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Life Hack: Instant Reading Glasses

If you need reading glasses—and if you’re over about 40, you probably do—then the next couple of paragraphs will change your life. You’re about to find out how to read small type, in a pinch, without your glasses.

Maybe you’ve lost or broken your reading glasses. Or maybe you don’t feel like going upstairs to get them. Or maybe you’re naked in the shower, frantically trying read the bottles to see which one is shampoo.

Here’s the trick: Curl up your index finger, making a tiny hole. Hold it up to your dominant eye and peek through it.

Incredibly, you’ll discover that the small type you couldn’t read a moment ago is suddenly crystal clear! You can read the date on a penny, or the serial number on a product, or the instructions on a medicine bottle. It doesn’t matter if you’re nearsighted or farsighted.

So how does it work?

You’re letting in only a very narrow beam of light. You’re blocking the whole cone of light rays that, on aging eyes that don’t focus perfectly, cause a spot of blur on your retina. (If you know anything about photography, this might help: Your fingers are creating a very small aperture, like the one on a pinhole camera. And when the aperture is small, everything is in focus, near and far.)

So you’re turning your eye into a pinhole camera, and everything is in focus!

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