If you’re experiencing eye strain or having trouble seeing nearby objects, you might be thinking about getting a pair of reading glasses. You want to understand the reasons why you are having difficulty with your near vision as well as your options in dealing with it.
Below we address some of the most common questions we encounter about reading glasses strength and your vision. Find out whether you need magnification through reading glasses and how to read your glasses prescription in diopters.
Discover when to see an eye doctor for an eye exam and how selecting the correct glasses strength can revitalize how you see and feel. As you already know, reading glasses are not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, understanding different strengths of magnification and how to choose the right prescription strength may be easier than you think.
Do I need reading glasses?
Are you having trouble seeing things brought closer to your eyes? You probably need a pair of reading glasses. Most adults over the age of 40 need to wear reading glasses, mostly due to an age-related condition known as presbyopia. A growing younger population needs reading glasses too. Many vision professionals believe this is the result of increased screen time on digital devices.
Any issue with how the eye captures light through its lens onto its retina — from where it is processed by visual centers in the brain — will lead to poor eyesight. When people need magnification from reading glasses, the eye has trouble processing light from nearby sources. The vision condition frequently associated with needing reading glasses is presbyopia.
Presbyopia is the most common eye condition that drives people to need reading glasses, affecting most people over age 40. Much like how the skin loses elasticity with age, so does the eye of the lens. As a result, the eye cannot change shape as easily. It becomes more difficult to capture the light coming from objects that are close by.
Besides presbyopia, there are several other eye conditions that can cause you to need reading glasses, regardless of your age. Signs you may need reading glasses could include:
- Holding reading materials — like menus or instructions — far away from your face to be able to read them
- Getting tension headaches or eye strain after reading or working on a computer
- Struggling or straining to see small fonts in dim lights
- Difficulty threading a needle or doing other up-close work
Are There Alternatives to Using Reading Glasses?
If you don’t wear reading glasses when you need them, you may experience eye strain and headaches.
There are alternatives to using reading glasses for magnification, but most of them are much pricier than wearing over-the-counter reading glasses. These alternatives include prescription multifocal lenses and laser eye surgery.
What’s the Difference Between Bifocal and Multifocal Lenses?
It is possible to have problems seeing objects both near and far, which require different lens adjustments. Bifocal and multifocal lenses are both used in these situations and are prescribed by vision professionals. An optometrist or another eye doctor can give you an eye exam, then make the appropriate measurements for you.
Bifocal lenses are unique in that they have two different prescriptions in the same lens. One prescription is for distance vision correction, while the other is for reading and magnification. Bifocal lenses may be worn all day, as the prescriptions are positioned in the lens for the angles where people are most likely to need each correction. The area of a bifocal lens closer to the nose has the reading prescription.
On the other hand, multifocal lenses have more than two prescriptions. Typically, multifocal lenses offer three of them in one lens. This includes a distance prescription and an intermediary prescription. The lens will also have a reading prescription for magnifying words and text.
Are Cheap Reading Glasses Bad for Your Eyes?
Cheap reading glasses can be bad for your eyes, especially if the manufacturer uses low-quality materials. Cheap magnification lenses may not consistently perform at the reading glasses strength in diopters they are supposed to. As a result, low-quality eyewear can cause you to develop eye strain and tension headaches. You may also experience frustration with your field of vision while you wear your reading glasses.
Sometimes, this means that looking through low-quality lenses doesn’t consistently work. You may notice random blurry spots or other distortions. Low-quality lenses may only magnify one portion of the lens, so that your eye can only focus through a single point in your glasses to successfully see as-intended.
At Peepers, we use aspheric lenses. This means that the strength in diopters of the reading glasses is evenly distributed through the lens. We make it easy for your eyes to see out of Peepers prescription reading glasses and receive the magnification they need.
How Do You Know What Strength Reading Glasses You Need?
The best way to identify the reading glasses strength you need is to see an eye doctor like an optometrist for an eye exam. Your yearly vision exam is a great time to ask about your eye health and your need for reading glasses.
Keep in mind that even if you see an optometrist for an eye exam to receive a prescription for your reading glasses, you don’t have to buy a pair of reading glasses through their office. Purchasing reading glasses through your eye doctor can be much more expensive than purchasing a pair of reading glasses elsewhere. Once you have your glasses prescription and know your reading glasses strength, it’s often unnecessary.
If you are not ready to see an eye doctor right now or you want to purchase reading glasses before your next eye exam with your optometrist or optician, you may want to try a simple at-home reading glasses strength test.
What Is the Reading Glasses Strength Test?
The at-home reading glasses strength test is an excellent option for those who think they may have presbyopia or could need magnification to see better. It involves a printable visual chart that you can use to test your own vision at home. This eye chart is similar in style to what your optometrist uses in the office and helps you determine what the smallest line of text is that you can read from a set distance.
Based on the line you read, the test can estimate a prescription reading glasses strength in diopters that may help you see clearer than before. For this test to work, you need to print the PDF document on a quality printer at actual size (rather than “Fit to Page”). Once you print the page, hold the piece of paper an arm’s length away from your face — approximately 12–15 inches away from your face.
Begin reading the test chart from top to bottom, stopping when you can read a line clearly. The prescription number associated with that line can guide your selection of reading glasses.
How Do You Understand Your Reading Glasses Prescription?
Your reading glasses prescription tells you the magnification you need for reading glasses in diopters.
Reading glasses at Peepers start at +1.00 magnification in diopters and generally go as high as +3.00 magnification in diopters. Though these are the most popular choices, we do offer select styles in +3.25 magnification and +3.50 magnification. Our site is even organized so that you can shop by strength.
Learn More About Reading Glasses Strength with Peepers
Here at Peepers, we pride ourselves on offering stylish reading glasses and blue light glasses at different strengths and an affordable cost. But even more important than the products we sell is knowing that our magnification glasses help you live life to its fullest.
If you have more questions about what strength reading glasses are right for you or the materials we use in our Oprah-recommended readers or blue light glasses, just let us know! We can also explain how to care for your reading glasses once you’ve found the right strength. Contact us today to ensure you’re getting the right reading glasses and making the most of your magnification.