Microscopes are a helpful visual aid used to help people with low vision read and perform tasks from up close.

Microscopes in Bellflower

What are Microscopes for Low Vision?

If you are struggling to read or to perform various tasks from up close, such as hobbies like sewing or doing the daily crossword puzzle, there is no reason to let your low vision prevent you from doing so. There are so many visual aids available to help you see from up close and microscopes are one of them, with their own variety of different types. Microscopes are high powered lenses that offer a small field of vision, but help people with low vision be able to perform tasks from up close. Due to the fact that microscopes are primarily used for short distance vision, they are usually used with one eye, monocularly, because converging both eyes when you are looking at a target in such close proximity is very challenging for the visual system. In most cases, the microscope is used by the patient’s dominant eye and the other eye might have what is called a balance lens which is something to keep both lenses looking as symmetrical as possible when only one eye has the microscope.

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Types of Microscopes for Low Vision

There are several different designs for low vision microscopes, which provide varying functional and aesthetic options. Based on your individual needs, the low vision doctor will be able to recommend which microscope would work best for you. Some available options are described below.

Bifocal microscopes

These microscopic lenses are implemented into glasses that have the distance prescription in the top half and then the microscope is mounted on the bottom half, similar to bifocals. These are recommended for people who regularly switch between near and distance vision. There is an added feature that a colored tint can be added to these lenses for patients who benefit from filters.


Full Diameter Microscopes

The microscope is placed in the center of the lens and is used for near vision only. It is a lightweight system with a wide range of powers available, and it tends to be very easy to learn how to use. Although you have to use this while performing a task from quite close up, there is a great depth of focus which means that there is maximum focusing flexibility for the person using it. Due to the fact that this microscope is used from close up, it often is used in just one eye, monocularly. In such a case, a similar looking microscope can be placed on the second eye for a symmetric cosmetic effect, however it won’t have any power. This type of microscope prevents various optical disturbances, known as aberrations, that one could experience from using a microscope or other high powered optical aids. If you have a distance prescription it can be incorporated into the full diameter microscope along with a tint, if you benefit from using filters. 


These high-resolution microscopes are aesthetic and are known for providing clear vision. It has the widest field of vision that also avoids distortions which often come with wide visual fields. If you have an astigmatism, your cylinder correction can be added to these glasses which makes reading so much clearer. Due to the fact that this microscope is used from close up, it often is used in just one eye, monocularly. In such a case, a similar looking microscope will be placed on the second eye for a symmetric cosmetic effect, however it won’t have any power.

Prismatic Microscope

This is an optical system that involves both microscopes and prisms. One eye has a high plus microscope to help focus up close while the other eye has a prism to help the visual system focus so close up without strain.

One Piece Prismatic Half Eye

These reading glasses look like half eye readers where the lenses just cover the bottom half of your eyes so that you can look down through them to read. These glasses are high plus to help people with low vision see clearly up close while still maintaining a more cosmetically appealing appearance. One eye has the high plus microscope while the other eye is looking through a prism that eases the strain on the visual system which occurs when looking up close through a high plus.

HighPower and Telephoto Microscopes

Both of these microscopes are mounted in the center of the lens and are usually given in one eye, monocularly, because of the very close working distance.

The Telephoto is a microscope that allows you to read at a farther distance than its competitors. It has a wide field of vision while still maintaining clear vision without distortions. 

The High Power Microscope is designed to be more cosmetic for people with low vision who require a high magnification.

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Microscopes are useful low vision devices that provide magnification to assist people with low vision to be able to perform tasks up close. If you have low vision and would like to learn more about the options available to you that can enable you to read and do activities that demand up close vision, you can click here to book your consultation today, Book an Appointment . 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.

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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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