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5 Top Visual Aids For Macular Degeneration (AMD) in 2023

elderly woman wearing black glasses

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula. It’s a leading cause of vision loss in older adults and can make it difficult for patients to see fine details, read and perform other daily activities like watching television or seeing faces. It also makes it harder to drive and to renew a driver's license.

Visual aids help patients with AMD maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. At The Low Vision Center at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry in Westchester, Los Angeles, our goal is to enable our patients to continue doing the things that bring them joy, despite low vision.

Some of the best visual aids for patients with AMD in2023 include:

1. Magnifiers

Magnifiers enlarge fine print or small objects, making them easier to see. Handheld magnifiers are portable and can be used for reading, crafting and other hobbies, but they must be held by hand. In contrast, stand magnifiers can be placed on top of a book or newspaper and are always focused for the correct distance.

2. Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Systems

These systems use a digital camera to magnify print or objects and display them on a screen. They can be adjusted to suit the individual's needs and can be used for a variety of tasks, such as reading, writing and crafting.

3. Electronic Reading Aids

These devices use text-to-speech technology to read aloud printed materials such as books, newspapers and labels. They can be portable or desktop-based and can be adjusted to suit the individual's reading speed and preferences.

4. Talking Watches and Other Appliances

Talking watches and clocks verbally announce the time, so they’re useful for patients who have difficulty reading a traditional clock or watch. Other household appliances, such as microwaves, kitchen scales and thermometers, can also come with a “talking” feature that is low-vision friendly.

5. Low Vision Optical Lenses

Your low vision optometrist can prescribe a wide range of optical lenses and glasses to help broaden your vision. Some examples include E-Scoop glasses, prismatic glasses, binocular or telescope glasses, and bioptic glasses. You can also get customized glasses to suit your specific needs.

How Your Low Vision Optometrist Can Help

After a thorough low vision evaluation, your low vision eye doctor will ask you about your daily routine and recommend the most suitable low vision aids and devices for your eyes, lifestyle and goals.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AMD, take the first step toward regaining independence by contacting Dr. Harold Ashcraft OD at 310-670-4411 or view our website at

Our practice serves patients from Los Angeles, Westchester, Inglewood, and Playa Del Rey, California and surrounding communities.

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