It is likely that people with a central vision loss [often associated with Macular Degeneration] will need to develop an Eccentric Viewing technique in order to continue reading (even when using a magnifier). Basically this means that if some of the letters in the middle or at the beginning or end of long words seem to be missing, or the letters appear to run into each other then you need to look slightly away from that particular word and find where the clearest area of vision is. Then you need to learn to control your eye movement.
Using the chart above please look at the smallest line of figures that you can read with your normal reading spectacles. Look directly at the No. 5. Even if that number goes missing, is blurred or distorted, look where the number ought to be! Try not to move your eye from that position as you undertake this test. When you are looking at the number 5 position, which numbers are clearest - those to the right - or those to the left? If 6789 are clearer than 1234 then you need to look to the left in order to see the 456 at their clearest. If 1234 are clearest, then you will need to look to the right in order to see 456 clearest. If neither way works try looking along the line above the 5 to see whether the numbers appear clearer when you look above, then try looking below the 5 to see whether the numbers appear clearer.
Remember that the aim of this exercise is to find the best angle to look, in order to see the 456 at their clearest.
Once you have found the best angle to see the 456 at their clearest try glancing away and then back again; do this until you can find the centre quickly and accurately. It is important that you are able to find your best "viewing position" quickly and accurately because without this no amount of magnification will help you to read again. Now, try reading a line of a similar size. The trick is to get the first word (or first few letters of the word) into the clearer vision and then keep your eyes still and move the print from right to left in front of your steady eye so that each word flows through the clearer area of vision. Initially this can be quite difficult to master. You will be tempted to move your eyes to the right but if you do the words will "go missing" again. Try practising this technique for 5-10 minutes at a time and then stop. Do this several times a day - the more you practice the easier and faster you will be able to read. When you use this technique in conjunction with a magnifier, remember to keep the magnifier steady - as well as your eye - and move the print from right to left under the magnifier.