May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Low Vision Aids: Recommendations, Preferences and Acquisitions Patterns Amongst People With Visual Impairment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • E. Y. Wong
    Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne, East Melbourne, Australia
  • J. E. Keeffe
    Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne, East Melbourne, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  E.Y. Wong, None; J.E. Keeffe, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3148. doi:
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      E. Y. Wong, J. E. Keeffe; Low Vision Aids: Recommendations, Preferences and Acquisitions Patterns Amongst People With Visual Impairment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3148. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To examine the pattern of low vision aids (LVAs) recommended, preferred and acquired by people with visual impairment (VI) at low vision rehabilitation services.

Methods: : A retrospective clinical study of participants who attended low vision rehabilitation services for the first time. Information regarding main cause of eye diseases, goals of vision rehabilitation, presenting and best corrected distance and near visual acuities, types of low vision aids tried, loaned and purchased was collected.

Results: : Of the 104 participants studied, 73% was female and the mean age was 77 years old (Range 19-98). The main cause of VI was age-related macular degeneration and the commonest goal of rehabilitation was "to explore low vision devices". Most participants have mild (38%) to moderate (40%) VI whilst severe VI only accounts for 19% of the participants. All subjects were provided with distance refraction, however only 38 (37%) new distance glasses were prescribed. On the other hand, 100 (96%) participants had near addition recommended, only 21 of these were high addition of + 6.00D or more and none of these were purchased. Hand magnifiers were the most popular form of LVAs. It was demonstrated to 75 (72%) subjects, 34 (45%) found them to be useful and majority (85%) of them were of 2.5-5 x magnification. In contrast, stand magnifiers were shown to 30 (29%) subjects, 10 (33%) of these were acquired and they were ≥6x high magnification in 40% (4/10). Spectacle mounted (5%), embroidery magnifiers (6%), telescopes (5%) and close circuit television (CCTV) (7%) were rarely tried by participants. Out of these, 50% (3/6) embroidery magnifiers and 40% (2/5) telescopes suggested were purchased. With the exception of CCTV, there was no statistically significant difference between (1) main cause of eye disease, (2) goal of visual rehabilitation, (3) distance visual acuities (4) near visual acuities and (5) lines of visual improvement and the types of LVAs tried, shown or purchased (p> 0.05). Participants were more likely to have CCTV recommended if their near visual acuities were > N24 (p = 0.003).

Conclusions: : There were no predictive factors for the types of LVAs preferred by people with visual impairment. Individuals might benefit from having a wider range of LVAs demonstrated to them at low vision rehabilitation services.

Keywords: low vision 

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