This is a common concern, but Sumayya Ahmad, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says not to worry. When asked about using cheaters, her answer was simple: “They’re harmless.”
The issue with reading glasses, Ahmad contends, is that people are usually reluctant to use the magnification they truly need.
“What people often do when they’re in the pharmacy is choose a pair of reading glasses that don’t have enough correction. My older patients know that they need good magnification. But younger people might be in denial.”
If you’re using glasses with inadequate strength, cheaters can lead to some eyestrain until you get adequate magnification, she says.
She recommends bringing something to read when you go shopping for glasses and then testing multiple pairs until you find one that helps you read easily.