Purpose: Examination information gained from a simple tactile analogue scale technique (10 cc syringe) of measuring psychological aspects of coping in a low vision patient population. Methods: In routine low vision rehabilitation evaluations, patients were asked to estimate the impact of their vision loss on emotional factors. A 10 cc syringe was used by the patient with closed (0 cc level) indicating no problem and totally open (10 cc level) indicating greatest difficulty. Results: The sample included 25 male and 29 female low vision patients. Mean scores (x / 10) for emotional distress variables were frustration 7.4, anxiety 5.5, depression 4.8, fear 4.1, and anger 4.1. Mean scores (x / 10) for cognitive appraisal variables were: interference 7.8 and intolerance 4.4. Younger age was associated with greater anger (r = - 0.45, p < 0.01). No other significant correlations between age or gender and emotional reactions were found. The two cognitive appraisals were better predictors of emotional distress than visual acuity or demographic information. Discussion: This technique demonstrated patients to have a noteworthy amount of distress which is important clinical information in low vision rehabilitation programs. Visual acuity and demographic factors did not predict the distress. This 10 cc syringe technique is inexpensive and easy to administer. It opens a helpful dialogue that may not occur otherwise. Support: Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.