Can you wear reading glass all the time?

You might started wearing reading glasses and things seem a little uncomfortable. You always wear it when reading and remove it when looking far. So maybe, you started to just wear it all the time for comfort. But you might wonder if wearing it all the time can cause harm to your eyes.

The answer is that you can wear reading glasses all the time. It won’t cause any harm except in cases where you are not farsighted. If you are not farsighted, using positive or reading glasses cause the object to seem far away from you, making your eyes focus more than necessary. However, if you are already farsighted, using it all the time or just for reading does not really affect your eye health.

There are more questions that needs to be answered by this like what exactly does reading glasses do, does it help in distance reading, its difference from distance glasses and what does your positive lens tell about your eye grade.

Where do we usually use reading glasses?

Reading glasses are usually used for people who are farsighted which is caused by either Presbyopia or Hyperopia. Reading glasses focuses light so the eyes can directly focus light into your retina, causing the object to become clearer even if you are near the object or text.

Reading glasses are also called positive lenses because they focus light. They are usually used for presbyopia and hyperopia.

The difference between presbyopia and hyperopia is the cause of the problem. Both can be classified under farsightedness but the cause of the farsightedness is the difference.

In presbyopia, it is usually due to aging.

Upon aging, the lens inside our eyes become harder and less gel like. Thus, it can’t function as well as it was during youth. Because the lens are not harder and don’t function well, the eyes can’t refract or bend light the way it can before causing farsightedness.

In hyperopia, it is caused by the shortening of the eyeball.

In hyperopia, because the eyeballs are shortened, the focus of light becomes at the back of your retina. When this happens, you will start to have trouble seeing things that are close. This is also the opposite of myopia or nearsightedness where the problem is that the eyeball is elongated or long compared to a normal eyeball which is shaped like a sphere.

But since reading glasses, also known as positive lenses or convex lenses, focuses light, it fixes both presbyopia and hyperopia which is why it is usually used by farsighted people when reading things.

Can you use reading glasses for distance?

You can use reading glasses for distance especially if you are farsighted. Using reading glasses when your eyes are not farsighted can cause your eyes to work harder just to read texts which causes eye strain. This means that if you can use reading glasses without experiencing any discomfort, then it is perfectly fine to do so.

If you are experiencing discomfort when using reading glasses for distance viewing, it is possible that the glass causes your eyes to double its focusing work.

This is because positive or reading glass, helps by refracting light inside your eyes and your eyes are adjusting to that because you are wearing them.

If you feel discomfort when doing so, it is better not to use reading glasses for distance viewing.

However, some people who are farsighted can use their reading glasses when looking at far away objects. If it does not produce any discomfort to the person, it is perfectly fine to use reading glasses for viewing far away objects and texts.

Can reading glasses help in distance reading?

Reading glasses are designed to let people see near objects or for close-up reading when they are farsighted. Using it for distance reading does not help in any way. If you are having trouble in distance reading, it is better to use distance glasses instead of reading glasses as their function is different.

People who have a hard time in distance reading are nearsighted people or people with myopia. People with myopia are being prescribed with distance glasses, also known as negative lenses or myopia glasses.

These glasses are the opposite of reading glasses as they are negative instead of positive. They are also concave in shape unlike reading glasses which are convex in shape.

The only way reading glasses can help in distance reading is that if a person has a very severe hyperopia in which their farsightedness is so high that the object even if a little far seems still blurry. If that’s the case, a reading glass can help.

But in general, reading glasses does not help in distance reading. It is only for close-up reading.

What is the difference between distance glasses and reading glasses?

Distance glasses are usually prescribed on people with myopia or nearsightedness while reading glasses are prescribed to people who have presbyopia, hyperopia or farsightedness. Distance glasses are in negative diopters and reading glasses are in positive diopters. Also, their shape is different because reading glasses is convex in shape while distance glasses are concave in shape.

Here is a table summary on their differences.

Reading GlassesDistance Glasses
RefractionFocuses lightDisperses light
UsageHyperopia, PrespbyopiaMyopia
Table Differentiating Reading Glasses from Distance Glasses based on: Diopters, Refraction, Shape, Usage

Using the table summary, reading glasses are usually called positive lenses. This is because they focus light. Also, they are convex in shape which means that they are curved outward.

Reading glasses are used for farsighted people.

A Convex lens: See the outward curvature

The distance lens on the other hand, are negative lenses because they disperse light. Also, they are concave in shape which means that they are curved inward.

A concave lens: notice the light dispersion and the curvature

What does your reading glass tell about your farsightedness

Here is a table summary on what your reading glass can tell about the degree of your farsightedness.

DioptersHyperopia LevelDefinition
Less than +2.00 DioptersLow HyperopiaCan still see clearly even without Correction
+2.25 to +5.00 DioptersModerate HyperopiaUnable to see very clearly without Correction
More than +5.25 DioptersHigh or Severe HyperopiaVision severely distorted and must always need Correction

Levels of Hyperopia or farsightedness with their diopter range

For more information regarding this, you may check this article: The Meaning Behind your Reading Glasses

Are cheap reading glasses any good?

If you are just looking for just the power of the lens, then using cheap reading glass is completely fine. The only difference between cheap and expensive reading glasses are the quality of material used, design, after sales service and extra features such as eye protection. Other than that, using cheap reading glass won’t harm your eyesight.

In fact, there is a simple test if the reading glass you are going to buy are good even if they are cheap. Here is an article explaining how: Are cheap reading glasses worth it?

The reason for the check is because of the quality. There are cheap reading glasses where the material used are not optical grade which means that there might be distortion in them. But finding a cheap reading glass without distortion is really simple and if you found one, then you are having a good product for its price.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on

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