It can be a very confusing world in terms of what type of eyeglasses to use for which purposes.  There are straight reading glasses, intermediate reading glasses, progressive lenses and computer task lenses.  All will work for a particular type of reading but not necessarily for every type.  The necessity of each type is based on how far away your reading material is from your eyes, as well as convenience factors.  Here is the breakdown of when to wear each type of lens.

Reading glasses

Sometime around the age of 40 the muscles in our eyes weaken, making accommodation for closer up reading more difficult.  This condition is called presbyopia.  As we continue to age, so does the ability to focus for reading and so more magnification is needed to correct it. People in the beginning stages of this group often find themselves trying to squint or hold their reading material farther away in order to see better.

In order to remedy this condition, reading glasses are required. Reading glasses will provide the magnification needed to see up close without straining your eyes.  Generally speaking, a full reading prescription works well for reading materials that are 12″ to 18″ from your eyes.  Examples would be books, cell phone and menu reading.

Intermediate / Computer glasses

The farther away your reading material is held, the less magnification is required to correct your vision.  As such, computer screens that
are on average 24″ from your eyes, or sheet music for your piano or other instruments would be considered an intermediate reading prescription.  Many people spend hours on a desk top computer every day.  This can be incredibly stressful for your eyes unless your vision is appropriately corrected with the proper magnification at the distance to the screen.  In addition a blue light filter is usually added to the lenses to mitigate the straining effects of blue light emitted from digital devices.  Your eyes will be more relaxed and the blue light will not affect your circadian rhythm which otherwise can affect your ability to fall asleep easily.

Computer task / Office lenses

Much like the intermediate/computer reading glasses, these lenses are made for reading at approximately 20″ – 26″ from your eye.  Looking straight ahead provides the correct distance for intermediate reading, but the difference is that these lenses also have correction for close up reading near the bottom of your lenses.  Having two focal points allow for a comfortable transition for those requiring both computer monitor vision as well as viewing paperwork and reading.  These lenses can also be set up so that you are able to walk around the office with them without having to take them off as you would have to if they were only readers or only intermediate/computer reading glasses.

Progressive lenses

Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses that provide a range of viewing distances.  They are convenient in that they are a “one stop
shop” where one pair of glasses allow you to see distance, intermediate and reading.  The disadvantage over the readers and computer task lenses is that the visual fields for near and intermediate viewing are considerably smaller.  Progressives are great for every day use, but many people find that if they are reading or on computers for hours of the day, it is best to have a second pair for the task on hand as it is less of a strain with larger viewing zones.

A consultation with any of our expert Josephson Opticians can help you to decipher which lenses would best fit your needs. Book your appointment today ! 

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