Working overhead can be trying if you wear bifocals and are attempting to do close work while looking through the distance portion of your glasses. Great reader tip!

Seeing Overhead

Wear bifocals, trifocals or progressives?

If you do, working overhead can seem impossible. You either have to tilt your back at an impossible angle to see through the bottom “near” portion of your glasses, or you have to work half blind while looking through the top “distant” portion.

Or you can keep a cheap pair of reading glasses on hand and switch to those. But who wants to go looking for a pair of glasses in the middle of a project?

Reader Sid Vance on Nova came up with an innovative solution:

If my ‘cheater’ (magnifier) glasses are not within reach, I finally figured out to just put my progressive glasses on upside down!! Now the magnifying part of the lens is on top and my line of sight to my project is straight on!!

I wear progressives, with a fair difference in the prescription in the two lenses. So I wondered if this would help me since it would switch left and right. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough that I can see to do what I need to. Dave, whose eyes are much closer in their prescription, says it works very well for him.

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11 Comments
  • Chrystal Lakeway Henthorne
    Posted at 31 August 2015 Reply

    Good tip

  • Annette Cleckner Baker
    Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

    too funny!

  • Mike O'Quin
    Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

    Have a relative that is an electrician that is always working overhead. He has a pair of bifocals that are reversed. He loves them.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

      That would be fantastic if you did a lot like that!

  • Maurice Lebowitz MD
    Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

    Years ago i had top (reversed) bifocals made to solve the problem. They drove me nuts. Constantly needing repositioning!
    Several years later I needed surgery for cataracts. I chose “focusing” lens implants which I had to pay for out of pocket. I chose different ones for each eye allowing me to focus @ 18″ on one & 8″ on the other. Your brain sees both simultaneously so acclimating was easy.
    I’m told that in Europe people are opting for the focusing implants electively to correct for presbyopia reducing the need for reading glasses post age 40-ish.
    They really work and are a godsend. For prolonged reading (hours) I still use minimal magnification readers to avoid fatigue. But for everyday use at stores of 15 -20 minutes reading I go naked without problem.
    Maybe Medicare will cover focusing implants.

  • Diana K Weigel
    Posted at 25 August 2016 Reply

    I would never have thought of this!

  • Ron Dionne
    Posted at 25 August 2016 Reply

    My brother taught me … it works. I also carry a bit more magnification. But it can be hard to read.

  • Diana K Weigel
    Posted at 24 June 2017 Reply

    Brilliant! Both DH & I have bi focal and will try this!

  • Tom Herrick
    Posted at 24 June 2017 Reply

    I fight with this all the time in the boat. Readers are kept “nearby” but sometimes… …you know…

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