Hands-Free Magnification: CCTV

The following article will discuss the benefits of CCTV devices for those with low vision.

A Layman's Guide To CCTV Magnification

A hands-free Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) System is a high-tech vision aid that has improved the quality of life of people coping with the effects of low vision eye disease. This includes complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and many other ocular disorders.

One of the more frustrating aspects of coping with this condition is the way it impedes the ability to perform routine tasks or engage in enjoyable activities. CCTV technology enables people to perform everyday activities that have become difficult. It accomplishes this by using a video camera that projects images on a monitor, computer screen, or TV. The magnification of CCTV devices is vastly superior to what standard optical magnifiers provide.

Depending on the sophistication of these devices, additional features include the ability to magnify images and the use of a moving table (also known as an x-y table) to aid in reading. Magnification levels increase with more expensive options.

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CCTV For Improving Quality of Life

Vision magnifiers may be used to perform routine tasks or engage in recreational ,such as the following:

  • enjoying reading material
  • engaging in crossword puzzles
  • write checks, writing
  • engaging in arts and crafts projects such as sewing and knitting
  • reading emails
  • scrapbook making

The following article will address several commonly asked questions about video magnifiers as an aid for those with low vision.

Common Questions

This is a sophisticated technology where images are projected from a camera to a screen, where the image can then be modified in size and clarity to aid those with low vision. There are a wide variety of CCTV devices on the market, ranging from small hand-held versions to large fixed-stand devices. More sophisticated devices may feature large screens, tools for stabilizing or grasping objects, and other modification options. A standard feature of all video magnifiers is their ability to read white letters on a black background or black letters on a white background.
People coping with the effects of macular degeneration, glaucoma or any other low vision disorder may benefit from a CCTV device. In most instances, this includes people who enjoy reading, or engaging in tasks that require precise vision. When conventional aids such as magnifying glasses no longer provide adequate improvement for these kinds of activities, CCTV may be an option. Even in such instances, people may still benefit from hand-held magnifiers as useful devices for shopping or playing cards with friends.
Depending on the device, it may be powered with rechargeable batteries or with an extension cord.
As with most high-tech devices, the higher-tier models can become costly. Sophisticated versions include a wide variety of features such as: A larger screen or increased video monitor size High-Definition Camera HD Magnifier Automatic shut-off feature Adjustable screen height Auto-focus video magnifier Adjustable brightness Optical character recognition Flat-panel monitor Adjustable Viewing mode: These include adjustable contrast control settings and color combination options. In addition to projections of true colors, artificial color image enhancement may aid those with color blindness, or who favor certain colors. Screen magnification software Adjustable magnification and increased range of magnification Anti-glare screen Improved ergonomic design: Enables a more comfortable reading position Viewing platform Some devices work with assistive technology software The most advanced versions can cost up to several thousand dollars. Simpler versions can be had for several hundred dollars, although cheaper devices don't always provide the best quality. Our low vision optometrist can assist you with finding a device that is in your budget and fits your needs. We also offer simple installment payment plans for those who are on a fixed income.
The technology was created with the elderly in mind who are often anxious about using technology. They are designed for ease of use for older users.
The benefits of these devices are they are very powerful and can magnify images and objects well beyond the capability of standard magnifiers. They have enabled people to resume activities that have become exceedingly difficult as a result of their condition. The disadvantages are that they can be expensive and are not portable, so they are only suitable for the home. Note: Although portable video magnifiers can be taken to the mall to aid in shopping, it may be difficult for the elderly to hold a hand-held portable device. For such individuals, custom glasses for low vision may be preferable.
Not necessarily. Many people with low vision achieve excellent results using standard magnifiers or custom glasses for low vision. Speak with a low vision optometrist to discuss the appropriate options for your needs.
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Hands-Free CCTV Magnification for Low Vision

If you are struggling with low vision, and standard magnification tools are no longer effective, you may want to consider a CCTV device for visual assistance. Higher-end models often include such additional features as the options for increasing magnification, or the use of a High-Definition Camera. Ergonomic designs allow the users a range of comfortable positions for sitting and using the device. 

Many people have a fear that they may never read a book again, or be able to engage in beloved hobbies that require precise vision. Don’t give up hope! With the proper guidance of our low vision optometrist, there are many available options that have enabled low vision patients to read again, and engage in other recreational activities. 

Book an Appointment today with our low vision optometrist, to find out more about how CCTV technology and other visual aids can improve your life. Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


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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