Low Vision Reading Aids

There are many low vision reading aids to help those with macular degeneration continue reading.

reading aids for macular degeneration

With the use of proper lighting, low vision rehabilitation, large print books, electronic book readers, and magnifying reading glasses you can continue to enjoy reading your favorite magazines, newspapers and books.

Reading Aids Using Large Print

Today there is such a variety of books and magazines that come in large, bold print. These books can be purchased at some book stores, ordered on line or found for free at your local library.

Some links in the following sections are eBay or Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission. There is no extra cost to you. Find more details on this page.

large print books

Consider switching to large print books as your macular degeneration progresses. Do not give up reading - large print books offer bolder print, larger fonts and pages with larger margins and with less glare.

When reading becomes more of a challenge find ways to adapt by combining reading magnifiers, better lighting and large print books. You may need all three.

large print books

It is easy to purchase large print books on line or you can get them for free from your local library.

To find out how to buy large print books or how to obtain them for free click here:

Large Print Books

Macular Degeneration Aids for Improved Lighting

One of the simplest ways to help with your reading is to get adequate and better light.

low vision aids for reading

With macular degeneration, lighting is so critical and improving the kind of light or amount of light can really help you see your reading material so much better.

low vision aids for reading

As your macular degeneration progresses you will need more light - in more places and brighter light that doesn't produce glare.

Very often it is possible that less magnification is needed if the right kind of lighting is used.  

It is important that you use an adjustable or a gooseneck lamp so that the light can be directed onto your reading material or your hobby. Position the light so that it is directed or aimed right at your project or reading material. Often times with better illumination the need for magnification is less.

Best E- Book Reader for Macular Degeneration

For someone who loves to read books or the daily newspaper, but is struggling to read due to macular degeneration, an electronic book reader may just be the solution.

reading aids for macular degeneration

E book readers like the Kindle Paperwhite, iPad, or Barnes and Noble Nook turn every book, magazine and newspaper into large print.

macular degeneration aids for reading

The availability of large print books is very limited, but with  an ebook reader any book becomes a large print book, simply by pressing a button and increasing the font size.

Enhanced contrast, adjustable fonts and spacing, and sharp, dark text provide better clarity for easier reading.  Many people with AMD have been able to continue reading thanks to this new low vision technology.

low vision aids for reading

Books, magazines and newspapers are easily downloaded to a portable and lightweight electronic book reader. No need for a computer.

The Kindle Paperwhite features a built-in light with the ability to adjust the brightness - it is backlit but does not have the glare that comes with the color electronic readers. As with all ebook readers, the Kindle Paperwhite features font magnification , but also offers choices for font styles.

This reader is most like reading a real book. The white background and crisp, bold black lettering provides better contrast and makes it easy to read without eye strain.

Easy to navigate and use with a simple touch screen means even those who are not familiar with today's electronic will find reading with it a pleasure.

Electronic Book Readers

Macular Degeneration Aids using Light and Magnification

There are many types of magnifiers to assist you with your reading. While a hand held magnifier is good for spot reading - such as checking a bill or looking at a simple instruction sheet they are NOT good for reading books or long articles.

low vision aids for reading
Instead choose a reading magnifier that is hands free and provides light. The combination of magnification and illumination will make the biggest difference is being able to see words well enough to read.

Page magnifiers are a functional and versatile macular degeneration magnifier. They enhance your reading experience by magnifying a whole page or just a particular section of the page.

You can find full page magnifiers that are made of a high quality plastic or acrylic lens or a glass lens. Magnification power is usually 2x, 2.5x, and 3x power.

A lighted full page magnifier with an adjustable arm has been my father-in-law's favorite reading magnifier. The bright LED lights means he needs less magnification, which means he can see more words on a page.

Click here to learn more about the features of a lighted, full page, reading magnifier:

Floor Lamp Magnifier

Download or Listen to Free Audio Books on Line

Download or listen to free audio books on line with the Librivox app.

free audio books on line

There are two Librivox app options. Find out which is best and how you can start downloading and listening to audio books for free.

Free Audio Books on Line

Low Vision CCTV

A low vision CCTV - closed circuit television - projects your reading material onto a monitor, a regular television or a computer screen.

The most expensive models have large, 17"- 19", flat screen monitors and run just over $3,000.

macular degeneration aids for reading

Benefits of a CCTV are:

√ You can sit as close to the screen as necessary

√ It can be adjusted for degree of magnification

√ It can be adjusted for brightness and contrast

To read more about low vision CCTV click here:

Low Vision CCTV

Macular Degeneration Aids for Reading Newspapers

Your favorite newspaper can be turned into large print using one of several macular degeneration aids for reading.  

low vision aids for reading

A dome magnifier glides across the newspaper enlarging the font and making it easier to stay in focus compared to a handheld magnifier. 

If you are looking to subscribe to your favorite daily newspaper in a large print edition, it is now possible - thanks to new low vision technology - called electronic readers.

Find out your different options to enlarge your newspaper with these reading aids:

 Large Print Newspapers

Audio Books for The Blind

Audio books can be listened to on your Kindle reader, iPad, , iPod, laptop computer, smart phone or just about any other electronic device.

audio books for the blind and those with low vision

Of course audio books can still be listened to using a CD or traditional tape players as well.

The best and easiest resource is to first check with your local library. Our library carries a nice selection of books on tape and will try to fulfill requests when possible.

You can also join a CD book club or download audio books by using a monthly audiobook membership. Find out the difference in quality and which one is the better option here: Audio Books for the Blind

Free Books on Tape

Free books on tape are available from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for those who live in the United States.

Each state is serviced by a library that loans the cassette player and books on tape. You can request an application by calling 1-800-424-8567.

free books on tape

They provide FREE recorded materials through the Library of Congress. Audio books for the blind are delivered to eligible readers by mail for free and are returned in prepaid labeled mailers.

Once your application is submitted and processed, a specially designed cassette player is mailed out and the book selection can be made by either the library based on your preferences or by specific request of a title or author.

An amplifier is available for individuals with hearing loss as well. Click here to read about eligibility and how to get an application: Free Books on Tape

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