Medical Tip: How to get special glasses for computer screen distances, for cheap

presbyopiaMarch 14, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD

With remarkable regularity across all populations, the inner lens of the eye loses flexibility after age 45 and people begin to have trouble reading up close (presbyopia). So, to compensate, people push the book or computer screen away. Then, as the eyes worsen, people start to have trouble reading computer screens even when they are three feet away.

The solution is to make a special pair of work glasses that focus on the two to three foot distance of the computer screen one sits behind for hours a day. However, in Manhattan at least, the typical eye doctor will try to charge you more than a thousand dollars for the exam and final product.

We have a cheap way to make a pair of midrange computer screen spectacles. You will need to know your current eye prescription.

Step 1: Measure the distance of your computer screen from your eyes in centimeters and divide that into 100, or 100/X = (the new eye RX in Diopters). For example, 100/80 cm = 1.25

Step 2: Add the number derived in Step 1 to your current Diopter. For example, a normal prescription lens of (- 3.25) plus 1.25 = (-2.00)

Step 3: Have someone measure the distance between your pupils. This is a YouTube instructional video.

Step 4: Use one of the online eye stores, such as Warby Parker or Zenni to purchase frames for as little as $12, plus the cost of the prescription lenses, and order yourself some computer reading glasses for about $100. (This author personally purchased single vision glare resistant lenses, rimless frames, that cost, with shipping, $50.00)

This tip came to us from the Chairman of Ophthalmology, Thomas Mauger, MD, at the prestigious Havener Eye Institute.

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