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Reading Glasses

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You have probably heard the term ‘reading glasses’ and seen people who only need to put on corrective lenses when reading or using a computer. But what are reading glasses and what are they used for?

Who needs reading glasses?

People who need reading glasses tend to be able to see well at a distance, but struggle with objects closer to them. This is typical of a condition called hyperopia, otherwise known as far or longsightedness. Essentially what this entails is an inability to focus on objects closer to a person because of either a misshapen lens or eyeball. Your eye interprets information from the environment into an image by focusing light onto the back of your eye, called the retina. This structure translates light from your environment into a signal that your brain interprets as vision, but in order to do this, the aforementioned light needs to be accurately focused onto the retina.

In hyperopia light is focused behind the eye rather than on the retina, which results in a blurred image when objects closer to the person in question are seen. The condition varies in severity, meaning that while some people need to constantly wear glasses, while others need only use lenses to sharpen images while reading or using a computer.

What do reading glasses do?

Reading glasses compensate for your eye’s focusing issues, and basically redirect the angle of light’s entry so that it strikes the retina as it should, generating a sharp image. Reading glasses can be a pair of specs that you put on whenever you need to read or view a screen close to you, or they can be in the form of bifocal lenses. These are glasses which actually have two prescriptions, one to correct distance sight, and one to correct near sight. These lenses are used if you need help with your far sight as well, and are lined up so that all you have to do to use the section of the lens relevant to what you are looking at is move your eyes.

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