Hands-Free Magnification: CCTV

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

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A Layman's Guide To CCTV Magnification

A hands-free Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) System is a high-tech vision aid that has improved the quality of life of people coping with the effects of low vision eye disease. This includes complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and many other ocular disorders.

One of the more frustrating aspects of coping with this condition is the way it impedes the ability to perform routine tasks or engage in enjoyable activities. CCTV technology enables people to perform everyday activities that have become difficult. It accomplishes this by using a video camera that projects images on a monitor, computer screen, or TV. The magnification of CCTV devices is vastly superior to what standard optical magnifiers provide.

Depending on the sophistication of these devices, additional features include the ability to magnify images and the use of a moving table (also known as an x-y table) to aid in reading. Magnification levels increase with more expensive options.

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CCTV For Improving Quality of Life

Vision magnifiers may be used to perform routine tasks or engage in recreational ,such as the following:

  • enjoying reading material
  • engaging in crossword puzzles
  • write checks, writing
  • engaging in arts and crafts projects such as sewing and knitting
  • reading emails
  • scrapbook making

The following article will address several commonly asked questions about video magnifiers as an aid for those with low vision.

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Common Questions

This is a sophisticated technology where images are projected from a camera to a screen, where the image can then be modified in size and clarity to aid those with low vision. There are a wide variety of CCTV devices on the market, ranging from small hand-held versions to large fixed-stand devices. More sophisticated devices may feature large screens, tools for stabilizing or grasping objects, and other modification options. A standard feature of all video magnifiers is their ability to read white letters on a black background or black letters on a white background.
People coping with the effects of macular degeneration, glaucoma or any other low vision disorder may benefit from a CCTV device. In most instances, this includes people who enjoy reading, or engaging in tasks that require precise vision. When conventional aids such as magnifying glasses no longer provide adequate improvement for these kinds of activities, CCTV may be an option. Even in such instances, people may still benefit from hand-held magnifiers as useful devices for shopping or playing cards with friends.
Depending on the device, it may be powered with rechargeable batteries or with an extension cord.
As with most high-tech devices, the higher-tier models can become costly. Sophisticated versions include a wide variety of features such as: A larger screen or increased video monitor size High-Definition Camera HD Magnifier Automatic shut-off feature Adjustable screen height Auto-focus video magnifier Adjustable brightness Optical character recognition Flat-panel monitor Adjustable Viewing mode: These include adjustable contrast control settings and color combination options. In addition to projections of true colors, artificial color image enhancement may aid those with color blindness, or who favor certain colors. Screen magnification software Adjustable magnification and increased range of magnification Anti-glare screen Improved ergonomic design: Enables a more comfortable reading position Viewing platform Some devices work with assistive technology software The most advanced versions can cost up to several thousand dollars. Simpler versions can be had for several hundred dollars, although cheaper devices don't always provide the best quality. Our low vision optometrist can assist you with finding a device that is in your budget and fits your needs. We also offer simple installment payment plans for those who are on a fixed income.
The technology was created with the elderly in mind who are often anxious about using technology. They are designed for ease of use for older users.
The benefits of these devices are they are very powerful and can magnify images and objects well beyond the capability of standard magnifiers. They have enabled people to resume activities that have become exceedingly difficult as a result of their condition. The disadvantages are that they can be expensive and are not portable, so they are only suitable for the home. Note: Although portable video magnifiers can be taken to the mall to aid in shopping, it may be difficult for the elderly to hold a hand-held portable device. For such individuals, custom glasses for low vision may be preferable.
Not necessarily. Many people with low vision achieve excellent results using standard magnifiers or custom glasses for low vision. Speak with a low vision optometrist to discuss the appropriate options for your needs.
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Hands-Free CCTV Magnification for Low Vision

If you are struggling with low vision, and standard magnification tools are no longer effective, you may want to consider a CCTV device for visual assistance. Higher-end models often include such additional features as the options for increasing magnification, or the use of a High-Definition Camera. Ergonomic designs allow the users a range of comfortable positions for sitting and using the device. 

Many people have a fear that they may never read a book again, or be able to engage in beloved hobbies that require precise vision. Don’t give up hope! With the proper guidance of our low vision optometrist, there are many available options that have enabled low vision patients to read again, and engage in other recreational activities.

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