How Do You Know Which Reading Glasses to Buy?

If you are reading this right now, chances are that you are considering buying readers glasses. Perhaps you have been told to buy them to help improve your vision or reduce the strain on your eyes. Reading glasses are a necessity for people who have problems seeing things up close or suffer from presbyopia— a condition common with people over 40. 

Reading glasses help the eyes focus on words and images, making it easier to follow the text and stay aware of everything going on. 

Suppose you are thinking of getting these glasses and you want to know which one to buy. We have listed some steps for you to follow below. 

Go for an Eye Exam

Buying a pair of reading glasses is an important decision, and getting the wrong pair can have serious consequences. So if you’re thinking about getting a new pair, you must do an eye exam before making your purchase. Not only can an eye doctor check for any issues like prescription errors or vision problems, but they can also help you determine which type of reading glasses are right for your eyes. They will let you know the most suitable reading glass strength for you.

Importantly, when choosing an eye doctor for your test, make sure to go for one that specializes and has experience in diagnosing and treating vision problems. 

In case you’re too busy for a physical eye exam, you can also have an online eye test. The online test is done by reading prints of different font sizes. 

Importantly, while an online reading test can help you determine the right readers, it is not a substitute for a physical appointment with a professional eye doctor. So if you can, try to get a physical appointment.

Choose the Right Reading Glasses Strength

The strength of reading glasses, commonly known as diopters, ranges from +1.00 to +4.00. This measurement is used to determine the magnification of the lenses. If you’re unsure of the right strength for you, you can ask your provider for recommendations.

There are several factors that determine the most suitable diopters for you. One such is your age. Below is the list of readers’ strengths according to different age groups:

  • The early 40s: +1.00
  • The mid-40s: +1.25 to +1.50 
  • The late 40s to early 50s: +1.50 to +1.75
  • The mid-50s: +1.75 to +2.00
  • The late 50s: +2.00 to +2.25
  • The early 60s: +2.25 to +2.50
  • The mid-60s and above: +2.50 to +3.00
  • A strength of 4.00 is usually recommended for those who have medical issues such as macular degeneration.

Types of Reading Glasses

Over-the-counter Reading Glasses

Over-the-counter reading glasses are magnifiers and a great option for those who are looking for a convenient way to improve their eye health. Using these glasses can help you to see clearly, but it is important that you use them correctly.

They’re easy to use, inexpensive, and can be purchased at any drug store or large store. As such, it is easy to buy as many as you need and keep them in different locations for easy access. Also, ensure you buy special clothes and cleaners to maintain their lenses.

Prescription Reading Glasses

Although OTC reading glasses are cheaper and magnify things adequately, your eye doctor may advise you to buy prescription readers. This is because prescription glasses help to correct specific issues with your sight. Other reasons why you may need prescription readers include:  

  • Specific vision issues

Prescription readers address vision issues like astigmatism, while OTC readers don’t. If left untreated, astigmatism causes tired eyes and headaches.

  • Quality

Prescription readers are generally of better quality than OTC readers. Their lenses have no bubbles, waves, or distortions.

  • Nearsightedness

If you’re nearsighted, your eye healthcare provider will most likely recommend prescription readers for you. This is because people with nearsightedness use a negative lens, which is only available in prescription reading glasses.

  • Different strengths

In cases when you have to use different strengths for each eye, your doctor will recommend prescription readers. This is because, unlike OTC readers, which are designed to have lenses with the same strength for both eyes, prescription glasses can have lenses with different strengths. 

  • Custom-fit

With prescription reading glasses, you can choose the one that aligns with your pupil, whereas OTC readers are one-size-fits-all. If the optical center does not align with your pupil, you may end up straining your eyes and have eye muscle imbalances.

Factors to Consider When Buying Reading Glasses

  • Know your vision requirements

Before you start shopping, it’s important to know what kind of reading glasses will work best for you. You should also take into account how often you plan to wear them so that they don’t get too dirty or break easily.

  • Consider frame color and shape

You might be tempted by flashy colors or unusual shapes because they look cool or different from what everyone else has at home, but keep in mind that it has to fit well with other clothes or accessories; otherwise, you may end up wearing them only when you’re at home.

  • Consider comfort

Reading glasses should feel comfortable when worn all day. No matter where you’re going or what activities you’re doing with your glasses on, they must make you feel uncomfortable. It shouldn’t pinch or be too tight or loose. 

  • Consider your budget

In as much as you want your readers to look appealing, you must also consider your budget. What matters most is the effectiveness of the readers; hence whatever accessories you choose must fit your budget.

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect reading glasses can be challenging. However, if you make sure to follow the guide in this post, finding one that will fit you well shouldn’t be a problem. If you still can’t make the right decisions, you can always speak with an optometrist.