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Do I Need Reading Glasses?

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A young woman smiling and trying on glasses in a store while being assisted by an optician or optometrist.

If you’ve ever found yourself holding a book or a menu further away from your eyes than usual or squinting and straining to see when reading or using your phone, it may be time for reading glasses.

Our near vision changes as we age—reading glasses help correct this close vision loss. Consider reading glasses or progressive lenses to help correct your vision at short distances if you experience these changes, especially if you’re over 40.

Many people need reading glasses as they pass middle age, so visit your optometrist for regular eye exams to keep your vision sharp at all distances.

Signs You May Need Reading Glasses

The first sign that you might need reading glasses include:

  • Difficulty seeing objects or text up close.
  • Tired or strained eyes after reading or doing close work for an extended period.
  • Headaches after reading or doing close work

If you develop any of these symptoms, schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to help determine if you need reading glasses or other corrective lenses. These symptoms can signify that you’re developing presbyopia.

What Is Presbyopia? 

As you age, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible and more firm, changing how it focuses light on the retina, leading to age-related nearsightedness called presbyopia. Most people will develop this vision change around the age of 45, but reading glasses can help correct it. 

Eye Exams for Reading Glasses

During a routine eye exam, your optometrist can assess your eyes for presbyopia. They use a range of tests to evaluate your vision and determine your eyeglass prescription, whether your near or distance vision is changing. 

You’ll be asked to read a series of letters or numbers up close and at a distance to test your visual acuity. This test will help your optometrist determine if your vision changes need correction. A refractive test will help determine the strength of your new prescription lenses for your reading glasses.

Why Should You Get Prescription Reading Glasses?

Presbyopia is the main reason why most of us need reading glasses as we get older. However, it can be complicated and confusing to choose the right pair of glasses without the help of your eye care team.

While drugstore reading glasses can be affordable and convenient, they might not be enough to support your eye health and vision.

Prescription Reading Glasses Are More Accurate

Although drugstore glasses come in various magnifications, they follow a one-size-fits-all approach, meaning the eyeglasses you purchase may not be the right power for your vision and may lead to visual discomfort and headaches.

Prescription reading glasses are tailor-made to meet your specific vision needs. Your optometrist can determine your exact prescription during a comprehensive eye exam

They’ll also take measurements of your eye’s curvature and the distance between your pupils to make sure your lenses provide an accurate correction for your vision, resulting in better fit, comfort, and clarity for your individual needs.

Prescription Reading Glasses Offer Better Vision Quality

Prescription reading glasses contain quality lenses designed to eliminate distortion, glare, and other optical aberrations. Prescription glasses can also address more complex vision issues alongside your presbyopia, such as astigmatism, which can’t be corrected with drugstore glasses. 

Your optometrist can also recommend specialty lenses like:

Depending on your unique vision needs, you can get a personalized solution to achieve clearer vision.

Prescription Reading Glasses Offer More Protection

Additional features like protective coatings to guard your eyes against harmful UV rays, scratches, and anti-reflective glare are available when you choose reading glasses from your optical team.

These coatings enhance the durability and lifespan of your glasses and provide additional protection for your sensitive eye tissues.

Prescription Reading Glasses Allow for Better Eye Health Management

A comprehensive eye exam is essential for the early detection and prevention of eye diseases. By visiting your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam, you can protect your eyes against these vision-threatening eye conditions and take the necessary steps to correct them.

Your eye doctor can determine if vision changes like presbyopia are linked to potential structural problems within your eye and provide prompt treatment and management plans.

By opting for prescription glasses, you are taking a proactive approach to managing your eye health.

A woman in an optical clinic shaking hands with her optometrist.

Choose Prescription Reading Glasses 

While drugstore glasses can be a convenient and cost-effective option (at least at first), they are not designed for your individual needs and may not provide the protection and visual comfort you need to support your eye health.

Dr. Henslick Vision Center offers personalized eye care and a variety of prescription lenses and frame options. Quality reading glasses can bring your world back into focus and enhance your quality of life. Book an eye exam today and choose your next pair of reading glasses in our optical department.

Written by Total Vision

At Total Vision, we pride ourselves on ensuring healthy eyes for the whole family and work hard to help all our patients look, feel, and see better. With many locations throughout California, we continue to set new industry standards for professionalism and quality. We empower all our partners to offer leading-edge testing, treatment, and eyewear. With the support of our entire network behind each care provider, patients all over the state can enjoy consistent quality and incredible value.
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