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Low Vision Clinic

This clinic aims to provide optical aids to patients whose vision is poor and cannot be improved with spectacles, in order to maximise the use of their remaining vision. (No electronic devices are available)

Patients do not have to be registered as blind or partially sighted in order to access this clinic.

Referrals can be made either via a community optometrist, a GP or an ophthalmologist (specialist eye doctor).

Current waiting times are approximately 8-12 weeks.

Patients are asked to bring their most up to date spectacles and if they are currently using any magnifiers, these also to the appointment. Please also bring examples of any near tasks with which help is required.

A full assessment is carried out to determine whether a magnifying devise is beneficial.

There is a wide range of optical magnifying devices which can be demonstrated:

  • hand-held magnifiers
  • stand magnifiers
  • illuminated magnifiers
  • distance and near telescopic aids 

The most appropriate is issued on a permanent loan basis. (i.e. it remains the property of the hospital and should be returned if not in use).

Having to get used to a new way of reading / seeing is very difficult . The stronger the magnifier the more this is the case. The diameter of the lens is limited by the weight and thickness of the high powered lens.

People often ask for a lens to magnify the whole page – such a lens would have very weak magnification and not helpful to those with really near vision difficulties.

At times even the strongest magnifier may not assist, usually because there is insufficient residual vision to magnify.

A Visual Support Service is also available to provide advice on non –optical aids, support at home, training to develop skills to cope with sight loss etc. A support worker may be available on the day of the low vision assessment or can contact you by telephone to discuss what support is required.

At the Low Vision assessment you will not be seen by an ophthalmologist, so the health of your eyes will not be checked. A separate referral is required if you need to be seen by an ophthalmologist.

Enquiries on: 0141 211 1034