For people with normal sight, magnifiers can be a convenient way to see writing or detail that's too small or too close to be viewed comfortably with the naked eye or their regular glasses - instructions on medicines, small screws or fastenings, serial numbers on appliances or small print in reference books. We have a range of inexpensive magnifiers suitable for these purposes here on The Terrace.
People with impaired vision as a result of eye disease or injury, or people with an occupation or hobby involving sustained viewing of detail (jewellery making, embroidery or stamp-collecting) may require more specialised devices. Our range of high quality German magnifiers from Eschenbach (www.eschenbach.com) are more suitable for these individuals.The range includes handheld magnifiers, stand magnifiers (avoiding the problem of shaky hands) and magnifiers with illumination. It may be that a loupe or telescope would be helpful - we are happy to discuss your needs and we have catalogues of specialised devices for you to browse through.
Higher degrees of magnifcation mean a reduced field of view and a closer working distance, so you should aim for the weakest option that meets your needs - you'll get a larger field of view and a better depth of focus, which makes the magnfier easier to use - hand movement will be less of a problem.
The image from an aspheric magnifier has less edge distortion that a non-aspheric one and gives a wider, more precise view due reduced. It is generally best to test magnifiers before purchase, considering all of the above against ease of use, weight and price. Come in and see our range of magnifiers, we can always get something in for you to try if we don't have it in stock.
Having an eye exam! It may be that your difficulties could be addressed with glasses and you'll get the best results from a magnifier if you're seeing your best with an up-to-date prescription. If you've had an eye exam recently, a dedicated low vision consultation may be appropriate - our optometrist Natalie has a special interest in low vision. Call us to organise an appointment.
Maximise the available light for detailed tasks. Work near the window (there's no substitute for daylight), boost the room lighting, or use a halogen lamp.
Make sure you're using your regular glasses in conjuction with your magnifier.
Try before you buy! Make sure you can handle the magnfier easily and that its suitable for the tasks you have in mind. We have lots of magnifiers here for you to experiment with and we encourage you to bring reading matter or other material in with you.