The Optelec Compact 7 HD is lightweight, easily manipulated, and portable.

“The Optelec Compact 7 HD with its 7-in. screen and portability is a perfect combination, allowing many of my low vision patients the independence and joy of reading again.”

                         -Melissa Chun, OD, FAAO,
Jules Stein Eye Institute,
Los Angeles, CA

The Optelec Compact 7 HD offers a new way to deal with low vision rehabilitation.

When I started my practice 30 years ago, the range of options for patients needing low vision services (most of them over 65 and with macular degeneration) was far less functional, efficient, and affordable than today, particularly in the category of video magnification. Thanks to companies like Optelec, video magnifiers are not what they used to be””and that’s a good thing. The Optelec Compact 7 HD, in particular, part of the company’s family of high-definition portable video magnifiers, has changed the way I address low vision rehabilitation with my patients.

When we first introduced low vision care, I decided to utilize representative examples of essential products in each category rather than offering every type of low vision aid and every power of optical magnifiers. This system proved to be more efficient and less tedious for the patients.

My practice utilizes a hierarchical approach when determining the best alternative to correct or maximize visual performance. For those patients needing magnification above +16.00D, I tend to recommend either a portable or desktop video magnifier based on lifestyle and visual demands. This is even more beneficial if patients have artistic hobbies, vocational needs, enjoy reading at length, travel a lot, or have fluctuating visual performance characteristics.

The Optelec Compact 7 HD works well because it’s lightweight, easily manipulated, and portable for use in multiple environments. Because of its larger screen and continuous range of magnification (from 2x to 24x), the Compact 7 HD provides a field of view large enough to read longer texts. This effectively eliminates the need for multiple optical magnifiers. Another plus: The device only has a few controls, which keeps it simple.

Common misconceptions regarding low vision patients are that brightness and magnification are all that matter. However, image quality and stability are equally important. This is where Optelec sets itself apart, utilizing HD displays. If a display flickers on a video magnifier, it can be devastating to users because their sensitivity to temporal visual components increases as the spatial components diminish. The Compact 7 HD offers stability and clarity””the displayed image remains constant when placed over reading materials and when adjusting the magnification, resulting in a noticeable
difference for patients.

At least three to four times per week, I encounter a patient who was previously told that nothing can be done to help them with their low vision issues. I understand the statement was made to describe a lack of cure for their condition, but these folks are often devastated. By helping them cope with their visual deficits, for example, and recommending the Optelec Compact 7 HD, I’ve been able to both retain these patients, and grow my practice. With a few easy steps to get started, you can do the same.

G. Timothy Petito practices at Petito Eye Care in St. Petersburg/Tampa, FL, and is an author and lecturer in various topics relating to ocular care.


Optelec US, Inc. •800-826-4200 •


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