Mike-Ward.Net

Fixed Focal-Length Eyeglasses, a Programmer's Best Friend

There was a time when my visual acuity was, “off the charts”. I could read signs from further away than anyone I knew in my youth. Alas, as I aged, my vision changed and now I wear eyeglasses. In fact, I wear bifocals (progressives).

While bifocals are OK for laptops (barely), they cause me to tilt my head up to an uncomfortable angle for desktops. Also, there’s a weird spherical effect on wider screens when using bifocals.

In a word, bifocals suck for programming.

I tried reading glasses which are really fixed focal-length glasses. Said another way, they’re designed to focus at a specific distance. I’ve found the reader glasses available at pharmacies and other stores work fine for laptops, but not for desktops. So what’s a programmer to do?

eyeglasses

I went to my optometrist and asked for, “reading glasses” with a longer focal length. How long? I used the length of my arm. I simply held out my arm and said that’s the length I need my reading glasses to focus at. A few measurements and a hundred dollars later and I now have eyeglasses that allow me to program all day long without eye strain.

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