Is the right READING DISTANCE a subjective thing.....???

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by LEESA, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. LEESA

    LEESA Guest

    I happen to notice that when I put on a pair of reading glasses that I
    buy inexpensively over the counter that even using a lower power lense
    like 1.0 or at most 1.25 I can see very well for reading as long as
    I'm no more than 14 inches or so from my material.

    I used to notice with my PRESCRIPTION reading glasses that I could see
    best at a much farther distance.

    My questions are as follows. Is there really a correct reading
    distance or does this vary by person and/or the type of glasses one is

    And also... I cannot understand how the cheapie glasses can enable me
    to see so well to read when I have been told I have some astigmatism
    in BOTH eyes. Do these inexpensive reading glasses IN ANY WAY work
    towards correcting the astigmatism?

    BTW... without any type of reading glasses, it's very challenging to
    read without squinting my eyes.

    Thanks in advance

    LEESA (I)
    LEESA, Sep 13, 2009
    1. Advertisements

  2. LEESA

    Dr Judy Guest

    The correct reading distance is the distance at which your arms, neck,
    head and back feel comfortable. Once your personal comfortable
    distance is established, the power of the lens should be selected so
    that print is clear at that distance. Your prescription lenses were
    set for a further distance, the +1.25 ready mades are set for closer.

    After age 40, the eye loses it's ability to focus at near and + power
    glasses are needed. If you have a small amount of astigmatism, you
    will be able to see without correcting it but would likely find in a
    direct comparison that glasses with astigmatism correction are even
    clearer than the ready made.

    Do these inexpensive reading glasses IN ANY WAY work
    No they don't. And the fact that they don't may also be why you need
    to hold things so close.

    Dr Judy, Sep 13, 2009
    1. Advertisements

  3. LEESA

    Dan Abel Guest

    I think that it is both subjective and objective, and there are so many
    factors that I can't list them all (besides, I don't understand them all
    either). Print size and quality, paper color and quality, distance, age
    and glasses strength all affect reading distance.
    The biggest factor for *me* is light level. This isn't true for my
    children, who forever give me funny looks when I turn on a light for
    them when they are reading. Increased light level makes the pupils
    constrict. Once thing this does is increase your depth of field (just
    means your range of focus). Just increasing the light level,
    constricting your pupil, means that you can see both closer and further
    with the very same glasses. This also fixes astigmatism for many
    people. Your OD should be able to tell you what kind of astigmatism you
    have. Many people (like me) have corneal astigmatism. My cornea is not
    regularly shaped. This means that light hitting different parts of the
    cornea is not all focused to the same part of the retina, causing blur.
    By turning up the lights, the pupil constricts, meaning that only the
    light hitting the very center of the cornea hits the retina. I get two
    extra lines on the Snellen chart with my right eye by using the pinhole,
    because that eliminates much of my astigmatism.
    Welcome to the club. Neither my wife nor I can read anything but large
    type without reading glasses.
    Dan Abel, Sep 13, 2009
  4. LEESA

    LEESA Guest

    Thanks for all the replies guys. I will tell you one area where the
    "cheapie" glasses just don't cut it.... and that's working with the
    computer screen.

    To need to be within 14-16" (for me) is just too close for comfort.
    Prescription glasses allow you to see clearly and there is quite a bit
    of flexibility. In other words, you don't have to stay within such a
    limited range where everything is clear and in focus.

    Thank You

    LEESA (I)
    LEESA, Sep 14, 2009
  5. LEESA

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Perhaps a pair of the "cheapie" glasses ... in a different
    prescription (one specifically FOR the computer viewing distance" ...
    would work just fine.

    That's presuming yours is simply presbyopia or hyperopia....
    Neil Brooks, Sep 14, 2009
  6. LEESA

    Dr Judy Guest

    Won't work Neil, the lowest plus power in OTC is +1.00 and that is
    already too strong for her.

    Dr Judy, Sep 14, 2009
  7. LEESA

    paul_0090 Guest

    Have read in a couple of places that "reading glasses" for computers
    should be about 1/2 the optics for regular reading glasses.

    I was prescribed for +2.50 for reading & have bought cheapie
    +1.25 reading glasses for the computer screen; the +1.25 works
    very well for seeing the computer screen.

    Also if you don't need glasses for distance, then a pair of bifocals
    with clear on top can be had relative cheap at $16 to $25; there are
    much higer prices as like designer frames. No line bifocals are
    higher priced than the standard.

    There are also combo computer/reading glasses available.
    paul_0090, Sep 14, 2009
  8. LEESA

    Dan Abel Guest

    I was going to reply to her, but I'll reply to both of you. I suspect
    hyperopia. She's getting the 14-16" with +1.0 glasses. As far as I
    know, you cannot get less than +1.0 in OTC glasses, you have to go with
    prescription plus lenses for that.

    I just went with less powerful OTC glasses for computer use, +1.5 vs my
    previous +1.75. The hinge had broken on the old glasses, so I needed
    new ones anyway. With the higher power, I had to be so close that I had
    to move my head to see the whole screen. Now I can see the whole screen
    by just moving my eyes. I got a terrific deal at Costco. They were
    marked at US$18.00 for three pairs, with an instant rebate at the
    register of US$6.00.
    Dan Abel, Sep 14, 2009
  9. LEESA

    Neil Brooks Guest

    That'll teach me to jump in without reading the entire thread.

    Thanks for the ... correction (pun intended), Doc!
    Neil Brooks, Sep 14, 2009
  10. LEESA

    Otis Guest

    Judy is almost correct.

    In fact, in some stores they start at 1.25 diopters.

    But if the issue is low-cost plus lenses for computers, you can obtain
    them here:

    Just specifiy you need READING glasses of +0.75 diotpers.

    There is no law against obtaining weak plus lenses (for about $15.00)
    over the Internet -- or is there?

    If so, please explain WHY there would be such a law.

    Otis, Sep 14, 2009
  11. LEESA

    Dr Judy Guest

    She stated that she does have astigmatism.

    So for the computer she may need +1.25 -1.00 x 180 or +1.50 -2.00 x
    180 or some such, which would be focused at 20inches (spherical
    equivalent +0.75 or +0.50) but the +1.25 spheres would be too strong.
    Dr Judy, Sep 14, 2009
  12. LEESA

    Dr Judy Guest

    Are your prescription glasses made as progressives for both far and
    near? If so, then yes, they have a much larger range than single
    vision readers; that is one of the major advantages of a progressive.

    Dr Judy, Sep 14, 2009
  13. LEESA

    The Real Bev Guest

    Lordy! I can't imagine a person for whom +1 was too strong as actually NEEDING
    glasses :-(

    If you live near Yuma, the opticians at Los Algodones will be happy to make
    whatever you need for $20 single-vision or $30 bifocal plus $10 for the exam if
    you don't have a prescription you're happy with. Service in under two hours.
    Google for Algodones Optical.

    Just a happy customer, as is my husband.
    The Real Bev, Sep 16, 2009
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.