Telescopes for low vision

Published on
October 28, 2022

Low vision affects many aspects of a patient's daily life, especially their ability to perform daily tasks. Telescopes are among the tools that can help regain that ability and one we recommend a lot at our Los Angeles Low Vision Center. 

Telescopic magnification can help someone with low vision see better in the distance and up close. Magnification can help those with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy see more clearly and get out of their blind spots.

When the patient's prescription is determined during a low vision exam, a telescope is used to determine how much better they can see with magnification. Once our low vision optometrist determines what that magnification is, they can place it in a pair of glasses.

How can low vision patients benefit from telescopes?

  • Monocular telescope - There are a number of everyday activities that you can do with telescopes. If you're out and about and you'd like to look at a bus stop number quickly before you reach it, a handheld monocular comes in handy. The great thing about something like this is that you can simply carry it around with you, or even put it in your pocket, which looks pretty inconspicuous.
  • Bioptic telescopes - It is also possible to integrate telescopes into glasses. When you use these for driving, they are called bioptic telescopes. You don't look through them while driving, which limits your field of view. When you want to see street signs, you simply tilt your head down, look into the telescope, and you will be able to see them. This is a quick spotting technique that you would be taught to use during your training. Students can use these glasses to be able to see the board a little bit better. Through the telescope area, you can view the board, and write in your notebook. These are great because they are hands-free. By using bioptic telescopes, you can also do things with your hands like manicures, threading needles, and other little things.
  • Telescopic reading glasses - Telescopic reading glasses provide lower magnification such as 2x magnification and can actually provide great assistance when using a computer. Basically, assistance with anything within arm's reach. It gives you telescopic magnification with the ability to see something further away. They are often used for reading at a larger, longer distance, but are also useful on computers. They offer binocularity and a wider field of view.

Schedule a low vision exam with our residency trained low vision optometrist in Los Angeles

Low-vision patients can greatly benefit from telescopes. Since there are several different types of telescopes, it is highly recommended that low vision patients schedule a low vision eye exam with our low vision optometrist before buying a telescope. Contact us at (562) 925-6591 to schedule a low vision consultation.


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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