Toy Story, Too

This is Toy Story, too. Sequels are not just for the movies.

Just like all roads led to Regillo, pretty much all ‘toy’ recommendations being given to me are for Eschenbach products. I am not telling you they are the best. I have absolutely no basis for comparison because I have tried very few other low vision products. I am just telling you these are the ones I have tried and so far, I like them. I like them. (This is not a paid endorsement but if anyone out there is with Eschenbach, we could talk business!)

My reader is a Smartlux Digital Video Magnifier. It is easy to use. The reader has 5x, 7x, 9x and 12x magnifications. You can hold it in your hand or prop it up on its little ‘kickstand’.

Sue's Eschenbach Smartlux Digital Magnifyer
Sue’s Eschenbach Smartlux Digital Magnifyer

There is no handle on the Smartlux like there was on the first reader I tried. That reader was all right, but as many products I have had to endure over the years, it was prejudiced against the left-handed. I could hold it in my right hand and there was no problem but the instant I switched it to my left hand, it would collapse on me.

Now, this is fine because, like I said, I have endured the effects of prejudice against us ‘sinister’ people and I am stronger for it. Just remember, when the lefties of the world take charge – as we rightfully should – the reader, the scissors , etc. will be made for the other hand. You have been warned! 🙂

OK. Moving right along….my reader has stop action. In other words, it takes a picture of what it is seeing. This is good in the grocery and a variety of other places. For example, you can stick the reader in the frozen foods case and not have to stick your face in there. Take a picture and you know what you are reaching for. Helpful considering I bought three pot pies I did not like the other week. Oooops.

The reader also has different colors and contrasts. I am uneducated about other eye disorders but I would assume seeing a yellow or a red background, for example, is helpful for some people.

Oh, by the way, most CCTVs have the contrast feature, too. I tend to mention what is relevant to me and gloss over some of the other stuff. Mea culpa, again.

The other thing I want to cover in this post is the pair of telescopic glasses I am trying. These are also called MaxTV but they are not clip-ons (clip-ons are available). I think the clip was bad on the MaxTV clip ons I was trying because they kept falling down every time I moved.

Sue's Telescopic Glasses, view 1
Sue’s Telescopic Glasses

One of the cool things about these seriously funny glasses is that they are adjustable. There are little wheels on the sides that move the lenses closer or farther away from one another.

I have been practicing with these telescopic glasses. I was using them to try to find my husband and the cart in Giant Food. When I found him, though, I had a little accident. I dropped six cans of tuna fish on the floor. Six different cans going in six different directions. It is important to remember that things appear closer than they really are when you are using telescopes. I really thought I was dropping the cans in the cart. One of the indignities of visual impairment.

It is important to remember that things appear closer than they really are when you are using telescopes.

Remember, as my father used to say, “do as I say, don’t do as I do.” The telescopic lenses are not for moving around. You are supposed to be stationary. Bee-bopping around the market is not the proper use for them…even if you have been running up and down the aisles with your hands full of tuna fish for the past 15 minutes and think you will never find him.

If anyone tells my optometrist/low vision specialist I have been doing this, I will deny it! I repeat, “do as I say, not as I do.”

That is it for my toys for now. Recognize that all of these products are rather expensive. I would refer you back to the post about the App Store for free and inexpensive alternatives to these. While the magnifier apps on my iPad mini are not as good a quality as the products I mentioned here, the price is right – often free.

It has come to my attention from the Macular Degeneration Partnership that most devices are not paid for by Medicare.

An approximately $400 iPad mini and free apps may do you well as an alternative if the price of other assistive devices is prohibitive.

Click here to see one list of portable video magnifying Aids, including the SmartLux Digital Video Magnifier.  This is not the only source of these products, there are other suppliers.  Search for “low vision aids” (include the quotes in your search).




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