Is It Bad To Wear Distance Glasses For Reading

Is It Bad To Wear Distance Glasses For Reading?

Yes. Wearing distance glasses for reading is not recommended as they are designed for faraway vision. Doing so may lead to eyestrain, blurred vision, discomfort, and reduced reading efficiency. It’s advisable to use glasses specifically designed for close-range tasks like reading for optimal visual comfort.

Lots of folks wonder if they can use distance glasses for reading, even though these glasses are meant for seeing far stuff, not tiny print. In this article, you’ll check out which types of distance glasses could be good for reading. Plus, you’ll see other options if your distance glasses don’t quite cut it.

What Are Distance Glasses, And How Do They Function?

Distance glasses work like a visual superhero, honing in on faraway sights with a single power strength across the lens. When you put them on, they create a super-sized image of what’s ahead, giving you a crystal-clear view without straining your eyes. Perfect for driving, watching TV, or catching sports action, these glasses aren’t the go-to for up-close tasks like reading.

Now, let’s dive into the trio of distance glasses: single-vision, bifocal, and progressive. Single-vision lenses keep it simple with one power, great for focusing on things far away but not so hot for up-close reading. Bifocals are multitaskers, with a top part for distance and a bottom part for reading stuff like books or newspapers. Then there’s the smooth operator, progressive lenses, seamlessly blending two powers so you can smoothly switch between far and near vision.

In addition, both can handle reading duties, but everyone’s different. Some folks might feel eye strain, especially when reading up close. That’s when a chat with an optometrist becomes key. They’ve got the know-how to suggest other solutions personalized just for you, making sure your eyes stay comfy and your vision stays top-notch.

Reading Glasses vs. Distance Glasses 

Reading Glasses vs. Distance Glasses
AspectReading GlassesDistance Glasses
Prescription PurposeDesigned for up-close tasks like readingOptimized for clear vision of distant objects
Lens PowerVaried strengths for close vision tasksSingle power strength for faraway vision tasks
Focal LengthTailored for reading distancePrimarily designed for distant focal lengths
ActivitiesIdeal for reading, crafting, or close workSuitable for driving, watching TV, sports, etc.
Eyestrain RiskLower risk for close tasksHigher risk for close-range activities
VersatilityLimited to up-close tasksLimited for distant vision tasks
Design TypesSingle-vision, bifocals, progressivesSingle-vision, bifocals, progressives
Presbyopia SolutionOften used to address presbyopiaMay not fully address presbyopia
Switching GlassesTypically worn when needed for close tasksNot ideal for constant switching

Who Requires Reading Glasses For Distance?

Distance glasses are for people who have trouble seeing things far away. This could be due to conditions like astigmatism or myopia. If these folks also need help with things up close, like reading, they might opt for bifocal or progressive lenses to get the clear focus they need.

So, it’s not just for folks with vision issues, though. Even people with regular vision might wear distance glasses, especially for activities like driving or sports. These glasses make faraway things look clearer, which can be super useful in those situations.

Why distance glasses cannot be used for reading?

Distance glasses are not suitable for reading primarily because they are designed with a single power strength throughout the lens to optimize vision for distant objects. Attempting to use these glasses for reading or other close-range tasks can lead to eye strain and discomfort. The consistent power in distance glasses is tailored to provide a clear focus for objects at a distance, making them less effective for tasks that require sharper vision up close.

Moreover, for individuals who experience difficulty with both distance and near vision, options such as bifocal or progressive lenses are more appropriate. Bifocal lenses have two distinct powers – one for distance vision and another for near tasks like reading. 

On the other hand, Progressive lenses blend these powers seamlessly in a gradient fashion, allowing for a smooth transition between distant and close-range vision.

Ultimately, consulting with an optometrist is crucial to determine the most suitable eyewear based on individual vision needs and preferences. The optometrist can provide personalized recommendations to ensure optimal visual comfort and clarity for both near and distant tasks.

Potential Drawbacks of Wearing Distance Glasses for Reading

Eyestrain and Discomfort:  Wearing distance glasses for reading can make your eyes tired and give you headaches. Because they are optimized for clear vision at a distance, and using them for close-range tasks like reading may lead to eyestrain and discomfort. The eyes may work harder to focus, causing fatigue and potential headaches.

Blurry Vision for Close Tasks: The consistent power strength in them may result in blurred vision when trying to focus on nearby objects, affecting the clarity of text or details during reading.

Reduced Reading Efficiency: Individuals may experience a decrease in reading efficiency and speed when using distance glasses, as these are not specifically designed for the nuances of up-close tasks.

Limited Accommodation: They lack the multifocal design necessary for accommodating both near and far vision. This limitation can be especially problematic for individuals with presbyopia, a condition where the eyes struggle to focus on close objects, typically affecting those over 40.

Need for Constant Switching: If individuals frequently switch between tasks that require distance and near vision, wearing them may necessitate constant removal and switching with reading glasses, bifocals, or progressive lenses.

Can someone use distance reading glasses on certain occasions?

Yes, you can use distance reading glasses on certain occasions. For example, if you have both trouble seeing things up close (presbyopia) and far away (myopia), special glasses like bifocals or progressives might be recommended. These glasses have two powers, making them handy for various tasks.

However, it’s essential to be cautious and not use distance reading glasses regularly for up-close activities. Prolonged use could strain your eyes. It’s a good idea to talk to an eye doctor to get advice tailored to your needs.

In addition, they can guide you on when it’s suitable to use these glasses for reading and when it’s better to switch to glasses designed for close-up tasks. Consulting with an eye doctor ensures you’re using the right glasses at the right times.

Exploring Alternatives: Options Beyond Distance Glasses for Enhanced Reading Vision

Options Beyond Distance Glasses for Enhanced Reading Vision

Several alternatives exist for those who need help with reading but prefer not to use distance glasses:

Reading Glasses: These are specifically designed for close-up tasks and are available over the counter without a prescription. They come in various powers, allowing individuals to choose the strength that suits their reading needs.

Computer Glasses: Tailored for prolonged digital device use, computer glasses have special coatings to reduce glare and minimize eye strain. They can be beneficial for reading on screens.

Bifocal Lenses: These lenses have two prescriptions in one lens, with the upper part for distance vision and the lower part for close-range tasks like reading. They’re versatile but may take some time to adjust to.

Progressive Lenses: Similar to bifocals, progressive lenses offer a gradual transition between prescriptions, providing clear vision for both near and far tasks. They have a more seamless appearance than bifocals.

Adjustable Focus Glasses: Some innovative glasses allow wearers to manually adjust the focus for various distances, providing flexibility for different activities.

Consultation with an Optometrist: For personalized advice, it’s crucial to consult with an optometrist. They can assess individual vision needs and recommend the most suitable option, considering factors like prescription strength and lifestyle.


Should I wear distance glasses while reading?

No, Wearing distance glasses for reading is not recommended, as these glasses are designed for faraway vision. Using them for close-range tasks may lead to eyestrain and reduced reading comfort.

Why can’t I read with my distance glasses?

Distance glasses are made for seeing far objects clearly. If you’re struggling to read with them, it’s likely because your prescription is optimized for distance vision. For reading, a separate prescription might be needed.

Is it bad to wear reading glasses for a long time?

No, Wearing reading glasses all the time won’t harm your eyes, but extended use, especially during activities like driving or sports, may lead to headaches due to the wider field of vision required for these tasks.

Should I wear distance glasses for the computer?

Yes, Normal reading glasses might not be ideal for computer use, as they work best for close distances. Computer glasses, designed for distances of 20 to 26 inches, are recommended for optimal comfort during regular computer use.

Is minus 1.5 eyesight bad?

Yes, -1.5 diopters is considered low myopia. While it’s not severe, individuals may experience blurry vision without glasses. This corresponds to a clear vision distance of approximately 67cm.

Is 0.75 eyesight need glasses?

Yes, A myopia degree of 0.75 indicates a mild level. Patients may need glasses to avoid affecting daily work and maintain clear vision.

Why can I suddenly see better without my glasses?

Sudden vision improvements could be due to medical conditions rather than lifestyle changes. Conditions like diabetes, cataracts, or the development of “second sight” may contribute to improved vision.

Final Words

To wrap up, wearing distance glasses for reading is not ideal. The specific design of distance glasses, tailored for clear vision at a distance, may lead to discomfort, eyestrain, and reduced reading efficiency when used for close-range tasks. 

To ensure optimal visual comfort and clarity, it is advisable to use glasses specifically prescribed for reading or other near-vision activities. Consulting with an optometrist can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that eyewear meets individual visual needs.