Tips for Finding the Right Reading Glasses

Sadly, the text in your books and on your screen were not printed in a new trendy “fuzzy format.” Your eyes, like most body parts, have a tendency to decline gradually over time. Don’t panic though, this slight deviation from your consistent flawless eyesight is common and not difficult to overcome. Look no further than the perfect pair of reading glasses.

Getting the important disclaimer out of the way

First and foremost, it is necessary to say that before seeking out reading glasses as a solution to your vision problems, always make certain you don’t require prescription lenses or contacts by having an eye exam from a certified professional. VSP’s directory of optometrists and eye doctors will help. 

Once you know reading glasses are the preferred option to correct your vision, then this guide becomes relevant and helpful to follow. 

Drug store readers versus doctor prescribed

Naturally, your eye doctor will pinpoint the exact degree to which your eyesight has degraded since your eyes were in their prime; but if they’re still in pretty good shape (without a diagnosable problem), you may not require expensive, custom eyeglasses to curtail your slight visual change. 

Instead, reading glasses from your local pharmacy, drug store or even grocer may be the perfect solution. These glasses have been designed to offer slight adjustments to aging eyes. They magnify close-up objects you see, like text in magazines and books, to make them less blurred and easier to read, providing the necessary vision correction without the heavy price tag. 

Choosing reading glasses based on power rating

Readers are generally rated with a number ranging between +1 and +4, increasing at intervals of +0.25. The strongest lens available without a prescription is +4, and +1 is on the weaker end of the spectrum. Always start with the lowest power rating so you don’t overcorrect the problem. This is important to keep in mind, because overcorrecting vision might add to your vision loss in the long run. 

Testing them properly

Bring your typical reading materials when you head to the drug store, whether that be an old copy of The Old Man and the Sea, last month’s edition of GQ or today’s Washington Post. Adorned with the weakest lenses possible, sit down with your text for a few minutes and begin to read as you normally would. Are you holding the material away from you? Is it hard to read? Are you blinking a lot or straining your eyes? 

If so, then gradually test glasses with an increasing power rating until you feel as though your eyes are gracefully gliding across the words as if you were 20/20 again. 

One final tip

Remember, these are not prescription eyeglasses. You’re not bound to them every moment of every single day. So it’s a good idea to initially purchase larger lenses that may or may not be the most stylish rims you ever sport. The reason? It takes some time to adjust to readers, and having larger lenses to begin with makes the finer reading tasks easier right off the bat. 

Later, as your eyes get adjusted, the switch to smaller, more attractive frames is less strenuous. After all, they’re fairly inexpensive, so give your eyes the best chance to read their best for starters and then upgrade. 

Begin by using your VSP Individual Plan to schedule an eye exam with your doctor. If you don’t have vision insurance, find out how VSP can help you save on your next eye exam or pair of glasses.