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Tips for Using a Microscope When You Wear Glasses

From elementary school to full-time laboratory science careers, microscopes are essential tools for learning, exploration, and investigation. People with poor eyesight sometimes worry about whether they’ll be able to see samples clearly through a microscope. Here are some tips for using a microscope when you wear glasses.

When It’s Better To Keep Your Glasses On

The first thing you need to consider is what your glasses do for you. Do you have astigmatism? Do you wear progressive lenses? Microscopes can’t replicate the specialized correction that lenses address for conditions like astigmatism.

As far as progressive lenses go, you might have to experiment to find the sweet spot when looking through the eyepieces of a microscope. If you have trouble seeing through the section of your glasses made for close viewing, you might do better to temporarily rest your glasses on top of your head.

Remember not to bang your glasses against the microscope, as this could scratch or even crack them. Be careful in lab environments that require PPE and hyper-cleanliness. Touching your glasses could count as a form of contamination, and you might have to change your gloves if you do this.

When It’s Okay To Take Your Glasses Off

If your lenses simply correct for nearsightedness or farsightedness, you can take them off to use a microscope. The focus adjustments on the instrument will act like glasses, giving you the level of magnification that brings the specimen into focus for your eyes.

Some microscopes have extensions available for the eyepieces, allowing you to peer through the eyepieces from farther away. Again, you might have to experiment a little to see what works best for you.

Coordinating With Other Devices

For some students and professionals who wear glasses, it will be too difficult to get a good, clear view of a specimen slide through a microscope. An important tip for using a microscope when you wear glasses is to use a microscope that can connect to an external device, such as a laptop or monitor. Portable,foldable paper microscopes that connect to mobile phones are beneficial for field work. They enable greater modification, and you won’t have to remove your glasses. Just look at the image on your phone as you ordinarily would look at any other photo on your phone screen.

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Written by Logan Voss

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