Do you ever hold menus at arm’s length to read the text? Do you often get headaches while reading because you’re constantly squinting? As the years pass, do you notice yourself struggling with simple tasks like reading prices at the grocery store, checking the time on your watch, or signing a receipt? You may be dealing with presbyopia, a common and natural type of farsightedness that usually begins in middle age (early to mid-40s). This condition occurs because the eye’s lens becomes more rigid as we age, making it less flexible and less able to change shape to see close-up objects. Fortunately, a very simple and inexpensive tool is available that improves near vision: reading glasses. What are reading glasses, and how might they improve your life?
What Are Reading Glasses?
Reading glasses are a common tool used to correct farsightedness, a condition in which a person struggles to see objects that are relatively close to the eyes clearly. They work like a magnifying glass, enlarging objects so that it’s easier for your eyes to focus on them.
Since vision varies from person to person, reading glasses are available in various diopters. A diopter is a measurement unit that expresses the focusing strength of a pair of glasses or contact lenses. The severity of your farsightedness will determine which diopter strength you need. Diopters are available in +0.25 and +0.50 increments, with lenses ranging from +0.25 to +3.50 available in most retail stores that sell over-the-counter reading glasses. If you need a higher-strength diopter, you may need to order your reading glasses through an eyecare professional.
Types of Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are available with frames in various styles, colors, and sizes. In addition, there are a few basic types of reading glasses from which you can choose:
- Traditional Reading Glasses: The classic! Traditional reading glasses have the same strength diopter throughout the entire lens. If you only wear reading glasses while working or reading, these might be the perfect fit for you.
- Bifocal Reading Glasses: Are you frequently switching between looking around at the general environment and looking down at close-up objects? You might like bifocals, which have unmagnified lenses with magnifying inserts. So when you look around and talk to people, your vision won’t be distorted, but when you look down at a book, document, or phone, you’ll be able to see clearly.
- Progressive Reading Glasses: If you frequently look up and down between the general environment and up-close objects, but you don’t like the starkly divided sections of bifocals, you may prefer progressives. Instead of different zones with visible lines, progressive lenses have a seamless gradation between the two powers. Because of this, they also have “in-between” zones, which are great if you’re looking at something an arm’s length away.
- Reading Sunglasses: If you’re often reading or looking at your phone outside in the bright sunlight, consider purchasing reading sunglasses as well. In addition to protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and making you more comfortable, their magnifying lenses can help you focus.
Just about everyone needs reading glasses when they reach middle age. Before you select your reading glasses, schedule an eye exam to have your vision checked. In addition, note that sometimes people need more than one pair of reading glasses. For example, you might need one diopter strength for close-up reading and another for extended computer use.
Are you looking to treat yourself to a new pair of reading glasses? Stop by Heffington’s if you live in southwest Missouri. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an e-mail to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!