Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Low-Vision Devices

Low-Vision Devices

Picture of equipment to assist the visually impaired

What is low vision?

Low vision is a condition that involves a minimal ability to see (particularly central vision) that is unresolved or uncorrected with traditional eyeglasses, contact lens, intraocular lens implants, or corrective surgery. However, in some cases, persons with low vision may be aided with special visual devices.

What causes low vision?

There are a variety of different causes of low vision, including, but not limited to, the following:

What are the different types of low vision?

Picture of equipment to assist the visually impaired

Although, in most cases, persons with low vision have disabled central vision (also called reading vision), there are other types of low vision which may include the following:

What are low-vision devices?

Because low vision cannot be improved by more traditional methods (i.e., the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses, etc.) persons with low vision often rely on the use of a number of different instruments, called low-vision devices, and tailored equipment for improved vision. Low-vision devices, categorized as either optical or nonoptical, help to improve visual ability for millions of people every day.

What are optical low-vision devices?

Simply stated, optical low-vision devices involve the use of one of many types of lenses to improve vision. For example:

What are nonoptical low-vision devices?

Picture of a large-scale writing tablet for the visually impaired

Nonoptical low-vision devices help bring images closer to the eyes. This may include the use of any, or all, of the following:

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