Gadget Screens Could be Challenging for Older Eyes

The changes in vision that occur as people age often requires them to wear bifocals, trifocals or reading glasses. Depending on a person’s vision around 50 years old, wearing eyeglasses and spending long periods of time reading smartphone or computer screens can be troublesome.

Senior patient consulting an optometristProblems with Reading Gadget Screens with Bifocals, Trifocals, and Progressive Lens Glasses

If a person already has traditional bifocals with a line that distinguishes the near-sighted prescription from the reading prescription or wears eyeglasses that have a progressive lens that blends the prescription, so there is not a visible line, it can be very difficult to spend hours reading a computer screen.

With the current eyeglass fashion trend, there is limited space to accommodate the bifocal. Reading a computer screen for long periods of time can be a real challenge, especially if the eyeglasses have the progressive lens that eliminates the bifocal or trifocal line.

Another problem is the typical nearsighted prescription for eyeglasses is for distances that are much farther away than the computer screen. The distance for reading a computer screen is a middle-distance area (about 20”-26”) and is in between the long distance vision and the close-up vision for reading a book or magazine.

Tips for Reducing Eye Fatigue when Reading on Gadgets

One solution to this nagging problem is getting a single vision lens that is specifically prescribed for the middle distance for reading the computer screen.

Another solution, depending on whether the person at the computer is also referring to text on a printed page, is bifocal that has the middle vision prescription on the top and the near vision prescription for reading a book or magazine on the bottom. These eyeglasses would not be good for things like driving a car or watching TV but are useful for going back and forth from the screen to a printed page.

A third possibility is getting a multi-focal lens that has three distinct distances with a line separation for each. If choosing this type of lens, the eye doctor should be made aware that the eyeglasses will be used primarily for looking at a computer screen to have the middle-distance area made large enough for this purpose.

To help reduce eye fatigue, consider an anti-reflective coating on the lens to cut down on the glare from the computer screen, and other light reflections that would interfere with viewing the screen.

Computers, Bifocals & Baby Boomers

Bifocals are something most people need around 50 years old as their vision begins to change. Baby boomers who have been accustomed to working long hours at a computer may find this change in vision to be particularly difficult with resulting eye fatigue. A pair of glasses specifically for reading a computer screen may be the best option.

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