Merck Manual

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What Are Low-Vision Aids?

What Are Low-Vision Aids?

Aids for coping with vision loss (referred to as low-vision aids) can be an enormous help to people with only partial vision. Low-vision aids for reading, writing, watching television, and engaging in outdoor activities include the following:

  • Large-print books

  • Large-numbered telephones, clocks, watches, and thermometers

  • Closed-circuit television to magnify objects

  • Electronic "talking" clocks and other "talking" devices

  • Computer programs that can scan text and then produce larger text or read the text out loud

  • Light filters to improve contrast

  • Color-coded pill boxes

  • Handheld magnifying glasses

  • Glare-reducing sunglasses

  • Handheld binoculars

Eye doctors working with other health care practitioners can usually evaluate how vision loss affects a person. They can then recommend a combination of low-vision aids that they believe would best help the person do daily tasks.