Hands-Free Magnification: Telescopic, Microscopic, And Prismatic Low Vision Glasses

Published on
September 30, 2022

It is estimated that 12 million Americans over the age of 40 have some form of vision impairment. Magnification devices can be helpful for these individuals. Handheld and hands-free versions of these devices are available. In this article, we will discuss hands-free magnification devices.

Why aren’t standard reading glasses enough? How can telescopic reading glasses help? 

Macular degeneration is one of the factors that contribute to vision loss. When that happens, you have difficulty reading, especially smaller print. Standard reading glasses with higher magnification are not very comfortable. It is because the stronger they are, the closer the object has to be. This is like using a magnifier and holding it close to an object, or wearing reading glasses and holding the reading material closely. For some people, that's fine, but others want to be more comfortable and sit further back like they normally would when reading.

That's when telescopic reading glasses come in handy. These have a longer range of vision and magnifying power of these glasses is actually even greater than that of standard reading glasses. As a result, you can actually hold the reading material further away and read comfortably. Telescopic glasses can be for one eye (monocular) or two eyes (binocular).

What are microscopic and prismatic glasses?

  • Microscopic glasses - Unlike other types of strong lenses, these glasses provide crisp, clear vision without blurriness. There are magnification options for patients between 2x and 8x depending on their needs. They are frequently used for close-up work such as reading, writing, and sewing.
  • Prismatic glasses - Prism glasses use prismatic lenses in order to provide higher magnification and make reading easier. These can best be described as powerful reading glasses. Using these glasses can reduce, or even eliminate, problems such as double vision, eye strain, and chronic headaches. Having fewer symptoms will help you concentrate better and improve your productivity.

Schedule a low vision eye exam with our low vision optometrist

Each individual has a unique set of needs and vision abilities. If you have vision loss that is not correctable with regular glasses or contact lenses and would like to learn more about hands-free magnification devices and other vision aids for your condition, call (562) 925-6591 for more information. Our low vision optometrist is best equipped to determine which devices or specialised eyewear would be most beneficial for you.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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