Kindle, Ipad, Nook May Change Our Profession Some

more and more of my patients are using e-readers & tablets these days. handheld devices like that (and even Itouch/Iphone/Droid, etc) are quite a bit different for your eyes/vision than doing all of your work/reading on a desktop or laptop computer.

for years us OD's have had a large chunk of our patients spending 8+ hours on their computer at work, then coming home and doing another 1-2 hours on the computer at home. for presbyopes (i.e. patients who need bifocals or reading glasses) this is a nightmare. desktop computers are:

- high in your vision
- at an intermediate distance

so traditional "lined" flat-top bifocals will not work. the bifocal portion of a flat top is LOW in your vision and prescribed for CLOSE. so what do you do for presbyopes who *need* to see great at 20-22 inches and eye level? its not easy. a trifocal has a 7mm tall intermediate portion. 7mm is not very much space vertically. patients have to hold their head very still and aim their face just right in order to use that narrow slit. a progressive or lineless bifocal is what we usually recommend, but the "channel" devoted to intermediate vision in a progressive is very narrow HORIZONTALLY, i.e. back to holding your head just right. so between lined trifocals & progressives for a computer user its usually "pick your poison": have a vertically-narrow 7mm tall slit of intermediate prescription in a lined trifocal, or choose a horizontally-narrow "channel" in a progressive. what a choice.

now back to the e-readers & Ipads: you hold them in your hands...low in your vision and close, like 16" or so. PERFECT for either a bifocal or the bottom portion of a progressive, which is a WIDE "channel". wow, thats a lot easier for us eye-docs to Rx for.


  1. Hello i foud you from yahoo answers and i tan't to ask you.
    I have GPC *giant papillary) from my contact lenses.
    My eye doctor give me steroid drops for my problem.
    After days with my steroid drops I suffer from visual snow! I stop eye drops for 2 days and i still see visual snow. Do you know about visual snow? Is it possible eye drops cause my eye nerve and now i see visual snow?
    Also i suffer from starbursts, floaers, halos.
    I am 18 yeard old and i stop my studies for these reasons!!

    ps: how can i get heal my starbursts, visual snow, floaters, halos.

    How can I heal GPC?

    Also i don't try to start driving lessons for starbursts

  2. you really need to be asking your eye care provider about this stuff. no, it is IMO unlikely that your visual snow is related to your gpc or your contacts or your eyedrops. visual snow is a neurological problem.

  3. What about bifocals with reading at the bottom as usual, and middle distance at the top?
    I'm an editor and proofing involves reading printed pieces and fact checking on my computer. Could that help? Im 42.
    Some background:
    I wear glasses because I'm nearsighted (-0.75 OU) and my Dr said I dont need reading glases (I only use my glasses for driving), still his prescription includes a +1.25 for bifocals?)

    Any way, back to my question.
    Is possible (and good) to try bifocals with middle distance on top?

  4. That's super popular. It's called a "readable" and we make those for people all the time

  5. Great! First time I hear about that name, so at least now I know what to ask for.

    Thanks! Your response was super fast!

    I live in MA, but I'm traveling to Houston around mid September. Is your practice any place near? :-)

    One more question. It's about regular bifocals.
    Why my doctor recommended them on my Rx if I dont have any problems with my short vision? He even said I dont need to use them... And just to think that I took me 2 hours to get to the Mass Eye and Ear building...

    I dont get it, maybe I just have the bifocal concept wrong in my head, or maybe the reason is my mild (OD-0.25/OS-0.50 astigmatism?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. often times nearsighted people don't *need* bifocals at long as they don't mind *removing* their glasses to read. the "optional" bifocal for those people is just for they're not FORCED to remove their glasses to read.

    and yes, Huntsville is about an hour North of Hou!

  7. Thanks again. BTW what your doing with your blog is amazing. Not everybody have access to plain English information of medical terms and procedures other than the very formal and oficial (and BORING) definition of them.

    If you decide to try and give this information on other languages like Spanish I can help you out (free of charge). I'm not a freelance, I get paid for thigs like that at my company but I do it for free for my favorite charities and non profit organizations.

    You blog is a service to the global community, another ministery to add to your music and church activities :-)


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