Bioptic glasses (Driving)

Losing your ability to safely drive due to low vision can be extremely demoralizing, as it greatly limits your personal freedom. There is good news though, and that is that there are specialized bioptic glasses designed for use while driving that can help you reclaim that independence and quality of life, despite your low vision. There are states that allow special permits for driving with bioptic glasses, enabling you to drive as you wish. 

Bioptic glasses (Driving) in Bellflower

What are Bioptic glasses?

Many are familiar with magnifying glasses as they can help people with low vision zoom in on what you’re trying to see. The problem is that magnifying glasses can only be used to view objects nearby. What if someone wants to view objects that are at a distance? That’s where the telescope comes in because it is a visual aid that magnifies objects that are at a distance, enabling you to see clearly even if you are looking at something far away. 

Bioptic glasses are worn like regular glasses, and they have a telescope mounted on the top part of one or both lenses. The advantage of having the telescope only on the top part of the lens is that you can choose when to use the telescope if you are looking into the distance by slightly tilting your head downwards. When you look directly ahead or downwards you are looking through the regular part of the lens, known as the carrier lens, which has your regular glasses prescription. 

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

What are the challenges of driving with low vision?

If you struggle with low vision, you may become accustomed to walking very close to signs or various objects in order to see them, however when you’re driving if you wait until you get close to something in order to see it, it’s most likely too late as driving demands a high level of awareness and preparedness. Additionally, in order to get your driver’s license you have to pass an eye exam which can be challenging with low vision. Many people can have these issues solved by using bioptic telescope glasses which are allowed in certain states if you pass the requirements for a special permit. 

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?

The bioptic telescope glasses are ideal for driving because driving has so many visual demands at various distances which makes it a challenging activity for someone with low vision. When you drive you need to be able to see up close in order to be aware of what is directly in front of you on the road, and on the dashboard. In addition, it is crucial to be able to see clearly at a distance in order to view the signs up ahead and to be able to see the roads and cars in the distance. Bioptic telescope glasses can help you achieve clear vision at all distances, despite your low vision diagnosis.

While driving, most people find that the majority of the time they are looking through the carrier lens and only 2-3% of the time do they tilt their head to use the telescope. The telescope is similar to using the side and rear view mirrors, in that it’s only used for short periods of time, but it’s still extremely helpful. A study was done on people who drive with bioptic telescopes and 90% said that they would continue driving with the bioptic glasses, even if it wasn’t required by the state in order to drive.

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?
How can bioptic glasses help while driving?

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?

When you want to get your driver’s license, you take an eye exam at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). If you don’t pass that test, you go to the eye doctor who does a more extensive eye exam. If you do not meet the general visual acuity requirements to get your driver’s license, your eye doctor will evaluate if you can benefit from using bioptic telescope glasses. Some states have a system where if you pass the necessary requirements you can get a permit to drive with the bioptic glasses. If you have any questions about this process and to find out if you are eligible to use the bioptic glasses for driving, please call Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach at (562) 925-6591 to book an appointment.

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?

Low Vision Consultation

We welcome you to come to Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach where Dr. Eric T. Ikeda will do a full low vision eye exam and assessment. If you are a candidate for driving with bioptic telescope glasses, Dr. Ikeda will discuss with you the entire process and will answer your questions. Our staff will be happy to guide you every step of the way from learning how to order the bioptic glasses to training how to drive with them. It would be an honor to be a part of your journey in finding your independence with the ability to drive using the bioptic glasses.

Dr. Ikeda cartoon


Bioptic glasses are an extremely helpful low vision device which is especially useful while driving, as it allows the wearer to quickly switch to a higher magnification to focus on specific distant objects. If you have low vision and you are interested in learning more about bioptic glasses, we invite you to contact Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach at (562) 925-6591 to schedule an appointment for a low vision eye exam and consultation, or you can click here to Book an Appointment .



  • 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.



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