Reading glasses may be a necessity as early as the age of 40, the time we begin to develop presbyopia
. Presbyopia decreases our ability to focus on near objects. If your eye doctor says it's time for readers, he may suggest a pair of commercially prepared, over-the-counter (OTC) readers. OTC readers are inexpensive and available in many different styles and colors.
Time Required: Under an hour
- Get a comprehensive eye exam. Let your eye doctor decide if it's time for reading glasses. Blurry near vision is usually a sign of presbyopia in people over 40, but it may be a symptom of a more serious eye condition.
- Make sure you don't need a prescription. Your eye doctor will evaluate your vision to determine if OTC readers are acceptable for you. There are several valid reasons why you may need prescription reading glasses.
- Shop around. Check out a few different drug stores. Some stores offer a nice selection of inexpensive readers in many different styles and colors. Surprisingly, quality varies a lot. Look for solid, sturdy frames and clear, flat lenses.
- Avoid amazing deals. "5 pairs for $5" sound great, but the readers will probably be low quality and are likely to cause more problems than you had before.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendation for lens power. It’s easy to think that if you wear a +1.00, getting a +2.50 will make you see even better. This is usually not the case.
- OTC readers are available with full-lenses and half-lenses. Full-lenses often work better for avid readers. "Half-eyes" are designed so that you can easily look over the top of the lenses to view objects in the distance.
- Check to make sure that the OTC readers you choose have a neck chain. It's nice to be able to remove your reading glasses without misplacing them.
What You Need
- An eye exam
- Lens power (a number provided by your eye doctor)
- A good selection of readers