Shirley shares why she uses multiple devices

Shirley using her ClearView to read a magazine

Shirley lives alone in her home on the Hunter coast in NSW and has been struggling for the last year or so to read anything with ease, due to worsening macular degeneration. Recently, she’s been barely managing to read her mail, TV Guide or take care of her bills and bank statements. Quantum was put in touch with Shirley, after a referral from her Ophthalmologist.

Rob from Quantum visited to discuss various options to best suit Shirley’s situation. At the end of the visit, Shirley decided on two ERGO magnifying glasses, both of differing powers to perform different tasks, and a ClearView WideView desktop electronic magnifier.

Having these three options for reading, Shirley is now able to handle all reading tasks, whether around the home or out shopping.

The reason for two different strength magnifying glasses is that magnifying glasses are a single power and not all reading materials are the same size. For example, a 4X magnifier might be perfect for viewing newspaper print, but too strong for books where the print is larger than newsprint.

Also, the page of a book is wider than the column of a newspaper, and the visible field of view of a stronger magnifier will be smaller than that of a weaker one, thereby reducing reading fluency. Likewise, a 4X magnifier might not be strong enough if you need to check dietary requirements on food packaging.

The reason for the ClearView was twofold. Firstly, to give the largest field of view available, particularly compared to magnifying glasses. In the example above, a 4X magnifying glass is 60mm in diameter. This is the widest diameter a 4X can be manufactured.

Secondly, most people living with low vision are able to view almost everything, in high contrast, which is possible on electronic magnifiers, such as the ClearView, but not magnifying glasses. Electronic magnifiers have the ability to change poor quality print into bright contrast with either sharp, black print on white background, or sharp white print on a black background (other colour combinations are also available to suit other eye conditions or for more comfortable viewing).