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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2015
If I can't wait until a 21.5" iMac with retina Display is launched (any word on this??), I will consider the 27" with Reitina Display. My concern is a stiff neck. About 5 years ago I had a 27" iMac and found that I got a stiff neck as the result of tilting my head up to read the display from the reading portion of my progressive bifocals. I'm inclined to thin that this is a common problem and I'd like to know what people with progressive bifocals have done in order to read the display comfortably.



macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
Bifocal glasses are designed under the assumption that reading is mainly done from below, which is generally true if you don't take computers into account.

I see two big "solution" to that problem. Either you get a second pair of glasses that are not bifocal and that are suited for reading in all directions.

Either you simply don't get an iMac and buy a MacBook, since in regular usage the screen is lower than a desktop screen like the iMac.

I think the "best" option is the first one, since having a screen at your eye level is more ergonomic in the long term. (They even suggest using notebooks on a stand when in an office or at home)


macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
Between the coasts
I have a 27" (non-Retina) and progressives. Not a problem in my case (can't say whether I'm typical). Is your prescription designed to take computer usage into account?

I'm fairly tall, so with chair height adjusted in accordance with ergonomic practice (the iMac on a 27" high desk and at a bit less than arm's length with fingers extended - fist-bump distance), my eyes are about 23-24" from the display. That puts most of the display squarely in the computer-distance portion of the lenses. I have to tilt my head down a bit if I need to read text at the very bottom of the display - it's already too distant for the book-reading portion of the prescription (which, for me, is about 12" from my eyes).

So if you have to use the bottom section of the lens to read the screen, you may be closer than is optimal for a display that size. At my book-reading distance the display fills most of my field of view (puts large sections of the screen outside of clear vision when wearing my glasses), and the keyboard is too close to type comfortably. Per, if you have to tilt your head up, the display may be too high.

(FWIW, at least when you're my height, when a laptop's keyboard is at a comfortable height, the display is way too low - that has given me a royal pain in the neck.)

I'm not certain why a 21.5" works better for you. I also use 21.5" iMacs extensively - the key for me is not display size, but the "desktop" size (more/less stuff on the screen). I spend a far greater amount of time mousing and moving windows about when the display is smaller (dot pitch being roughly the same on both displays).


macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2015
I have exactly the same problem as you when using a desktop with progressives and for several years have had an extra pair of glasses made by the optometrist. Measure the distance you sit from the screen and they will be made for that distance. A bit of a nuisance having to change them but such a relief to be comfortable when using the computer.


macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2014
Dedicated pair of reading or computer lenses for computer use. Using progressives with an iMac would torture me.

That is what I did. My reading power on my progressives was 2.5x and I thru trial and error, I bought a store bought pair of 1.0x power lens and all is perfect sitting about 2 feet from the 27" monitor. I have no head adjustment and all graphics are crystal clear. The sitting distance and the lower power reading glasses hit the perfect optimum of overall screen vision. Many other eyes may vary, but this worked for me. This is not ophthalmic advise and only a doctor can make your decision, but my next trip to the eye doctor I will revisit my solution and as it is now for me i have no issues with my regular glasses, but see a real doctor for better direction for your eye health.


macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
Progressives trifocals here. Never use them with my iMac. I have a pair of reading glasses specifically for use with my iMac. When I try with my trifocals, it is useless.


macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
Somewhere In Time
Dedicated computer bifocals here. I can't recommend them enough for those whose eyesight has reached a certain age. Consider the implications of spending all that money on a large screen monitor, then struggling to see what's on it.

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
I got dedicated computer glasses about five years ago. They may be the best work-related expense I ever made.
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