring these days, it can also provide crystal clear impressions.
Choose the material according to your preferences, and keep in mind that the resistance of acrylic lenses is preferable over the less durable glass devices especially if the patient has already lost part of their dexterity. Usually, one has to keep in mind that the stronger the lens is, the smaller the field of view is. The more powerful magnifiers have to be kept as close to the viewing area as possible, and doctors recommend using the least powerful model as long as it does not cause eye strain.
On the market, one can find several types of macular degeneration magnifiers. A particularly popular model is the illuminated magnifier. It includes a light bulb that eliminates the need of getting under a lamp or window to read, and can be used on electronic devices too. It is very useful for people who suffer a worsening of the condition.
Another model is the full page magnifier, a device that has limited power but, with sufficient lighting, it provides just enough for most people. It offers the benefit of increasing the size of the whole text and not only a few words. These are split into two types: the handheld and the hands-free ones. Handheld models have to be kept at the right distance for clarity, making them excellent for short reads, while the latter design is recommended for long periods of use, being placed on a special stand that requires no support from the user.
A perfect example is the magnifying desk lamp, an item that is completely hands-free, easy to use and adjustable. Most models include electric lighting, so it is not necessary to place it next to a window.
Modern technology provides another excellent macular degeneration magnifying glass, the handheld electronic magnifier. The advantages are undeniable: it has a very large field of view and adjustable magnification power, as well as and brightness contrast adjustment, a clear LCD screen, and portability that you have never encountered before thanks to the batteries that can keep it running for more than three hours.
The versatility of this item is essential since macular degeneration usually progresses as the patient grows older, further impairing one’s eyesight. Immediately adjusting to these changes is the main thing that makes electronic magnifiers so useful, and since we are dealing with a condition that tends to get worse as time passes, it is important to have something that will help you in the years to come, without needing other accessories.
Classic magnifiers include the pocket magnifier, the handheld magnifier, and the hands-free one as well. These use no electricity to illuminate the subject or to increase the size, relying instead on optic technology to fulfill their purpose. The pocket magnifier is very small and easy to carry and comes in a variety of shapes: round, rectangular or square.
Either acrylic or glass, the lenses are powerful enough for everyday purposes and their range goes from 2x to 20x magnification power. Handheld magnifiers are useful for short periods of reading but cannot be relied upon for long-term tasks, as it might become tiring to hold one for long periods of time.
They are light, easy to carry and use and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and magnification powers. Their main benefit is portability and their popularity which makes them cheaper and easier to find. Last but not least, the hands-free magnifier is a big lens that can be worn around the neck or placed on a still surface. Featuring a not so compact design, it is meant for long periods of reading or working, and cannot be carried everywhere.
Some include a light source, and it is recommended that you purchase such an item, as it is more versatile than the typical hands-free magnifier that consists only of the lens and handles. There are other models available on the market and one can surely find what is most suitable for their needs.
TV magnifiers are also available and can be used in many ways. They are easy to install and are inexpensive and available on almost all websites. They work by magnifying the size of the screen, so the larger the TV is, the bigger the magnification power and the easier it is for the older people to look at their emails or favorite shows.
Other types and models are also available, and given the advances in technology and materials science, it is expectable that in the future more and more designs will be provided. Take into consideration the factors mentioned above when searching the market, and buy the item that is most suitable for your needs, offering the best value for the money.