Visual impairment

Getting an optical low vision aid assessment

The majority of people with a visual impairment may still have a degree of useful sight and can be helped and encouraged to make better use of this remaining vision.

How do I get a low vision aid assessment?

Your ophthalmologist can refer you to the Low Vision Aid (LVA) clinic at the Eye Centre Borders General Hospital or to selected local optometrists who can assess you to see if you would benefit from an optical low vision aid (magnifier).

You may be entitled to receive one or more types of optical low vision aid free, following an NHS Borders assessment.

How can Low Vision Services help?

The Low Vision Services team work closely with the LVA clinic and can provide a home LVA assessment if you are unable to attend the LVA clinic because of illness or disability.

Advice on how to make visual tasks a little easier

  • light - adapting or improving existing lighting and luminance levels
  • contrast - using tone and colour to enhance perception of objects
  • size - determining appropriate print, font and object size

Skills for seeing

Eccentric viewing (EV) and steady eye strategy (SES) are both useful techniques that can be learned to help with near vision tasks for many people. The Macular Society have useful information on their website and also have local volunteers who will be able to help. The RNIB also have good information.

Download the Low Vision Services information book