We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Difference between Reading and Computer Glasses?

By John Lister
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are two main differences between reading and computer glasses. The latter are designed to work at a longer distance. They also usually contain a material designed to reduce glare from the screen. One alternative to buying separate glasses for reading and computer use is to buy specially designed bifocals.

Note that there is a big difference between generic reading and computer glasses and those prescribed by an eye doctor or optician. Prescribed glasses will have lenses custom-built to fit the specific deficiencies of the user's eyes. Generic glasses often simply contain magnifying lenses similar to those found in a magnifying glass. While these may be suitable for many people, they will not be a suitable solution for everyone and could even do more harm than good.

Dedicated reading and computer glasses usually aim to serve different needs, most notably in terms of distance. This is easy to observe in practice. Most people read books with their arms bent slightly, meaning the book is around 18 inches from the eyes. For both visual and ergonomic reasons, the most common advice is that a computer screen should be at arm's length from the reader, which can be as much as twice as far away as book reading distance. This requires a dramatically different level of magnification and focus point.

Another difference with computer glasses is the need to counteract the effects of glare and reflection from a computer screen. This is a particular problem with older CRT screens, but is still an issue with modern flat-screen monitors. This can be tackled with either a light tint on the lenses or a special anti-glare coating.

Computer glasses lenses may also need to be specially designed to deal with the fact that the eye focuses in a different way with a screen. This is because, compared with the printed page, the contrast of characters to background on a screen is much less well defined. The lower definition causes the eye to need continuous refocusing, even when looking at the same character.

There are several solutions to these differences, besides simply buying separate reading and computer glasses. One is to have special bifocals, with one part of the lens dedicated to reading the printed page and the other part customized for computer screen use. This isn't an ideal situation for all users as, unlike reading a page from top to bottom, it's more likely the eye will need to dart about when using a screen, which can require head movement when using bifocals. A more sophisticated solution is progressive addition lenses that, rather than simply being split into two lens strengths, gradually increase power moving from the top of the lens to the bottom. This allows easier adjustment to different types of visual material.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.