Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Treatment for Macular Degeneration in Connecticut: Low Vision Eyeglasses

Doctor Helps Legally Blind to See Better
Dr. Randolph Kinkade, Connecticut’s only full-time low vision optometrist, treats macular degeneration and other vision limiting conditions with telescopic eyeglasses and other devices.  Low vision is defined as impaired vision that cannot be improved with standard eyeglasses, medication or surgery. 

Dr. Kinkade has authored the book Guide to Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses: Low Vision Treatment and is a founding member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists.

Low vision affects a person’s ability to read and write, drive an automobile, see people’s faces and watch television. “People with low vision have often been told by their eye doctors that nothing more can be done to help them see better,” states Dr. Kinkade.


 The National Eye Institute estimates that over 2 million people in the United States have low vision. Seniors are more often affected, with macular degeneration being the leading cause.

Other causes include inoperable cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and optic nerve disease.   Genetic defects, strokes and trauma are additional causes of low vision.

Dr. Kinkade feels people start noticing difficulty in doing normal day-to-day activities when their corrected vision becomes less than 20/40.  At this level reading the newspaper starts to be difficult.

On an eye chart, 20/20 vision is considered normal.  An individual has 20/40 vision if the smallest letters they can see on an eye chart are twice the size of the 20/20 letters.  At 20/200 vision, the level of legal blindness, the smallest size letter seen is 10 times larger than that of a 20/20 letter.





With telescopic glasses I can often bring someone with 20/80 vision to see 20/20 on the eye chart.  The vision is a different kind of 20/20 vision they were used to, but it is a huge improvement over what is seen without these special glasses,” states Dr. Kinkade.

Dr. Kinkade reports “these eye glasses consist of miniaturized telescopes incorporating prescriptions, anti-glare coatings, and very special optics.  Understandably, they often take 3-4 weeks to have made.”


The telescopes can be placed in either the lower reading position, straight ahead position or in the upper bioptic position.  With advancement in optics and high-tech lens designs, there is hope for restoring useful vision for people willing to learn new ways of seeing.

 Implantable miniature telescopes are available for certain patients with advanced macular degeneration.  Dr. Kinkade is part of the only rehabilitation team bringing this new technology to Connecticut.



Educational videos, additional information and a free copy of his e-book are available on his website  Dr. Kinkade can be contacted at (800) 756.0766 or

Low Vision Rehabilitation - Connecticut 
Cheshire Danbury Farmington Litchfield Manchester

Norwalk Shelton Stamford Waterford West Haven





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Connecticut Eye Doctor Updates Book on Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses

Dr. Randolph Kinkade, optometrist and founding member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, announces the expanded version of Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses: Low Vision Treatment.

The book contains over 150 patient photographs demonstrating macular degeneration low vision glasses.  New chapters and updates show practical and unique eyeglass designs.  Vision enhancing techniques are also discussed.

The book has been written for those suffering from macular degeneration and their doctors.  The biggest challenge for helping people is they have no idea these special glasses exist”, said Dr. Kinkade. 

For reading and writing there are Prismatic Magnifying Readers (PMRs), Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs) and ClearImage II Reading Microscopes.  They provide higher magnification than regular eyeglasses, often making reading easier.  


A person is considered to have “low vision” when they experience a reduction in eyesight that cannot be corrected by regular glasses, surgery or medication.  Unless treated, low vision interferes with the many visually-guided tasks we perform every day.  

For seeing  better in the distance (5 feet and beyond), like watching television, driving and seeing people’s faces, new E-Scoop Glasses and Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs) are available. 

Many eye doctors are not fully aware of all the high-power magnification eyeglass options that are available for their patients.  “If their patients are willing to learn new ways of seeing, these glasses will help”, said Dr. Kinkade.  “The glasses cannot make vision perfect, but the vision is definitely better.  A lot depends on the level of vision loss, what the patient wants to see and do, and their ability to adapt to new ways of seeing.”

The book was written to increase public awareness regarding the many eyeglass options that are available for those who have been told “sorry there is nothing more I can do for you”. 

Electronic copies of the book have been distributed to as far away as Singapore and Australia.  Hard copies are being placed in the waiting rooms of retina specialists and other eye doctor’s in Connecticut.

The electronic version contains links to videos, television interviews, websites, and a low vision blog. Dr. Kinkade updates the book as technology advances and as more patients gain successes.

Dr. Kinkade’s book can be downloaded for free from his website LowVisionEyeglasses.  The book can also be downloaded from Vision Dynamics, a store selling electronic magnification tools and assistive products for those with macular degeneration. 

To see if you or someone you know can benefit from low vision eyeglasses please call Dr. Kinkade at (800) 756-0766.  He has offices throughout Connecticut.



Monday, September 9, 2013

Magnification Treatment for Macular Degeneration Low Vision

Prismatic Magnifying Readers (PMRs) and Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs) treat macular degeneration and other vision loss conditions (low vision).  Dr. Randolph Kinkade, a Connecticut optometrist and founding member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, understands how to maximize eyesight when there has been permanent vision loss.

Dr. Kinkade and Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses

Low vision can make daily activities such as reading the newspaper, writing a check or driving the car difficult or impossible.   With low vision, the vision loss cannot be corrected completely with regular glasses, surgery or medication. 

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of low vision.  However, other eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve disease, eye injuries and birth defects can lead to permanent vision loss.  This vision loss can be mild to severe. 

Low vision means people have to change how they do things.  Special low vision glasses (high-power and telescopic), large print, video magnification and special software are devices to help with vision loss.

“Magnification is the key to low vision treatment”, said Dr. Kinkade. “Magnification in the form of glasses, rather than having to hold a magnifier, is the ideal goal for low vision rehabilitation”.

There are limits to how much effective magnification a regular pair of glasses can deliver.  The more magnification that is required to read, the closer the reading material must be held to the glasses.

Prismatic Magnifying Readers offer increased magnification while allowing both eyes to work better together for additional enhancement.   The vision needs to be relatively equal in both eyes for PMRs to be most beneficial.  These glasses reduce the eye strain and fatigued often accompanied when reading material must be held close.  Holding reading material close allows for the extra magnification.

Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs) offer magnification at a more normal reading distance.  SMTs use 2-3 lenses in combination to provide the power and increased viewing distance.  They can be fit for one or both eyes.   They can be helpful for seeing playing cards on the table, reading piano music, or painting. They can also be useful for distance magnification for seeing faces, television, and road signs.

“Due to laws of optics and physics and the anatomy of the eye, as magnification increases the field of view decreases”, said Dr. Kinkade.  “When the field of view deceases, less of the page can be seen at a time.  This means that the patient must learn to scan more across a line of print when reading”.

Proper and enhanced illumination is the other major assistive treatment for low vision. 

“Proper magnification and better illumination is often the difference between reading and not being able to read with low vision” said Dr. Kinkade.

 Free e-book Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses and additional information is available at

Contact Dr. Kinkade for a free telephone consultation
to see if you or someone you know is a candidate
for his special glasses.
(800) 756-0766

Low Vision Consulting - Connecticut
Cheshire • Danbury • Farmington
Litchfield • Manchester Norwalk • Waterford




Thursday, August 22, 2013

Newest Eyeglass Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration Low Vision

Telemicroscopic glasses are used for reading and seeing when high amounts of magnification are required as in advancing macular degeneration.  These are a multi-lens systems combining the function of a telescope and a microscope.  In glasses, telemicroscopes can be consider "spectacle-mounted loupes".

Telescopic Reading Glasses for Macular Degeneration

A major benefit of telemicroscopes, in contrast to high power single lens magnifying eyeglasses lenses that require very short viewing distances, telemicroscopes allows people to see and work at a more "normal" or "arm's length" viewing distance. This is beneficial for playing card games, knitting, reading music, and using the computer.
Telemicroscopes often have an extra removable lens cap that fits over the end of the telescope and allows the user to focus close for reading or other near tasks.  The focusing cap can even swing up out of the way. The focusing cap can also have dual powers.

Magnification Swing Reading Lens for Macular Degeneration

Multiple reading cap magnification powers  are available depending on the level of vision and what needs to be seen.  As magnification increases, the field of view becomes smaller and the viewing distance shortens.  This is due to laws of physics and optics.
                                                YouTube Spectacle Miniature Telescopes

Telephoto Microscopes offer very high magnification power.  These lens designs are fit monocularly due to the their high power.  The eyes are not able to fuse the two eyes so the best eye is chosen to do the seeing.

Split reading lens for macular degeneration allows different levels of magnification.  This allows different viewing distances.  For example, playing cards on the table can be viewed through the  top while the cards in the hand can be seen through the bottom.

Proper illumination is essential for better reading ability for macular degeneration.  This is especially true with reading telescopes.

Implantable Miniature Telescopes offer an alternative to Spectacle Miniature Telescopes.  The implant is placed in one eye.

WTIC Television Interview

For A Free Copy
Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses:
Low Vision Treatment
please visit
Contact Dr. Kinkade for a free telephone consultation
to see if you or someone you know is a candidate
for his special glasses.
(800) 756-0766

Low Vision Consulting - Connecticut
Cheshire • Danbury • Farmington
Litchfield • Manchester Norwalk • Waterford



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses: Low Vision Treatment

          Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses:
Low Vision Treatment

If you are willing to learn new ways of seeing this book is for you.  Low vision glasses may be able to bring the joyful parts of life back into better focus.

Pioneering optics and electronic magnification are important tools to seeing better with advancing macular degeneration.

It is beneficial to have a good understanding of the eye and macular degeneration.  Macular degeneration causes a partial loss in vision; however, the part that is lost is the critical central vision needed for fine detail vision like reading.  You never go blind with macular degeneration.

You have “low vision” when you cannot see well enough to do the things you like and need to do.

There are effective ways to minimize the vision problems macular degeneration creates.  You can see better…not perfect…but definitely better.  Magnification is the key to improving what you want to see.

The complete free book is available for download from

Low Vision Glasses for Near Activities
reading • writing • computer • cards • painting • puzzles
bingo • music • knitting • recipes • genealogy • photos   

Prismatic Magnifying Readers (PMRs)

ClearImage II Reading Microscope

Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs)

Low Vision Glasses for Distance Activities
driving • television • faces •  live theater • sports 
scenery • museums  • walking
                               E-scoop Glasses
                                         Spectacle Miniature Telescopes (SMTs)
                                                a. Full diameters
                                                b. Bioptics

Learning the benefits and limitations of magnification is an important step to seeing better.  Magnification can be supplied in low vision eyeglasses, hand-held optical magnifiers or electronically through the use of special equipment.

Lighting, enhanced contrast and glare control are additional treatment tools.
Bioptic Magnifying Glasses for Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a common, incurable and potentially devastating disease.  It is a progressive condition that causes vision loss in the center of your vision.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people 50 and older. The older you are, the greater your chance of being affected by age-related macular degeneration. Early detection is the key to reducing the effects of this condition.
Symptoms for macular degeneration often include a gradual or sudden loss of vision for tasks like reading, writing, driving or seeing faces clearly.  There may be haziness, small or large blind spots, or even distortions in vision.

Macular degeneration does not cause total blindness, but it can decrease your quality of life by blurring or causing a blind spot in your central vision. Clear central vision is used for reading, driving, recognizing faces and seeing any task requiring detail work.

In contrast, the peripheral retina is responsible for detecting objects and movement off to the side and this is not affected by macular degeneration.  Peripheral vision is naturally blurry, yet very beneficial.  It is necessary for keeping us safe as we move about throughout the day.  It also becomes more important for daily activities as macular degeneration progresses.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology 10 million Americans have some stage of macular degeneration. There are 200,000 new individuals developing this condition every year.

Normal eyesight consists of a combination of
clear center vision and blurry side vision.
Macular degeneration affects the center vision only.

The Stages of Macular Degeneration

Early Stage  
Intermediate Stage 
  Advanced Stage  
End Stage (it gets no worse)

Looking under the telescope
Looking through the telescope


What is the Macula?
The macula is an area of the light-sensitive retina in the center of the back of the eye. In the center of the macula is the fovea that contains densely packed photoreceptor cells which are necessary for seeing fine detail and providing sharp straight-ahead vision. 

What is the Fovea?
The fovea is the “sweet spot” in the middle of the macula needed for 20/20 vision.  When we lose the ability of the fovea to “see”, we no longer can have sharp vision.


What are Low Vision Glasses?
People with advancing macular degeneration need magnification to “see around the blind spots and distortion”.  In other words, they need a “clarification “boost”.  Magnification spreads the image to healthier parts of the macula and retina. Magnification makes the blind spots and distortions seem smaller; however, magnification can never truly eliminate them.  Magnification helps reduce the amount of vision impairment.

Standard eyeglasses consist of only one lens.  Depending on the level of vision and what needs to be seen, a single lens may no longer be able to provide enough magnification.
Magnification of a single lens is determined on its curvature, thickness and material (index of refraction). 

Telescopic and Tele-Microscope Low Vision Glasses
Ever look through a pair of binoculars and everything is larger and easier to see?
In order to get good quality high-power magnification in a pair of glasses, two or three lenses separated by an air space is often required.  This is not your standard pair of eyeglasses.  The telescopes improve the image size.
Why didn’t my doctor tell me about Low Vision Glasses?
Eye doctors are excellently trained in diagnosing and treating eye diseases.  They are extremely busy in what they know and do best.  Macular degeneration creates a type of blurriness that cannot be helped with normal eyeglasses.

Traditional eyeglass lenses are designed to focus light and images on to the macula located in the back of the eye. Everyday glasses are used to correct the eye's focusing problems: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (unequal cornea curvatures) and presbyopia (decreased reading vision after age 40). These lens corrections put the image clearly onto the macula allowing for 20/20 vision when the macula and fovea are healthy.

When the macula is damaged the "picture remains faulty" even when the glasses are focusing the image properly on to the macula. The more the macula is damaged the poorer the vision.
Low vision glasses are not your regular pair of eye glasses.  They magnify the image beyond the damage areas in the macula.

There are very few doctors with training in advanced low vision optics or who specialize in the field of Low Vision Rehabilitation. 

If you ask your doctor they should be able to refer to a low vision specialist.  You may also call the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists at (888) 778-2030.

Low vision eyeglasses may not help everyone, but you do not know if you do not try.  The benefits low vision glasses can provide depends on your level of vision, what you want to see and do, and your ability to adapt to new ways of seeing.
To down load a free complete copy of
Guide for Macular Degeneration Eyeglasses:
Low Vision Treatment
please visit

Contact Dr. Kinkade for a free telephone consultation
to see if you or someone you know is a candidate
for his special glasses.
(800) 756-0766

Low Vision Consulting - Connecticut
Cheshire • Danbury • Farmington
Litchfield • Manchester Norwalk • Waterford