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Below you will be able to find information about our most frequently asked questions.  If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, feel free to contact us anytime.   


What is Macular Degeneration?  Macular Degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease associated with aging which gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration (MD) is damage or breakdown of the macula. The macula is the part of the retina which allows us to see clearly and appreciate color. It is the small spot (approximately 3mm) near the middle of the retina, which is responsible for the central part of what we see. The retina is at the back of the eye. It is made up of cells which are sensitive to light. 

How does it affect sight?
In the early stages of MD, central vision is blurred and seeing at a distance or close work is difficult. The eye may still have good side vision, but blank spots appear in the center. This makes reading, sewing or seeing faces difficult. 

Other symptoms include: dimming of color vision, difficulty in judging heights and distances, and some difficulty with tasks such as pouring tea. Sometimes only one eye loses vision, while the other eye may see well for years. 

MD does not lead to total blindness. People with MD mostly retain good side vision. This means they can cope well with most daily tasks. The latest magnification devices can be very useful. 

Who is susceptible?
Apart from some rarer forms, MD is not hereditary. The condition occurs most commonly in older people. 

Diagnosis and treatment
An ophthalmologist can detect MD in its early stages. Special magnifying glasses, daily living aids such as needle thread, large print books, proper lighting or a combination of these can help the person with MD to be independent and lead a normal life. Laser treatment can be useful if the condition is detected early.


Macular Degeneration

What is a Video Magnifier?

A video magnifier is a simple way of producing large text, images and maps for people with some useful vision. Printed material and objects can be placed under a camera and the magnified image is displayed on a television screen or computer monitor.

They are mostly used for reading, but can also be used for writing and other activities and to view objects at a distance such as a board in a school classroom. There are a large number of different types of models to choose from and they vary widely in the features offered.

Video Magnifiers are not a replacement for hand magnifiers, but they do have real advantages for some tasks. These include the ability to vary magnification levels, to get very high levels of magnification, to get a comfortable reading distance, and to vary reading distance. Many people find they can read more comfortably and therefore for longer periods with a video magnifier than with a hand magnifier.

While there is no absolute way of knowing whether a video magnifier will help a particular individual without them trying one for themselves, as a general guide if someone can't read the largest banner headlines in a newspaper then a video magnifier is likely to be of use to them.

The video magnifier image can be black and white or full color. Many black and white systems offer the option of switching the foreground and background colors between dark text on a light background and light text on a dark background (reversing polarity). In addition they may offer a choice of foreground and background colors.

As well as the default choice of color image view, most color image video magnifiers offer a choice of foreground and background colors, and mono view.

Desktop video magnifiers

The most common type of video magnifier is intended for use on a desk or work surface, so is called a desktop video magnifier. Most desktop video magnifiers have a camera, which is in a fixed position some distance above the desktop.

The printed material is placed on the reading table, which can be moved left to right and backwards and forwards. The image is viewed on an integrated monitor and can be adjusted for contrast, magnification and color to suit the user.

A few desktop video magnifiers have a camera on an angle poise type stem instead, so there is some flexibility of position.

Desktop magnifiers can offer a magnification range as low as 1.5 times and as high as 72 times, although the range is usually narrower.

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