Bioptic glasses (Driving)

Losing your ability to safely drive due to low vision can be extremely demoralizing, as it greatly limits your personal freedom. There is good news though, and that is that there are specialized bioptic glasses designed for use while driving that can help you reclaim that independence and quality of life, despite your low vision. There are states that allow special permits for driving with bioptic glasses, enabling you to drive as you wish. 

Bioptic glasses (Driving) in Hixson

What are Bioptic glasses?

Many are familiar with magnifying glasses as they can help people with low vision zoom in on what you’re trying to see. The problem is that magnifying glasses can only be used to view objects nearby. What if someone wants to view objects that are at a distance? That’s where the telescope comes in because it is a visual aid that magnifies objects that are at a distance, enabling you to see clearly even if you are looking at something far away. 

Bioptic glasses are worn like regular glasses, and they have a telescope mounted on the top part of one or both lenses. The advantage of having the telescope only on the top part of the lens is that you can choose when to use the telescope if you are looking into the distance by slightly tilting your head downwards. When you look directly ahead or downwards you are looking through the regular part of the lens, known as the carrier lens, which has your regular glasses prescription. 

Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

What are the challenges of driving with low vision?

If you struggle with low vision, you may become accustomed to walking very close to signs or various objects in order to see them, however when you’re driving if you wait until you get close to something in order to see it, it’s most likely too late as driving demands a high level of awareness and preparedness. Additionally, in order to get your driver’s license you have to pass an eye exam which can be challenging with low vision. Many people can have these issues solved by using bioptic telescope glasses which are allowed in certain states if you pass the requirements for a special permit. 

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?

The bioptic telescope glasses are ideal for driving because driving has so many visual demands at various distances which makes it a challenging activity for someone with low vision. When you drive you need to be able to see up close in order to be aware of what is directly in front of you on the road, and on the dashboard. In addition, it is crucial to be able to see clearly at a distance in order to view the signs up ahead and to be able to see the roads and cars in the distance. Bioptic telescope glasses can help you achieve clear vision at all distances, despite your low vision diagnosis.

While driving, most people find that the majority of the time they are looking through the carrier lens and only 2-3% of the time do they tilt their head to use the telescope. The telescope is similar to using the side and rear view mirrors, in that it’s only used for short periods of time, but it’s still extremely helpful. A study was done on people who drive with bioptic telescopes and 90% said that they would continue driving with the bioptic glasses, even if it wasn’t required by the state in order to drive.

How can bioptic glasses help while driving?
How do you know if you need bioptic glasses for driving?

How do you know if you need bioptic glasses for driving?

When you want to get your driver’s license, you take an eye exam at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). If you don’t pass that test, you go to the eye doctor who does a more extensive eye exam. If you do not meet the general visual acuity requirements to get your driver’s license, your eye doctor will evaluate if you can benefit from using bioptic telescope glasses. Some states have a system where if you pass the necessary requirements you can get a permit to drive with the bioptic glasses. If you have any questions about this process and to find out if you are eligible to use the bioptic glasses for driving, please call Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga at (423) 710 3965 to book an appointment.

How do you know if you need bioptic glasses for driving?

Low Vision Consultation

We welcome you to come to Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga where Dr. Heather McBryar will do a full low vision eye exam and assessment. If you are a candidate for driving with bioptic telescope glasses, Dr. McBryar will discuss with you the entire process and will answer your questions. Our staff will be happy to guide you every step of the way from learning how to order the bioptic glasses to training how to drive with them. It would be an honor to be a part of your journey in finding your independence with the ability to drive using the bioptic glasses.

Dr. McBryar cartoon


Bioptic glasses are an extremely helpful low vision device which is especially useful while driving, as it allows the wearer to quickly switch to a higher magnification to focus on specific distant objects. If you have low vision and you are interested in learning more about bioptic glasses, we invite you to contact Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga at (423) 710 3965 to schedule an appointment for a low vision eye exam and consultation, or you can click here to Book an Appointment . Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.

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Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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