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Low Vision Aids in Canberra

low vision reading aid canberra

Could advanced low vision aids be the key to overcoming vision challenges in your daily life? Many people think low vision aids can only help with reading, but they actually support a wide range of activities, including driving and watching TV.

I’m Juliet Menakaya, the owner and Principal Optometrist at Junic Eye Care. Our practice is special because we have a dedicated low vision clinic in Canberra tailored to help those with vision impairments regain their independence and improve their quality of life. With years of experience and a compassionate approach, I am committed to providing personalized care and advanced eye care solutions to meet the unique needs of each patient.

With the right low vision aids, you can maintain your independence and continue to enjoy activities you love, despite vision impairments. But without proper low vision care, you may struggle with simple tasks, leading to frustration and a decreased quality of life.

Contact Junic Eye Care to book your appointment and experience the difference our advanced low vision services can make. Or if you’re still considering your options, continue reading to understand the full benefits of advanced low vision aids and professional low vision eye care.

Overview of Low Vision

What do you think it means to have low vision? It refers to a significant visual impairment that can’t be fully corrected with standard glasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery. Low vision makes everyday tasks challenging. Common causes include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. These conditions deteriorate different parts of the eye, leading to reduced visual acuity.

It is estimated by Vision 20/20 Australia that there are over 575,000 people who are blind or vision impaired currently living in Australia, with more than 70 per cent over the age of 65 and over 66,000 people who are legally blind. This includes not only those with reduced central vision but also individuals with significant peripheral vision loss. Conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, and stroke-related vision loss can lead to restricted peripheral vision, qualifying as low vision and requiring specialised aids and strategies to manage daily activities and maintain independence.

If you’d like to learn more about the types of low vision impairment and potential solutions, watch the following video from Dr Joseph Allen.

Types of Low Vision Glasses

How can specialised glasses help those with low vision? Let’s explore some options.

Bioptic telescopic glasses are designed with miniature telescopes mounted on the lenses, allowing users to switch between normal and magnified views. These glasses are particularly useful for activities like driving, watching TV, or recognising faces from a distance. They provide a clearer, magnified image, making distant objects more visible.

Prismatic eyeglasses incorporate special prisms to improve the field of vision. These glasses help with reading and everyday activities by bending light into the eyes, allowing better use of peripheral vision. They are particularly beneficial for those who struggle with binocular vision issues, offering an enhanced visual experience.

E-Scoop glasses are specifically designed for macular degeneration patients. They have unique optical characteristics, such as a yellow tint and special lenses, which improve contrast and reduce glare. This helps patients see more clearly and comfortably, enhancing their daily visual experience.

Low vision magnifying reading glasses are another great option. They enhance close-up vision, making it easier to read books, newspapers, or engage in hobbies like knitting. These glasses have high-powered lenses that magnify text and objects, reducing the strain on the eyes during close-up tasks.

low vision reading aids in Canberra

Advanced Low Vision Aids

How can electronic magnifiers transform the daily lives of those with low vision? Let’s explore the various types and their unique benefits.

CCTV magnifiers, or closed-circuit television magnifiers, are stationary devices that use a camera to project magnified images onto a screen. They are particularly beneficial for real-time viewing, making it easier to read books, newspapers, and even perform hobbies that require detailed work. These devices often come with adjustable magnification levels, contrast settings, and colour options, allowing users to customise their viewing experience according to their specific needs. The ability to see a larger, clearer image in real-time can significantly enhance the quality of life for those with visual impairments.

Hand-held and desktop video magnifiers offer a more portable solution. Hand-held magnifiers are small, lightweight, and perfect for on-the-go use. They are ideal for quick tasks such as reading menus, labels, or small print while out and about. Desktop video magnifiers, on the other hand, provide a more stable and larger screen for tasks that require prolonged viewing, such as reading or writing. These magnifiers come with various strengths and magnification capabilities, making them versatile tools for everyday activities. Their portability and ease of use make them a favourite among users who need assistance both at home and when travelling.

Among the leading brands in electronic magnifiers, Humanware stands out with its innovative products like the explorē 5 and explorē 8.

The explorē 5 is a pocket-sized video magnifier, boasting the title of the smallest and lightest 5.0-inch portable digital video magnifier of its kind. Designed for spot reading, this compact device offers 18 different enhancement contrast modes, making it an excellent choice for anyone with vision loss. Its high-definition image and precise autofocus enable users to see things up to 22 times more clearly, providing a clear, sharp image that enhances independence. The explorē 5 is perfect for those who need a reliable, easy-to-use magnifier that fits comfortably in a pocket or bag.

The explorē 8 takes portability a step further with its 8.0-inch touchscreen and up to 30X magnification. This handheld video magnifier is ideal for anyone who needs an electronic reading aid that can magnify documents for better readability. Its larger screen and compact design make it easy to transport and use in various settings, whether at home or on the go. The touch screen interface adds to its user-friendly design, allowing users to easily adjust magnification and contrast settings to suit their needs.

Junic Eye Care is a Canberra based distributor for Humanware low vision devices.If you’d like to learn more, watch the following video:

Innovative Low Vision Aids

The future promises even more amazing leaps forward in technological solutions for low vision. Many new hardware devices and software which leverage the enormous potential of software innovation are coming to market now.

OrCam is a groundbreaking AI-powered device that has revolutionised the way individuals with low vision navigate their world. This small device attaches to the arm of your glasses and serves as an unobtrusive yet powerful personal assistant. Imagine having the ability to read text aloud, recognise faces, and identify products effortlessly. OrCam does just that. For instance, you can walk into a grocery store and have OrCam read labels to you, helping you choose the right products. It can also recognise faces, ensuring that you can greet friends and family confidently. By vocalising text and recognising objects, OrCam allows users to maintain their independence and interact more freely with their environment.

IrisVision, on the other hand, harnesses the power of assisted reality (AR) to offer an entirely different kind of visual aid. This device uses a AR headset to provide multiple viewing modes, allowing users to zoom in on distant objects or read fine print with remarkable clarity. It’s like putting a high-powered magnifying glass right in front of your eyes, but much more versatile. IrisVision is particularly beneficial for daily activities such as reading, writing, and even watching television. Its ability to switch between different modes means it can adapt to various visual challenges, offering a customised viewing experience.


Junic Eye Care’s Approach to Low Vision

How does the Junic Eye Care optometry practice cater to those with low vision?

Our process begins with a thorough evaluation and vision assessment. We utilise the MAIA Macular Microperimeter to assess the integrity of the macula and identify viable areas of the retina. This technology allows us to identify specific areas that can still provide useful vision, which is crucial for developing effective treatment plans.

Once we’ve assessed the vision, we set personalised goals tailored to each patient’s lifestyle and needs. Our training sessions focus on achieving these goals, whether it’s reading, navigating daily tasks, or enjoying hobbies. We introduce low vision devices and provide training on their use, ensuring that patients feel confident and capable in their daily lives.

Our approach is holistic, considering all aspects of our patients’ lives. By focusing on their unique visual requirements and personal goals, we aim to enhance their independence and quality of life.


Low vision glasses, such as bioptic telescopic and prismatic eyeglasses, provide essential solutions to enhance vision and support independence. These aids offer a range of benefits tailored to individual needs, significantly improving quality of life for those with visual impairments. Beyond glasses, various low vision aids, including magnifiers and electronic devices, play a crucial role in daily tasks, enabling greater autonomy.

The future holds exciting potential with AI and Assisted Reality-driven low vision aids. Innovations like OrCam and IrisVision demonstrate how advanced technology can transform the lives of individuals with low vision, offering personalised and adaptive visual assistance. As these technologies evolve, they promise even greater enhancements in accessibility and independence.

Taking proactive steps to address low vision is essential. Delaying action can lead to further deterioration and increased reliance on others. Don’t let procrastination hinder your quality of life. Schedule a consultation now to explore the best low vision technological solutions in Canberra.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.