Reading Glasses Roundup (Part 1)

So, you think you might need reading glasses! It happens to most of us, eventually, thanks to a condition known as “presbyopia,” a progressive eye condition that results in difficulty focusing up close. Age of onset varies, but most of the time adults over 40 will begin to notice symptoms—namely, an inability to read comfortably thanks to eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision while reading.

Signs of Presbyopia

An increasing need to hold your reading material at arm’s length to focus properly is an early symptom of presbyopia. Other symptoms to watch for include:

  • Eye strain and headaches;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Squinting to focus;
  • Eye fatigue or general fatigue;
  • Decreased ability to focus on close objects.

Diagnosing Presbyopia

Your eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia during an eye exam that includes various tests, including visual acuity, refraction, eye movement, pupil evaluation, and more. It’s a good idea to get a diagnosis from your eye doctor to ensure there are no other, more serious underlying causes for your symptoms. You may also require glasses to correct both distance and reading vision—a pair of drugstore “readers” won’t help you with that! Finally, your prescription might be different between your two eyes, which is another great reason to visit your eye doctor for a proper examination and exact prescription.

About Reading Glasses

Reading glasses come in two styles: full frames, with the entire lens made in the reading prescription, and half-eyes, or “Ben Franklin” style glasses that sit lower on the bridge of the nose. If you need reading glasses for computer use, you may wish to consider glasses made specifically for viewing a computer screen. If you’re going on vacation this summer you may want to consider buying a pair of reading sunglasses—and don’t forget the UV coating.

Because reading glasses tend to be more affordable, you may want to consider picking up more than one pair: one for the house, one for the office or your car.

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