Pocket Eyes Reading Glasses


Keychain pince-nez

After 45 years of perfect vision, I began needing help to see up close. I have prescription glasses for writing long chapters at my desk, and I’ve stashed cheap reading glasses everywhere else in the house. But inevitably, when traveling around the planet, I have struggles with menus and bank documents and so on. A convenient pair of portable readers can be a blessing.

I started with one of those slim fresnel lenses, shaped like a credit card, in my wallet. They’re fine for emergencies but useless for comfortable or extended reading. An ideal solution would be a small pince-nez. But the cheapo versions – with a plastic nose-bridge – soon break, or they pinch and hurt.

What you want is for the bridge to be made of flexible metal, squeezing the two lenses against your nose with just the right pressure. They can slip off, if you’re sweaty, and there are (ahem) some places you do not want to let them drop-off. But the good ones can squeeze together so the lenses overlap and they fit into a tiny pocket pouch. It’s surprising how comfortable they can be, feeling so natural you forget they are there.

Alas, my first trio of pocket pince-nez all broke in the same place; where the metal bridge was riveted into the glass. I searched all over and finally found better ones from Pocketeyes. These have an improved, adjustable metal-to-glass attachment, a corrugated spot on each lens to help grip the nose, and a split pouch that lets you keep the lenses from rubbing against each other in your pocket. The keychain grommet is another plus.

They also have a fun factor. People do double-takes and even strike up conversations asking about them. They won’t help with driving or distance. But if all you need is readers to help while traveling around, this may be your answer.

-- David Brin 07/8/11