Sometimes there are things that I need to read quickly, but I don't have my glasses on me. I am farsighted so, obviously, seeing without my glasses is not an option. I have tried using a small desk magnifying glass but am unable to see through that either. Is there anything I can do to help me read a newspaper article, or something else relatively short, when I don't have my glasses?

  • I would advise against using any improvised glasses unless they are optically equivalent to your prescribed ones. You could worsen your vision if you tried using something bogus. Dec 13 '14 at 9:25
  • Not a lifehack but a commercial product: there are plastic magnifiers the size of a credit card that you can keep in a wallet. You wouldn't want to read a book with them, but they're great when you need to read a menu, or a label in a supermarket.
    – mhwombat
    Nov 22 '15 at 0:19

I found this Lifehacker article with a good answer.

Pinhole Reading Glasses

Put your index finger, middle finger, and thumb into a circle and leave a small hole in the middle (the three fingers of the same hand allow a tiny triangular opening which is held less than one inch from the eye). Bring the hole to your eye and look through.

How this works

By doing this you are limiting the amount of light going through the lens in your eye. This gives slight magnification and increases your range (depth of field) of clear vision.

  • 1
    How much magnification do you get from doing that do you know? I imagine this would only work if you're nearsighted? Dec 11 '14 at 22:26
  • 1
    This works for me, but I'm nearsighted, so I've never needed glasses for reading. Not sure it would work the other way around.
    – hairboat
    Dec 11 '14 at 22:35
  • This works for nearsightedness because it makes a crude pinhole camera. The same thing happens when you squint - your eyelashes cause the same effect, slightly sharpening your vision. This would not work for magnification though. Reading smallprint through an almost closed fist is probably going to be significantly harder.
    – fredley
    Dec 11 '14 at 23:30
  • @TomMedley It did work for me
    – michaelpri
    Dec 11 '14 at 23:31
  • I'm farsighted and this works for me, it's an amazing trick!
    – Unihedron
    Dec 12 '14 at 3:18

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