Low Vision Solutions for Distance Viewing
If a person cannot see well enough to drive, watch television, or see sporting events, plays, or other distance objects with their current eyeglasses, a small telescope can be used to help see better at a distance. Telescopes can be hand held, put on a finger ring, mounted on a neck cord, or mounted in or on a patient's eyeglasses. Telescopes come in many powers and, like binoculars, magnify objects at a distance.
When the telescope is mounted in an eyeglass frame, the patient's hands are free. Spectacle-mounted telescopes can be pre-made and inexpensive, or be custom-made for the patient with the patient's eyeglass prescription in the telescope. A low vision eye doctor can prescribe and have these telescopes made.
When a telescope is mounted in the top of the eyeglass lens, the patient can use both the telescope and his eyeglass prescription. The telescope is used for tasks such as spotting signs while walking, seeing the chalk board in the classroom, driving where allowed by law, and any task that might require the use of both the telescope and prescription lens at the same time. Telescopes are usually angled upward. A person looks straight ahead to see through the eyeglass lens and then tilts their head down while looking straight ahead to view a magnified image through the telescope. This is similar to using a bifocal.
In many states, including Arizona, it is legal for some visually impaired persons to drive with a bioptic telescopes. (see Driving Despite Visual Impairment)