Wearing reading glasses all day won’t hurt your eyes, but you want to make sure you’re only wearing them for reading, using your phone and other up-close tasks.
Donning a pair of reading glasses is an easy way to enhance your vision while reading a book, tablet or phone screen. But is it OK to reach for your readers when doing other things around the house? The reality is that reading glasses aren’t right for every application and every wearer, so you want to make sure you’re using them as intended. In general, it’s OK to wear reading glasses all day, as long as you’re wearing them strictly for reading and other up-close tasks.
Why Wear Reading Glasses?
Wearing reading glasses is a safe, effective way to enhance your vision while performing certain tasks. About 32.6 million Americans wear over-the-counter reading glasses, according to The Vision Council. Most people, especially older adults, wear them to correct an age-related eyesight issue called presbyopia.
This condition causes farsightedness (the inability to see nearby objects) due to loss of elasticity in the lens of the eye.
Regardless of age, a pair of high-quality readers can make certain tasks easier and more enjoyable. They can help prevent eye strain and headaches that may plague you after trying to focus for long periods of time on close-up objects or text. If you have presbyopia you should wear readers during the following tasks:
- Reading a book, newspaper or magazine
- Using your smartphone or tablet
- Drawing, painting or coloring
- Inspecting small objects, such as jewelry
- Scrapbooking or paper crafting
- Writing using a pen and paper
Reading Glasses Are Not for All Tasks
While reading glasses are a safe, affordable way to correct Presbyopia, they are not meant to address other common eye problems, such as farsightedness, astigmatism and other common issues. For this reason, you should not wear them for all tasks. Do not rely on your reading glasses for driving and other tasks that require you to see far ahead.
- Driving or operating a vehicle
- Cooking (except to reference a recipe)
- Exercising, hiking or walking the dog
- Gardening or lawn work
- Operating machinery
- Watching a far-away TV or movie screen
- Watching presentations and lectures
What If I Read All Day?
The good news is that wearing reading glasses for long periods of time won’t hurt your vision or damage your eyes. In fact, not wearing reading glasses when you need them could actually gradually worsen your eyesight.
While many people take a bit of time to adjust to a new pair — headaches and strain are common the first day or two — readers are not likely to cause any long-term damage. This is great news for those who like to wear them for fashion (like if you want to copy Oprah’s glasses, for example) or who spend all day reading or using the computer.
Your eyesight is an important part of your overall health and wellness, so you want to make sure you’re taking care of them as best as you can. Without the ability to see, you risk your health, safety and comfort each day. Wearing readers for certain tasks is a great way to help keep your vision clear so you feel your best.