Reading Glasses: How To Find Your Fit

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EyeQue Team

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May 23, 2018

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Reading Glasses Strength

Older Woman ReadingDo you wear reading glasses? Over 50 million pairs of over-the-counter reading glasses are sold in the U.S. each year. While they are easy to find, it can be tricky to find the appropriate strength of readers for you. Wearing the wrong strength of reading glasses can lead to eyestrain and headaches. It’s essential to understand how to select the right reading glasses without a prescription.

The Natural Aging Process

As we get older, the muscles in our eyes start to take a bit longer to focus on nearby objects. This condition, known as presbyopia, is a natural part of aging and has no cure. However, reading glasses often help minimize the symptoms and relieve eye strain and headaches typically associated with this condition.

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Understanding the Strength of Reading Glasses

It’s important to select reading glasses that are comfortable, match your personality, and work with the shape of your face. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure you are selecting reading glasses that have the correct magnification value. The strength of reading glasses strength is measured in diopters. This number indicates how powerful a lens is. Reading glasses typically start with a near vision, or NV, a strength of +1.0 and progress in strength by .25 diopters.

When recommending reading glasses for their patients, optometrists typically use a range based on different age groups. This range starts at +0.75 diopters (or magnification) for those ages 40 to 43. It progresses to + 2.5 for ages 58 and up.

As a word of warning, simply testing or trying on different reading strength glasses at a department store or pharmacy may not be the best way to identify the correction you need for reading vision. Your eyes tend to adjust to the power quickly, which means seeing clearly at the moment may cause eye strain if worn over prolonged periods of time. If the power is too weak or too strong for you, it is common to experience dizziness, headaches, and eye irritation.

Reading glasses prescription chart

It is also worth noting that most readers carried in the department or drug stores do not typically offer any protection against UV rays, which can actually result in the sun’s rays being intensified by the magnification of the lenses of the readers. To make matters worse, the magnification can actually intensify the rays, which means that crow’s feet and cataracts await you.

How to Select the Right Over-The-Counter Reading Glasses for You

Like reading the eye chart at your eye doctor’s office, printing an at-home diopter test can help to determine the correct strength of reading glasses for you. When using an at-home diopter test, it’s important that you attempt to read the top line without wearing glasses and continue down until coming to the first line you can read clearly – this should indicate the magnification that is right for you. You can also test the vision of each eye by covering one eye at a time while reading the chart.

Another option is to use EyeQue’s VisionCheck. The VisionCheck recommends an accurate strength for reading glasses based on your age and specific results – the only difference is that the information is gathered from an at-home, self-administered test that uses the light of your smartphone to determine the correct strength for you.

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With the VisionCheck, you can test your vision and then order glasses online without ever having to leave the house. Avoid the hassle of appointments and waiting rooms.

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