Hand magnifiers are hand-held devices that can be placed over an object or text to enlarge or magnify what you see. Many people think that the only thing that matters is the amount of magnification, and that buying a cheap magnifying device at the drugstore is the same as buying a high quality device sold by reputable low vision device companies. In this blog we will explain why getting the best optics makes a massive difference in visual clarity.

Do optics matter in handheld magnifiers?

Optics make a bigger difference than size in smaller handheld magnifying devices. Therefore, if your device doesn't have good quality, even though it has more magnification, you might not get the best image. When the size of the magnifier is smaller, the working distance is much shorter. As the field of view of the lens increases, you are able to see more words at once, which is great when you are trying to make sense of a map, picture, or column of information.  A practitioner should prescribe a magnifier that provides adequate vision for patient reading tasks while maintaining a wide view field.

Are handheld magnifiers equipped with lights?

Lighting plays a huge role in the lives of low vision patients. Nowadays, most handheld magnifiers come with integrated LED lights. The quality of light used in LEDs is so much better than lights that were used in the past. There are different color temperatures in handheld magnifiers, which may be beneficial to patients suffering from specific eye conditions.

When buying a magnifier, why is it important to consult with a low vision optometrist?

Buying a magnifier from a drugstore, without seeing an optometrist, may not give you clear vision. It might have a huge magnification, but it is not effective for low vision such as being distorted or not providing the right field of view.

Pages magnifiers do two times magnification, but you can't really read what you are trying to read because the image is blurry due to the way they use that magnification to create that larger visual area. Everyone wants more magnification and feels that it would be beneficial, but it doesn't always work, especially if the optical quality isn't good.

Access top-quality eye care for a low vision evaluation at our state of the art optometry clinic in Bellflower, catering to patients from Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles. Call (562) 925-6591 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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