Low Vision Exams


A low vision eye examination is an optical and functional evaluation to determine whether the patient's vision can be enhanced to enable the patient to participate more fully in activities. The examination includes an exploration of optical and non-optical systems as well as the patient's perceptual and physiological skills. When coordinated with other optometric, medical, education and rehabilitative services, the end results should enable the patient to get the most out of his or her sight.

A low vision examination is not a medical evaluation to determine eye health. Such an evaluation should be performed by the referring practitioner as justification for additional specialized services. It is imperative that the patient have a primary care optometrist or ophthalmologist who can monitor any eye conditions that could result in eye health problems or further vision loss. Patients are always encouraged to return to the primary care eye doctor for continued care at regular intervals.

Low vision refraction must be performed when conventional refractive techniques have been tried and failed. The use of radical retinoscopic techniques; subjective testing with trial frame, trial lenses, telescopes, and other distance optical devices; modified optotypes, target positioning, lighting, and other visual modifiers are used to determine the following:

  • Whether a conventional lens can be appropriately modified for improved qualitative acuities.
  • Whether a conventional lens prescription, in combination with additional distance optics (telescopes, electro-optical systems), near optics (microscopes, hand-held and stand magnifiers, electro-optical systems), field-awareness systems (mirrors, prisms, reversed telescopes), or non-optical devices could be used to improve sight and visual performance.

An initial low vision eye examination will typically be 1-1 ½ hours.

Following the low vision eye examination, Andersen Eye Associates has many low vision aids that patients may try on a trial basis. These include:

The innovative design of this rotating camera makes reading, writing and viewing magnified images easy. The Flipper connects to any TV or monitor in seconds. It provides distance, intermediate, and near viewing. Images can be magnified in full color with auto-focus up to 24x. It is ideal for classrooms and hobbies.

The Merlin is the most advanced desktop model magnifier available. It features a full-color display with auto-focus, four display modes, dial magnification up to 66x and extra large working area, and it enables a patient to read, write, work, and enjoy hobbies. Merlin is also affordably priced.

The Max
The Max is the most powerful, affordable, and compact hand-held digital magnifier, and it can connect to any TV or computer. It can magnify type or photos up to 28x using a dial control. The Max is available in black and white or full color with auto-focus.

JORDY combines two systems in one lightweight device that is worn on the head. It is battery operated and features a full-color display with auto-focus, a wide field of view, and up to 30x magnification. It is designed for people with active lifestyles and lets users see objects near, far, and any distance in between. Enjoy a movie, work more productively, and more with help from this device.

Hand-Held Magnifiers
Why strain your eyes when you don't have to? With a hand-held reading magnifier, you can relax and enjoy reading. These can be either electronic or non-electronic depending on your preference.

Illuminated Magnifiers
The correct lighting directly impacts your ability to see. When it's dark outside or just cloudy, you can brighten what you see with an illuminated magnifier. These are typically hand-held as well.

Binocular Telescopes
Would you like to watch TV again but glasses are just not enough help? Consult the Andersen Low Vision Specialist who can have special glasses made for you that include an integrated telescope.

Also available are telescopes for driving, reading telescopes and bifocal microscopes.

Click here to schedule an exam. Please contact us for more information.


Andersen Eye Associates proudly serves the Greater Saginaw region including Flint, Frankenmuth, Bay City, Midland, Bridgeport, Bad Axe, Mount Pleasant, and surrounding areas.

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