Reading Glasses

Written by Patricia Skinner
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There comes a time for most of us when we can't focus as well as we once did. Gradually, it will begin to dawn on us that we're squinting constantly to see small objects and the written word. Typically, we will be somewhere in our forties. For some of us the realization is delayed until we're a little older, and for others the day comes sooner. The kind of short-sightedness that comes with age is called presbyopia.

How do we finally know we need reading glasses? You may suddenly realize that you're holding books and magazines at arm's length, and you still can't bring the print into focus. Reading the menu in a restaurant may no longer be a simple task. When it happens, you'll know for sure that all is not as it should be. For mild cases, a simple pair of non-prescription reading glasses will, in all likelihood, solve the problem. For some of us though, something a little stronger is required. In this case you should visit an optician to have your sight accurately assessed.

Time to Take Action

The kind of reading glasses you choose depends a great deal on how you spend your time. If you are an avid reader, or you love needlework for example, you will need full reading glasses. The only problem with these is that if you forget you're wearing them and try to stand up and move about, or look across the room, you will find that you have a very blurred image of the room around you.

If you tend to switch between activities quite a lot, you will probably get along better with bifocals or half lenses. With bifocals, just the lower portion of the lens is for reading. The rest of it is for normal activity. This spares you from having to swap between pairs of glasses too often throughout the day. Half lenses are the same idea, but instead of having a full eye frame, the reading glasses are designed just to cover the lower half of your vision.

Another choice is no-line progressive glasses. These are a compromise. Instead of being one or the other, they provide for both near and distant vision--with no sudden change. The vision gradually fades from one to the other. These will need to be prescribed for you by an optician.

Changing Your Prescription to Accommodate Presbyopia

Even people who already wear prescription glasses for any reason may find that they also need reading glasses at some point, and they may choose bifocals too. In this case, it's important to consult with an optician about possible solutions. The solution will likely not be so easy for a person who has never worn prescription glasses before.

Consumers should try to get well-made, quality pairs of reading glasses. You might think that a pair of ready-to-purchase reading glasses from a drugstore is the best option you have when shopping for glasses. While these glasses might be less expensive, they will probably be of lesser quality as well. Check the glasses found in drug and grocery stores carefully for cheap frames and inexpensive lenses. Many online retailers only sell high end, optical quality reading glasses, which are easy on your eyes and look great too.

Once you experience the ease of not having to strain and squint to focus, you will experience a better quality of life, free of headaches and sore eyes. Before you go ahead and buy, however, be sure to hold any potential glasses up to the light to make sure that there are no obvious distortions or wavy lines in the lens. Badly made reading glasses could actually cause problems with your sight.

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