Some people who don’t require prescription vision correction will nonetheless wear reading glasses for small text. Is this advisable? Here’s what you should know. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
For people with presbyopia – age-related far-sightedness – reading glasses are effective tools for performing delicate tasks up close and reading comfortably. But if you don’t technically have presbyopia or require prescription lenses, is it safe to wear reading glasses?
While reading glasses are designed to reduce eye fatigue in people with varying degrees of presbyopia, people with normal vision can wear reading glasses perfectly safely for a variety of tasks that could lead to eye strain. If, for example, you have to read very small or difficult-to-decipher text (like hand-written text), reading glasses can significantly enhance the text size so you can see it with ease.
However, while it is fine to use reading glasses for magnification, your eyes will probably need a moment to adjust if you’re not used to looking through the lenses, particularly if they’re stronger than a 4.0 power magnification.
If you find yourself more comfortable wearing reading glasses, you should likely have your eyes checked by an optometrist – you might discover that you’d be better served by prescription eyewear.
Alleviating Eye Strain
Although you can use readers for near vision tasks to reduce eye strain, there are other things you can do to help prevent or lessen eye discomfort. These include:
- Make lighting adjustments. Keeping your light at a comfortable brightness is key to alleviating eye strain. Moreover, the position of the light source is a factor, too. If you are reading physical text from a book or document, move your light source behind you and focus the light directly on the text. If you’re working from a table or desk, a properly positioned shaded lamp will direct light onto your work and away from your eyes.
- Take periodic breaks. It’s important to give your eyes relief when you’re focusing on close work for extended periods of time. This reduces the stress of continued focus and helps prevent eye fatigue and headaches.
- Use a humidifier. Dry eyes are a symptom of eye strain, largely due to the fact that it’s common to blink less when focusing on close work. If your eyes become dry after prolonged close work sessions, you could find relief by keeping the air quality moist. If a humidifier isn’t practicable, artificial tears can help keep your eyes comfortably lubricated.
- Use blue light blocking glasses. If you’re working at a computer, blue light blocking glasses can help reduce eye strain symptoms by reducing LED glare that can contribute to eye fatigue.
OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington is widely considered one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists, having practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.