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Eye Health Center

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Eyeglasses That Do the Job

Eyeglasses for Different Activities

Some activities may call for wearing special eyeglasses. For example:

Computer work. Especially after age 40, spending long hours staring at a computer screen and focusing the eyes at specific distances may lead to eyestrain. Some eye doctors treat this problem with eyeglasses, prescribing either:

  • A different prescription for a person who already wears eyeglasses
  • A prescription for eyeglasses for someone who doesn't otherwise wear them

When indicated, the eye doctor may also recommend treatment for dry eye syndrome. When focusing intently, people tend to blink less and eyes can dry out.

Driving. Eyeglasses for driving may be:

  • Special "driving sunglasses" with polarized (partially light-blocking) lenses
  • Prescription eyeglasses with both your lens prescription for distance vision and an anti-reflective coating

Reading. Reading glasses are a good choice for people with simple presbyopia (good distance vision but difficulty reading). This eye condition develops with aging -- usually in your 40s. You might notice that your arms aren't long enough to read up close anymore. Glasses that correct presbyopia are also good for close-up hobbies, too.

Available without a prescription, cheap, one-size-fits-all, single-distance styles can be found in pharmacies and department stores. Some people can't use these because often their eyes are not exactly matched or there is an astigmatism to their eyeglass prescription. For them, prescription eyeglasses for reading are best.

Eyeglasses alert! Never buy nonprescription reading glasses as a substitute for seeing your eye doctor. Regular eye exams check more than your vision. They also check the ongoing health of your eyes.

Sports. Some 90% of sports-related injuries are preventable with use of protective eyewear. These include:

  • Sports goggles with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, commonly used for playing basketball, baseball/softball (on the field), field hockey, women's lacrosse, racquet sports, and soccer
  • Polycarbonate shields (or wire face guards), used, for example, in baseball/softball (batting) and football

Eyeglasses alert! Don't wear your everyday eyeglasses when you play sports. "Regular" eyeglasses don't meet sports eyewear's higher safety standards and neither do contact lenses or safety eyewear used in industry. Ask your eye doctor's advice about sports eye protection.

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