Top 10 Professions Impacted by Reading Glasses

Reviewed by: Selene A. Burke, OD

Vision Tips & Prevention Vision Tips & Prevention

The need for reading glasses can create challenges at work. When the details matter, people in these 10 professions can be most impacted by loss of near vision. Age-related near vision loss begins to affect many people in their late 30’s to early 40’s, well before they are ready to retire. At first you may use brighter lights or hold things further away from your face in order to focus, but eventually, most people turn to reading glasses for up-close tasks. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Presbyopia: What Is It? Harvard Health Publishing Go to Source 1

Why Do I Need Reading Glasses?

Presbyopia is the cause of age-related near vision loss. This naturally occurring condition happens when the lens in the front of your eye stiffens and changes shape as a result of aging. The changes in the lens shift the way that light is refracted in the eye, and create difficulty reading and seeing objects at close distance. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Presbyopia Fact Sheet National Eye Institute Go to Source 2

Is Presbyopia Affecting Your Work Performance?

Reading glasses are a common solution as presbyopia progresses, but they can be annoying for people who are used to having clear vision. If you are in one of these 10 active professions, it can be especially challenging to get the job done and perform well while dealing with reading glasses.


This heavily detail-oriented career requires a lot of time spent looking at screens and fine print – two things that can create eye strain and headaches for people with presbyopia.

Airport Personnel

A gate agent at the airport needs to read boarding passes and check identification while also keeping an eye on the people around them and monitoring activity in the busy terminal.

Automotive Repair

Modern-day auto repair utilizes many digital tools, but a mechanic still needs to do a lot of hands-on work. It can be difficult to take reading glasses on and off while switching between analyzing diagnostics and getting under the hood.


A carpenter or contractor may use reading glasses to read a measuring tape, take them off to cut wood, put them back on to check a level, take them off to install framework… you can see how reading glasses can hinder this day-to-day.


Working in education requires patience, but it can be frustrating to keep track of reading glasses in a busy classroom while constantly taking them off to observe students and putting them back on to follow lesson plans.


Life in engineering can vary greatly depending on your field, but whether you are a civil, mechanical, or electrical engineer, the details are critical. This career can require a lot of screen time as well as collaboration with a team, with little room for errors that can occur when reading glasses get in the way.

Law Enforcement

Police officers and other agents often have to switch between important and time-sensitive tasks that require near vision, such as reading reports and checking screens, to tasks that require clear distance vision, like driving and patrolling.

Medical Professionals

Medical professionals, such as nurses and paramedics, need to act quickly to tend to patients. However, it is also important that they can clearly read medication labels, charts, and dosing instructions.


People in the food industry are behind the scenes and on their feet, often all day and all night. They oversee kitchen staff, cook, order supplies, and more. Keeping track of reading glasses while checking recipes, writing menus, and interacting with guests can get in the way of culinary greatness.


No matter what profession you are in, details matter. You take pride in your work and you don’t want to let the back and forth hassle of reading glasses get in the way of a job well done. And when you get home from work, you also want to enjoy your hobbies and leisure time without the inconvenience of reading glasses!

Trusetd Source Checkbox  Sources

1 Harvard Health Publishing. Presbyopia What Is It? Accessed September 17, 2019.
2 National Eye Institute. Presbyopia Fact Sheet. Accessed September 17, 2019.

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