Helpful Hints

Using video magnifiers

Video magnifiers, sometimes called closed circuit televisions (CCTV’s), are very useful tools that can significantly enlarge both text and images to make them easier to see.  However, there are a number of features about using them that sometimes are a bit confusing.  There are separate controls to change the focus, level of magnification and screen color.  These controls can be color coded to make them easier to identify.

There is also a proper way to sit in front of the machine.  Patients should sit upright without slouching.  Another important key is to advice the patient about the proper distance he/she should sit in front of the machine.  A simple fact is that the image is substantially increased when a patient sits closer to the video magnifier. 

Advances in technology are giving patients more choices for video magnifiers.  There now are some hand held units that magnify text a few sentences at a time for as little as $295.  Some of our patients have purchased these units.  They still needed our help to label the operating buttons to make them easier to see and use.  Now they are doing some reading again.