Great Gadgets for Seniors With Low Vision Who Love Reading

“Bibliophiles” or “Bookworms” are individuals who love and frequently read books and I’ve been one of them since I was a little kid. And I know many seniors who share my passion too. But unfortunately, just about everyone experiences some degree of vision loss as they age, which may cause difficulty reading and other activities.

According to the American Council of the Blind, the Family Caregivers Alliance have some interesting data about the issue, “nearly 3.5 million Americans over 40 have some degree of vision loss, most commonly from age-related conditions. This number is expected to double in the next few decades as the baby boomers grow older.” In fact, “almost 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment. Perhaps more stunning is that these same experts predict that given the current growth in the aging population that number is likely to double by 2030.”

Age-related eye problems

As you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to start paying attention to the warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss.

The thing is that many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may develop painlessly, and you may not notice the changes to your vision until the condition is quite advanced.

The American Optometric Association recommends annual eye examinations for everyone over age 60. Knowing what to expect and when to seek professional care can help you safeguard your vision. Regular eye exams and early detection of disease, as well as wise lifestyle choices, can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health and vision as you age.

In the years after you turn 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can change your vision permanently. The earlier these problems are detected and treated, the more likely you can retain good vision.

The list below shows some vision disorders to be aware of:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 

AMD is an eye disease that affects the macula (the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye). Although small, the macula is the part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail and colors. Activities like reading, as also driving, watching TV and recognizing faces, all require good central vision provided by the macula.

The macular degeneration leads to central vision loss while the peripheral or side vision remains unaffected.

Cataracts 

Cataracts are cloudy or opaque areas in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon their size and location, they can interfere with normal vision.

It can cause blurred or “filmy” vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, decreased ability to see under low light level conditions (such as when driving at night), dulling of colors and increased sensitivity to glare.

Diabetic retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people with diabetes. It is the result of progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. These damaged blood vessels leak blood and other fluids that cause retinal tissue to swell and cloud vision. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. In addition, the instability of a person’s glucose measurements over time can impact the development and/or severity of the condition.

It can cause “spotty” vision, and in most severe cases, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.

Dry eye  

Dry eye  is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. It’s a condition in which a person produces too few or poor-quality tears.

Without tears a person can not maintain the health of the front surface of the eye and provide clear vision.

Glaucoma 

Older adults have a higher risk of developing Glaucoma. This is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve resulting in loss of peripheral (side) vision. Glaucoma is often painless and can have no obvious symptoms until there is a significant loss of side vision.

It leads to peripheral vision loss, and if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to total blindness.

Retinal detachment 

Retinal Detachment is a tearing or separation of the retina from the underlying tissue. Retinal detachment most often occurs spontaneously due to changes to the gel-like vitreous fluid that fills the back of the eye. Other causes include trauma to the eye or head, health problems like advanced diabetes, and inflammatory eye disorders.

If not treated promptly, it can cause permanent vision loss.

Dealing with vision loss

Unfortunately, too many seniors over 60 loose sight beyond the normal, age-related vision changes. But these changes don’t have to affect your lifestyle.

A doctor of optometry can help plan a rehabilitation program so that you can live an independent life within your condition’s limitations. Besides, most seniors can also benefit from one or more low-vision devices options available on the market. Many of them can definitely help seniors’ to keep their passion for books.

The more commonly devices are:

Spectacle-mounted magnifiers 

A magnifying lens is mounted in spectacles (this type of system is called a microscope) or on a special headband. This allows you to use both hands to complete a close-up task, such as writing a letter.

Handheld and stand magnifiers

These are often portable and convenient for short-term reading tasks, such as viewing price tags, labels and instrument dials. Both types can include lights.

Video magnification

Table-top (closed-circuit television) or head-mounted systems enlarge reading material on a video display. Some systems can be used for distance viewing. Some are portable systems, and some can be used with a computer or monitor. Users can customize image brightness, image size, contrast, foreground/background color, and illumination.

Handheld or spectacle-mounted telescopes

These miniature telescopes help people see at longer distances, such as across the room to watch television. They can also be modified for near (reading) tasks.

Cool Gadgets for Seniors With Low Vision Who Love Reading

It is quite essential for seniors to look for low vision aids that can supplement their ability to read and other activities despite their deteriorating eyesight. However, the problem is to identify the right solution best suited to your needs.

That’s precisely what has prompted us to compile a list of top low vision aids for seniors with vision problems, aimed at catering their needs of enhanced viewing, mobility and portability.

Let’s have a look at it:

1. MagniPros LED Illuminated Headband Magnifier Visor

With the MagniPros LED Illuminated Headband Magnifier Visor, seniors can switch between 5 distortion-free optical grade optical lenses (1X, 1.5X, 2X, 2.5X, 3.5X) using a simple click and release system. It’s a perfect headset magnifier for the elderly.

Seniors will be able to put this head mount magnifier on their head like a pair of glasses (hands-free!). It has an ergonomic frame design and a very lightweight so that seniors will not feel any burdened or uncomfortable.

The movable head magnifier lens slot can adjust the distance between your eyes and lens for different needs to ensure accurate irradiation of light source on the surface of viewed object ,making it more convenient in use. The mirror leg can be removed and changed to elastic band. And this magnifying glass lamp can be used as a headlamp at night (there are two energy-efficient LEDs with rotatable angle).

The individual lenses /magnifying lenses can be easily assembled and dismantled.

Check this item on Amazon.

2. Carson Optical Pro Series MagniVisor Deluxe

The Carson Optical Pro Series MagniVisor Deluxe is also an Ergonomically designed head-mounted LED lighted adjustable magnifier somewhat similar to the previous from our list.

It includes 4 precision cut interchangeable acrylic lenses with multiple magnifications (1.5X, 2X, 2.5X, 3X)

It features a removable LED Lamp that has a magnetic base that can be used as a free-standing light source.

Adjustable headband features a quick release button allowing for smooth and easy adjustments for different head sizes. It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it’s also hands-free.

Check this item on Amazon.

3. MagniPros 3X Large Ultra Bright LED Page Magnifier

Aside from magnifier hands-free visors, there are also awesome large magnifier visors that you don’t need to wear (as a pair of glasses or anything). The MagniPros 3X Large Ultra Bright LED Page Magnifier is also a great product for low-vision seniors with aging eyes. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you.

This led magnifier is equipped with 12 SMD led lights which are covered by anti-glare reflector, therefore, lighting will be directed to an designated area without glare to your eyes, and provide evenly lit viewing area.

The optical grade magnifying lens covers large viewing area without having your hands to move all the time, lens (viewing area) is measured 4.5″x 7″ and magnifies up to 300%.

The SMD LEDs are designed to last 100,000+ hours not only provide more evenly lit and brighter viewing area but consume less power than traditional LEDs so a new set of batteris would last twice longer. The brightness level peaks at 720 lumens, the brightest on the market, these LEDs are designed to last for more than 20 years without burning out or overheating.

The unit itself only weights 6 ounces, and the grip of this LED magnifier is ergonomically designed for most hands, therefore, ideal for long reading time.

Check this item on Amazon.

4. Big Picture Smartphone Magnification System

The Big Picture Smartphone Magnification System is a device that can make your screen 2X bigger. This is also a great product for seniors with low vision.

It’s very easy to use. With the smartphone mgnification system you can use your fingers to scroll, push buttons, and manipulate the screen, from the side holes.

The device is foldable and portable, and it’s also lightweight, with only 8.8 ounces, so you can use it anywhere.

Check this item on Amazon.

5. Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is the perfect device for seniors who like to read on the bed. It is bright enough to the area you positioned and at the same time dim enough to not disturb your sound asleep partner.

3 useful color temperature modes: yellow(3000K), warm white(4000K) and cool white(6000K). Each head owns an independent switch for 3 brightness levels dimmable. You can choose a comfortable setting as you wish for reading, knitting, camping, or repairing etc.

USB Type-C rechargeable which is reversible and thus easier to plug in compared with other Micro-USB. Up to 80 hours (general reading, single head) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 1000mAh battery.

Special narrow beam angel(90°) design. The arms are supple and adjustable so you can get the angle most comfortable to you. No flickering and blue light filter design with advanced LED beads. Ergonomic neck around design, and it is totally hands free!

Check this item on Amazon.

6. Clip-On Reading Light by Hooga

The Clip-On Reading Light by Hooga is a gentle, amber hue light that is 99.94% free of blue spectrum light to encourage the production of melatonin in the evening and reduce eye strain. A lack of blue light helps melanopsin receptors in the retina signal to the brain that it is time to secrete melatonin in preparation for sleep.

The Hoogalite is not only sleep friendly, but also lightweight, portable and travel friendly. This clip-on reading light weighs only 2.5oz and features a strong, sturdy grip to ensure the light stays where it is clipped.

Flexible, 7-inch gooseneck allows for a customized lighting experience. With 3 brightness settings of 25%, 50% and 100%, the Hoogalite allows for variable brightness levels of 17.5, 35 and 70 lumens respectively. This is especially useful when reading in bed with a partner, so as to not disturb them while you read.

The Hoogalite features a high capacity, rechargeable 1200mAh lithium ion battery that powers 4 bright LED amber lights that do not flicker.

Up to 30 hours of reading on low setting before needing to be recharged. This light features the largest battery capacity of all clip on reading lamps on the market. It also features a 36 inch USB charging cable which can be used to charge the reading light to a full charge in 4 hours.

Check this item on Amazon.

7. Fire HD 10 Tablet

I know, I know, there is nothing better than the physical copy of a book. But tablets are evolving and nowadays it’s almost like reading the atual book.

The Fire HD 10 Tablet features 10.1″ 1080p full HD display; 32 or 64 GB of internal storage (add up to 512 GB with microSD) and it’s now 30% faster thanks to the new 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording. Dual-band, enhanced Wi-Fi. Ans it’s hands-free, compatible with Alexa. What else can you ask for?!

Longer battery life—Up to 12 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music.

Check this item on Amazon.

Keeping an Eye on Visual Health

According to Aging Care website, one of the first steps to leading a safe and active life with impaired vision is understanding the degree and underlying cause of this loss.

As mentioned before, the American Optometric Association recommends annual eye examinations for everyone over age 60. During a routine eye exam, the ophthalmologist will evaluate a patient’s eyesight and assess the overall health and function of both eyes. Screening for new or worsening eye conditions and maintaining a current prescription for eyeglasses and/or contacts are crucial for optimal visual function at any age.

For most people, vision loss is a very gradual process, so seniors (and their family members) may not be aware of how compromised their eyesight has become.

Seniors can be aware of their vision’ changes by looking for an increase in:

  • Squinting or tilting their head when trying to focus.
  • Bumping into things or knocking objects over.
  • Discontinuing everyday vision-based activities like reading or writing.
  • Missing objects when reaching for them.
  • Falling or walking hesitantly.

* After reading this post, we would appreciate you sharing your experience with us. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive more content from us. We really hope you enjoy!

You May Also Like

Any comment?