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Top 10 Glasses for Macular Degeneration

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedMarch 24, 2024

One of the leading causes of blindness affecting central vision is macular degeneration. Approximately 8.7% of all forms of blindness globally are caused by macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye illness that can obscure the central vision and is a primary cause of vision loss for older adults.

It seems natural to be concerned about losing the ability to function independently daily, from driving to reading. Fortunately, wearers of specialized glasses for macular degeneration can maximize their remaining eyesight. These reasonably priced options can dramatically improve visual clarity and performance with their features, such as enhanced magnification, glare reduction, and contrast enhancement filters.

Read on to discover the top options for glasses designed for macular degeneration, which will effectively address deteriorating eyesight and restore visibility of life’s meaningful details.

Understanding Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), results in progressive visual loss. A person with macular degeneration will notice loss of central vision, along with difficulty seeing at night, and possibly difficulty reading.

Data in 2019 indicates that 12.6% of the American population (or 19.8 million) who are aged 40 and older were diagnosed with AMD.

📖 Definition

The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. Despite its small size - approximately 5 mm - it is responsible for many vital functions such as color vision, center vision, and fine detail perception.


There are different treatment options for AMD, depending on the severity and type of AMD. Here are some common treatments:

  1. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) supplements: These dietary supplements can delay vision loss in intermediate AMD in one or both eyes.
  2. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (Anti-VEGF): Most clinicians use anti-VEGF injections to decrease wet AMD vision loss. These medications prevent retinal blood vessel hemorrhages.
  3. Photodynamic therapy (PDT): Doctors may combine photodynamic therapy (PDT) with anti-VEGF injections to treat wet AMD. PDT uses a laser and light-activated medication to eliminate leaking blood vessels without damaging healthy tissue.

Researchers are investigating novel therapies such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy. The effectiveness of the two potential AMD treatments is still being studied.


AMD can be prevented by reducing risk factors and slowing disease progression, especially in early-stage patients. Lifestyle factors can be improved to lessen AMD risk or progression. Here are some strategies:

  1. If you have intermediate AMD in one or both eyes, dietary supplements may help prevent it from progressing to late AMD. If you only have late AMD in one eye, these supplements may help reduce AMD progression in the other.
  2. AMD can be effectively managed with early identification, achieved by routine comprehensive eye exams.
  3. Smoking is a major risk factor for AMD. Giving up smoking can lower the chance that AMD will progress.
  4. Using tools and technologies intended for low vision can help people maximize their remaining eyesight and maintain their quality of life.

🩺 Doctor’s Note

Not everyone with AMD develops the disease in both eyes or later in life. But if you do, managing AMD-related visual loss might be difficult. Many patients with AMD also have difficulty seeing tiny details, detecting contrasts between similar hues, and adjusting to lighting changes.

Why Do You Need Glasses For Macular Degeneration?

Visual aids, such as glasses, help maintain your independence and make the most out of your vision. Here are a few more reasons why macular degeneration glasses are essential:

  1. Macular degeneration causes vision loss, resulting in central vision loss. To offset this loss, magnifiers that use lenses or cameras can enlarge images essential for close-up tasks.
  2. People with macular degeneration have heightened light and glare sensitivity. Special anti-glare lenses can filter out excess light and make it more comfortable to see.
  3. Prismatic lenses, often known as built-in prism spectacles, are used in the more advanced stages of macular degeneration. These lenses induce a shift in the light rays that enter the eye, allowing light beams to bypass the macular area that is degraded due to AMD. Prismatic glasses for macular degeneration can help lessen the area of low vision, reducing the blind spot. However, they cannot eradicate the blind spots that AMD patients frequently report.
  4. In addition to central vision loss, patients with AMD experience decreased contrast sensitivity, making it difficult to distinguish objects. According to a study, using lenses or filters within the yellow-orange range may benefit individuals with AMD by enhancing contrast sensitivity.

Types of Glasses for Macular Degeneration

Several types of macular degeneration glasses are available to address vision deficits, depending on your needs and lifestyle. Below are four types of glasses that differ in features, but all help maximize the remaining vision of individuals with AMD.

1. Bifocal glasses

Source: Skowron Eye Care

Bifocal glasses have two magnifications in one lens, with a line separating the top and bottom parts of the lens. The top part helps you see things farther away, while the bottom part is for amplifying close-up objects.

Bifocals can be useful instead of switching between two pairs of glasses. However, the magnification may not be strong enough for some people with macular degeneration. If their vision loss is more advanced, some might need a handheld magnifying glass to read the text instead of bifocals.

2. Magnifying reading glasses

Source: Amazon

Magnifying reading glasses can help you see things more clearly, especially if you have trouble focusing on nearby objects. However, they only magnify objects close to your eyes, which is not the best option for farsighted people.

3. Sunglasses

Image Source: Amazon

The retina, which is the deepest light-sensitive tissue of the eye, becomes damaged in people with AMD. People with AMD are advised to wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation when outdoors.

4. Bioptic telescope glasses

Source: Ocutech

Bioptic telescopic glasses are made up of a telescope and two optical lenses, with the telescope fixed to the eyeglass lenses.

In some states, bioptic telescopic glasses have allowed people with vision impairments to become licensed drivers. The telescope attached to the lenses enables drivers to distinguish details at farther distances when needed.

Top 10 Glasses for Macular Degeneration

There are many considerations when selecting glasses for macular degeneration. After extensive research, we developed a list of the top 10 glasses for macular degeneration based on the following selection criteria:

  • Features such as magnification power, glare reduction, and other specialized lenses
  • Price


The information and prices mentioned in this article are accurate as of the time of writing. However, these details may change over time due to market changes, product updates and availability, and other external influences. We recommend verifying any crucial information with relevant sources, as fluctuations are possible.

Multifocal Glasses by Gaoye

These Gaoye blue-light multifocal reading glasses are equipped with progressive lenses. You can choose from six magnification lenses that fit your needs. The UV400 lenses help block 99.9% of glare and harmful blue/UV light that causes headaches and eye pain at any distance. At 0.71 ounces, they have built-in spring hinges that fit different face shapes.

This product is available in four colors: black-clear, light black, red-purple, and tortoise-leopard. For only $11.99, you can get these multifocal glasses by Gaoye.


  • With options of magnification lenses (1.0x, 1.5x, 2.0x, 2.5x, 3.0x, and 3.5x) that cater to specific needs
  • Can add prescription lenses


  • May take time to get used to the different prescription areas in the multifocal lenses
Extra Fit-Over Glasses by MediView

With their yellow-tinted lenses, these lightweight MediView Extra glasses boost contrast and lower light sensitivity, which is helpful for individuals with macular degeneration. Other features are glare reduction and 100% UV/blue light blocking.

The MediView Extra sunglasses have a Category 2 Light Blocking standard. This means it blocks 100% of blue light up to 540 nm and 100% of ultraviolet UVA and UVB rays. Get this pair of Extra Fit-Over Glasses by MediView for $49.99.


  • Can be worn over prescription glasses (if necessary)
  • Enhances contrast sensitivity through its yellow-tinted lenses


  • No magnification included
Eschenbach Max TV Glasses by Magnifying America

With wide-field binocular lenses, Magnifying America's MaxTV hands-free and head-mounted magnifying glasses offer adjustable magnification for viewing television and distant objects.

Its individually focusable lenses cater to various visual needs, and their focal lengths range from 10 feet (3 meters) to above. Its ergonomic frame and flexible temples allow a comfortable viewing experience. At 1.7oz, the MaxTV magnifying glasses are equipped with frosted objective lens housing, eliminating distracting reflections.

Get the Eschenbach MaxTV Glasses for $230.80.


  • With magnification of 2.1x for close-up work or activities


  • Not suitable for prescription lenses
  • High price point at $230.80
High Magnification Reading Glasses by BXT

These portable, lightweight magnifying glasses with a plastic frame offer comfort-fit rectangular lenses and powerful magnification for close work. Weighing at 1.6 oz, these glasses are useful for reading, crafting, using a computer, and watching TV.

These glasses, which cost $11.89, also come with a protective case designed to lessen eye strain in most men and women.


  • With magnification of 2x for close-up work or activities


  • Not suitable for prescription lenses
Magnifying Glasses by Hongdee

With advanced curvature technology, these magnifying glasses by Hongdee offer 2.1x telescopic magnification for television and distance watching from 1.6 inches (0.5 meters) to 65 feet (20 meters). Weighing at 1.2 ounces, these magnifying glasses allow each eye to concentrate independently through adjustable optics.

These glasses, for $26.99, allow you to easily view presentations, sports, screens, and more in high-definition clarity. Note that they are made for distance viewing and may not be suitable for short-distance reading with distances shorter than 0.5 meters.


  • With adjustable optics on each side to suit the specific requirements of each eye


  • Not suitable for short-distance reading or watching
Magnifying Glasses by Vision Aid

These USB rechargeable, hands-free magnifying glasses from Vision Aid offer up to 3.5x magnification through five lenses to cater to different activities. They are designed to fit over prescription glasses for enhanced magnification. The total weight of the frame is 3 oz.

Everything is stored in a storage case to make it easy to carry for travel and to protect the glasses and other materials from damage. Get all of these features for only $32.99.


  • With options of magnification lenses (1.0x, 1.5x, 2.0x, 2.5x, and 3.5x) that cater to specific needs
  • With USB rechargeable LED light to enhance visibility in dark areas
  • Can be worn over prescription glasses (if necessary)


  • Heavy weight of the frames (3 oz)
  • There may be a need for assistance in assembling the eyewear due to the multiple parts
Black Viper Glasses by BluBlocker

These stylish Black Viper BluBlocker sunglasses offer 100% protection from UV/blue light. Weighing 2 oz, they also have a flexible nylon frame suitable for those with an active lifestyle.

This pair of glasses comes with a case and lens cloth at $48.00.


  • With amber-tinted lenses that aid in blocking UV and blue light


  • No magnification included
  • Does not fit over prescription glasses
Lite Glasses by Mediview

The MediView Lite Glasses are designed for individuals with macular degeneration or glaucoma. With a weight of 2.88 oz, this pair of sunglasses has a Category 1 light-blocking filter that blocks 75% of blue light up to 480 nm and 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

These eyeglass frames have tinted side panels for additional light. Retailing at $49.99, the MediView Lite Glasses can be worn independently or over existing prescription eyeglasses.


  • Can be worn over prescription glasses (if necessary)
  • Enhances contrast sensitivity through its yellow-tinted lenses


  • No magnification included
  • Heavy weight of the glasses (2.88 oz)
Magnifying Glasses by YOCTOSUN

This USB-rechargeable YOCTOSUN Hands-Free Head Magnifying Glasses provides powerful magnification, ranging from 1.5x to 5.0x.

The base weight of the magnifier with headband is 2.14 oz without lenses. The weight of the lenses varies with their magnification, with the 1.5x lens weighing the lightest at 0.72oz and the 5.0x lens weighing the heaviest at 1.5oz.

The YOCTOSUN Hands-Free Head Magnifying Glasses cost $29.99 and come with a storage case and lens wipes.


  • With interchangeable magnification lenses depending on the activity
  • Comes with USB rechargeable LED light with two types of brightness (strong light or soft light) to enhance visibility in dark areas
  • Can be worn over prescription glasses (if necessary)


  • Heavy weight of the frame with lenses (from 2.86 oz to 3.64 oz, depending on the lens used)
  • There may be a need for assistance in assembling the eyewear due to the multiple parts
Super Strength II High Magnification Reading Glasses by In Style Eyes

These In Style Eyes Super Strength II magnifying reading glasses are meant to help people with visual impairments such as macular degeneration. Equipped with glare reduction, these lightweight reading glasses also help you see finer details through enhanced magnification lenses.

This pair of Super Strength II High Magnification Reading Glasses by In Style Eyes is available in three colors (burgundy, brown, and black) and costs $35.97.


  • With six high magnification power options (4.5x, 5.0x, 5.5x, 6.0x, 6.5x, and 7.0x) for assistance in seeing smaller details


  • Not suitable for short-distance reading

Final Thoughts

Of the recommended glasses for macular degeneration, the best deals are the Extra Fit-Over Glasses by MediView and the Multifocal Glasses by Gaoye because they offer essential features helpful for individuals with AMD at reasonable prices.

People experiencing vision loss can greatly improve their ability to do certain activities with the help of glasses designed for macular degeneration. Features such as magnification lenses, contrast enhancement, and glare reduction filters can help improve eyesight and make daily tasks easier.

People with this progressive disease can improve their independence, confidence, and quality of life by choosing glasses that fit their needs and lifestyle.

FAQs on Glasses for Macular Degeneration

What are other visual aid interventions besides macular degeneration glasses?

Aside from specialized glasses, other interventions used for macular degeneration include handheld magnifiers, electronic screen readers, and portable video magnifiers with closed-circuit television (CCTV).

What type of glasses for macular degeneration can you use when driving?

According to a study, bioptic telescopic glasses are helpful as an assistive device for visually impaired individuals when driving.

Can macular degeneration glasses cure or stop the progression of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration glasses were designed to treat symptoms and preserve vision. They can enhance eyesight and quality of life, but they do not treat the disease or reduce its course.

How quickly can I adapt to using macular degeneration glasses?

Adapting to macular degeneration glasses depends on various factors, such as the severity of your condition, the design of the glasses, and prior eyewear experience.