Magnifying Options

A man surrounded by assistive technology holds a magnifier.
Basil Hickey with his collection of magnifiers. Photo by: Fiona Harding

What is a Magnifier?

A magnifier is a lens or combination of lenses that make something appear larger.

Some people collect cars, others coins, but Lindisfarne resident Basil Hickey collects magnifiers. Ranging from small to large, electronic and hand held, some even come with lights.

Over the years Basil’s collection has grown since he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration back in 1999. This is a collection with a purpose in order to aid in Basil’s day to day life.

As defined by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia (link opens in new window) , Macular Degeneration or MD is a medical condition. Often resulting in blurred or no vision in the centre of the visual field. Although it is progressive and painless it doesn’t always result in total vision loss.

Affecting the person’s ability to recognise faces, read, drive and perform activities that require detailed vision, meaning magnification is an important tool to enable people with this degeneration to get on with their day to day lives.

Four years ago Basil walked through the Assistive Technology Team’s door after being referred by the Low Vision Clinic.  As his vision deteriorated Basil’s magnifiers became stronger and his collection became larger. Over time Basil armed himself with an arsenal of different levels of magnifiers kept around the house. 

His  variety of magnifiers do different jobs. Kept in easy reach for tinkering, and aiding to read those important documents.

“VisAbility allowed me to borrow them first to make the decision”.  The Clear Reader plus is one of Basil’s favorite pieces of equipment “You can put anything in it and it reads as it should”.

Thanks to the assistance from VisAbility, Basil has the tools to assist him to still be able to pour over his beloved Mercury newspaper.

If you find that your eyesight isn’t what it used to be and you need a little assistance contact us or call us on 1800 484 333.