Near Vision Hacks to Help You See Without Readers

Reviewed by: Selene A. Burke, OD

Vision Tips & Prevention Vision Tips & Prevention

Many people would like to avoid the need for reading glasses. We all want clear vision, but the hassle of taking readers on and off and the annoyance of misplacing them is a pain. Some people also worry that reading glasses make them appear older or less attractive. We’ll explain why you may need readers and what some people do to avoid them.

Do You Have Age-Related Near Vision Loss?

Do you squint when looking at your phone? Do your arms get tired when you read because you have started holding books further away from your face in order to focus? If you are in your late 30’s to mid 40’s the reason could be presbyopia. According to the National Eye Institute, everyone over the age of 35 is at risk of presbyopia. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Presbyopia National Eye Institute Go to Source 1 This naturally occurring condition happens when the lens of your eye begins to stiffen and change shape. The loss of flexibility affects focus and makes it difficult to have clear vision for up-close tasks. Presbyopia progresses gradually, so if you’re not ready for readers, you may be able to get by with a few of our favorite tricks for optimizing near vision:

Be Clever With Lighting

Popping higher wattage bulbs into your reading lamps may offer a small amount of relief from the eye strain that accompanies untreated presbyopia. If you have an e-reader or a tablet, try increasing the brightness of the screen to see if it improves your ability to focus.

Get Sneaky With a Page Magnifier

A page magnifying tool could be right for you if you don’t like the look or feel of reading glasses, but you don’t mind toting an extra gadget. These devices, available in different sizes and magnification powers, sit over the page to bring text into focus without the need for readers. They can be especially helpful for cookbooks, so you can glance quickly at recipes.

Bump Up Your Font Sizes

Technology has increased our options for handling reading vision issues. If you use a tablet or e-reader, play with the font size options to increase the text to a size that allows you to focus more easily. If you prefer an old-school approach, ask your local library about their large print book options. Some newspapers and magazines even offer subscriptions for larger print editions.

Take Advantage of Voice Assistants

The popularity of digital voice assistants shows us another way technology can benefit people who are putting off getting reading glasses. Voice command devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa or smartphone features like Siri, allow you to do research, get directions, or check recipe notes without picking up a book.

Trusetd Source Checkbox  Sources


1 National Eye Institute. Presbyopia. https://nei.nih.gov/ Accessed August 21, 2019.

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