Handheld Magnifying Glasses

A handheld magnifying glass can be a very powerful tool for people with low vision. It is portable, affordable and simple to use for a variety of tasks.

Handheld Magnifying Glasses in Chattanooga

What are Handheld Magnifying Glasses for Low Vision?

Handheld magnifiers are simply as their name states - a magnifying glass, often with some type of handle. It can allow a person to focus on a small area, such as reading labels on products at the supermarket, and makes the target appear bigger. The handheld magnifying glass can be easily controlled as the person using it can direct it to the spot that he wants to see clearer. It is important to consult with your low vision optometrist to figure out what your daily activities are and if the handheld magnifier can suit your needs.

These magnifiers come in different shapes and sizes; some will be easy to carry around to use as needed, while others may be larger and best to use at home. There are magnifying glasses that can be worn as a pendant on a necklace for easy access. Some more advanced models will also have a built-in light to allow for increased effectiveness in darker conditions.

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Who Can Benefit from a Handheld Magnifying Glass?

The handheld magnifying glass can be beneficial to anyone who has difficulty seeing up close and whose hands are steady and available to hold the visual aid. It is helpful to many people, including those who have various different eye conditions, such as impaired central vision. Some examples include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Macular hole
  • Macular dystrophy
  • Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Visual field defects
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal detachment

Advantages of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

Handheld magnifiers come with several advantages, including:

  • Portability
  • Relatively affordability
  • Easy learning curve as it generally requires very little instruction and many people are already familiar with handheld magnifying glasses
  • Models exist in a wide range of shapes, sizes and magnification strengths, allowing you to find one that works best for you
  • Possible feature of an included light which can function effectively even in the dark
Advantages of Handheld Magnifying Glasses
Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

While handheld magnifiers offer many advantages, they are not suitable for all scenarios and thus it is important to understand some limitations before deciding which low vision aid is right for you and your daily activities.

Some points to keep in mind about the handheld magnifying glass include:

  • There is a small visual field so it only allows for reading a little bit of text at a time and therefore it is not recommended to use for longer reading, such as reading a book
  • They require steady hands and good fine motor control to use effectively

If you have any hesitations or questions, please consult with Dr. McBryar as there are many visual aids available to choose from.

Limitations of Handheld Magnifying Glasses

How to Use a Handheld Magnifier

Handheld magnifying glasses are perhaps the easiest low vision aid to use. You simply hold it over the target that you want to magnify, and adjust the distance of the magnifying glass between the object or text and your eyes to achieve the best focus. Your low vision optometrist will be able to make informed suggestions for you on which handheld magnifying glass to choose and how to use it, based on your personal needs and preferences.

Dr. McBryar cartoon


Handheld magnifying glasses tend to be the most affordable low vision aid and the easiest kind to learn how to use. If you have low vision and you find it challenging to read fine print, such as reading the menu at a restaurant, you can Book an Appointment at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga  to find out if a handheld magnifying glass can suit your needs. Dr. McBryar will be happy to help you find the best visual aid to improve your quality of life.

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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

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