Over the last decade, smartphones have increased to the point that almost every person in Western society owns one. However, there are still some unanswered questions regarding the safety of using them all of the time, especially when used in conjunction with things like reading glasses and other eyewear. Do many people wonder whether it’s safe to stare at a phone with glasses on?
Looking at a smartphone or tablet screen through glasses shouldn’t cause problems, but there are a few simple ways to tell if you should consider reducing screen time with glasses.
The question of whether or not you should wear glasses when looking at your phone all of the time, whether it’s an iPhone 12 (on Amazon) or a Samsung Galaxy S20, is further complicated when considering things like the effect of blue light on one’s eyesight. At this stage, there is no scientific consensus on whether blue light is bad for our eyes. For that reason, it might be best to monitor how much you look at your phone and how looking at your phone makes your eyes feel.
Common Eyesight Ailments – Hyperopia and Myopia
Glasses are the most common form of eye-wear used to correct vision. They are used to correct many vision problems, including near-sightedness or myopia (issues with seeing far away) and farsightedness or hyperopia (difficulty seeing up close). They also help correct astigmatism, which is when the cornea lens is abnormally shaped and causes blurring of vision.
Because of the distortion in the cornea’s shape, the light creates two focal points instead of one and causes blurred vision. If you have astigmatism and wear contacts, you will most likely require slightly different-shaped contacts to help you see the best you possibly can. Glasses work by using differently shaped lenses to change how light is refracted to the eye.
How Glasses Correct your Vision
A lens in your glasses is two prisms put together, and prisms are always thicker on one end, and the light that passes through the prism gets refracted or bent in the direction of the wider end. The lenses are cut in a specific shape to bring images closer, further away, or correct other problems, like double vision. Concave lenses are thinnest near the center and are used to correct near-sightedness.
And convex lenses are thickest near the center, like a magnifying glass, and correct farsightedness (like reading glasses). Cylindrical-shaped lenses curve more in one direction than another and are used to correct astigmatism. If you have trouble seeing far away objects and have astigmatism, you may have concave lenses in your glasses that are also cylindrical.
For nearsighted individuals, whether or not you need to wear your glasses for using screens up close may come up. More importantly, many might wonder that if wearing glasses for near-sightedness will negatively impact your vision.
We spend a lot of time in front of screens, whether it be scrolling through your Samsung Galaxy S10 (on Amazon), working on the computer, or relaxing and watching TV. For glasses wearers, people who already have poor vision, it’s typical to wonder how all this screen time affects our vision and whether or not we’re doing the right thing by wearing our glasses for up-close screen time.
Will the Close Screen Have an Effect?
Depending on how nearsighted you are, you may not need your glasses for reading or looking at a smartphone or computer screen. Some individuals need only a mild correction that they primarily need to use to drive or read far away, like if they have to sit in the back of a classroom. These individuals won’t need their glasses to read a screen up close.
However, some people need a stronger correction and can only read when a screen is close to their face, which can cause eye strain. If this is the case for you, don’t strain your eyes. Go ahead and wear your glasses all the time, even when viewing a screen up close. Unless you are experiencing eye strain, wearing your glasses all the time is fine to do, and for more extreme near-sightedness, your doctor will probably recommend it to avoid squinting and tiring your eyes out.
Bifocals can be difficult to get used to if you are new to having them. So it’s best to experiment with using them to read the screen, and if you feel like your prescription is off, or if, after a week or two, you’re still having trouble getting used to them, return to your eye doctor to see if any adjustments to your prescription can be made.
Your eye doctor will have the best advice for what you can do for your vision personally and how you can make the transition to using bifocals easier. If what you are doing gives you a headache or causes your eyes to feel dry or tired—whether wearing your glasses or not—make an adjustment and see if there are improvements.
How to Tell if You Should Take Your Glasses Off
In general, if your eyes feel strained or your vision is blurry, it’s fine to take your glasses off. If you generally take your glasses off when you read a book or do something else up close, you can do the same for an up-close screen. Anything that improves your vision or how tired your eyes feel is the right thing to do, but you should always ask your eye doctor if you have any concerns. They will have insight into your unique vision needs to guide you in the right direction.