Reading with a magnifier

One of the challenges for low vision patients is losing their place when reading using a magnifier. The magnifiers that are used enlarge each word so much that it is pretty easy to get lost on the page. Many people accept the challenge of reading with difficulty and still want to read. 

The key is teaching them a locating system to help them not lose their place. Using a bright piece of paper or envelope, cut to the page width, can be help by moving down a line at a time. This makes it much easier to stay in place. We teach patients to place the paper under the line they read and follow the words to the end of the paper. When they have read the last word on the line, they simply move the paper down one line and they are at the exact right place to continue reading. Yes, this technique means that it takes longer to read. However, our patients who are determined to read take great pride in the fact that they can read again. We believe that this sense of accomplishment is very empowering.

Thank you to Janice Glynn, one of our occupational therapists, for the idea for this article.