Does President Obama use reading glasses?

Given the fact that he is 54 years old and that he spends many hours of his day reading, one would expect that he uses spectacles. The only type of glasses I have ever seen him wearing are sunglasses.

He doesn’t appear to. Google image searching “Obama reading” shows him in more than a few candid reading moments, none of which have him wearing, holding or nearby any glasses.

I did exactly the same search and I couldn’t find any reference either. IMHO, there are only 3 possible explanations:

  1. he uses contact lenses (could be problematic, given his long working hours)
  2. he doesn’t need reading glasses (very unlikely, yet possible)
  3. he uses reading glasses and goes to great lengths to hide it
  1. The Secret Executive Office for Large-Type Xeroxing.

I have found pictures of every US President in the 20th and 21st century (including John F. Kennedy) showing them with reading glasses, except Barack Obama.

Or maybe he has had Lasik. I’m Obama’s age and I don’t need readers. Strange that people would think that all people over 50 would need readers. I also have most of my teeth BTW. :smiley:

People who have had refractive surgery (such as Lasik) in their younger years (i. e. before presbyopia kicks in) usually need reading glasses when they reach their late 40s.

Have you been wearing glasses or contact lenses earlier in your life (or maybe had refractive surgery), if you don’t mind me asking?

I’m the same age as President Obama. I read all day at work as well. I could use reading glasses, but manage to do without. No prescription medications either :slight_smile:

I’m 58. I only use glasses for driving or watching TV. I don’t need them for reading and writing or any close up work at all. It’s not unlikely that Obama doesn’t need reading glasses, either.

I assume that you have light to moderate nearsightedness?

Yeah. I only need glasses for distant objects. Other than driving, I can get along without them.

I’m about the same age as the Prez. I don’t wear any corrective eyewear, and neither does my same-age wife. That’s not to say that our eyesight is as sharp as it was 20 years ago, because it’s not–but it also hasn’t degraded enough to the point that we need correction. And while I can read just about anything so long as there is sufficient lighting, I need more of it depending upon the size of the print (indoor car lights, for example, don’t cut it for a lot of things).

So, while I think people of our ages are probably outside the bulk of the bell curve, it’s not that unusual.

I know several people around the age of 60 who do not (yet) need readers.

I am not one of them but they do exist.

You’d be amazed at how easily people get used to bad eyesight, and swear up and down (and mean it) that it’s the same it’s always been. We aren’t made to recognize this subtle change to some extent.

As for the President, I’m not sure how many of these photos are terribly candid, but perhaps his near vision is currently “good enough.”

LASIK corrects nearsightedness and farsightness, but not presbyopia. While superficially it is similar to farsightedness, the difference is that the latter involves refraction and the former a difficulty in adjusting to changes in distance due to properties of the lens.

It says that you can use LASIK to make one eye specialized for distance vision and another for reading, though.

People who don’t need reading glasses in their 50s are a minority, but not a tiny minority, of the population. There’s nothing particularly surprising about the idea that Obama might be among that minority.

I’m quite aware of the problem when I try to read a menu in a restaurant.

If Obama needed reading glasses, but was so vain that he and his staff organized a concerted effort to avoid all pictures of him wearing them, I feel fairly sure this would be a talking point along the lines of HE SPENDS HIS TIME WORRYING ABOUT LOOKING GOOD IN PICTURES WHILE THE COUNTRY BURNS. That it isn’t such a talking point indicates to me that he really doesn’t wear them.

I happen to be born with one nearsighted and one normal (nowadays: farsighted) eye, and that serves me well: at the age of 49, I use my left eye for reading and my right for watching distant objects. I don’t think this is extremely uncommon.

Eh. I’m 49, my sister is 54. No reading glasses for either of us. We’ve both worn glasses or contacts since the age of 13 for near sightedness. I think it’s not that uncommon. In fact, when I’m wearing my glasses, I’ll take them off for reading or sewing or other close work.

That’s right. I had Lasik in my early forties and was warned that I might need reading glasses immediately. As it happens, I am now 57 and use reading glasses only for reading small type.