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Friday, 21 June 2024

Reading glasses 101.

Have you ever noticed that some people start pulling down their glasses in order to read? Or have to stretch their arms out super long. This is called presbyopia, it is when the eyes gradually lose the ability to see things clearly up close, this is a normal part of ageing. When we are younger the lens inside our eye is able to focus on things up-close and far away because it is flexible and soft but as we age the lens inside our eye becomes harder and less flexible which makes it harder to focus on things that are up close. Reading glasses compensate for these weakened eye muscles in your eye. Developing this is completely normal, doctors say that almost all people will need some form of glasses one day, especially after a certain age. If you notice that you are struggling to read texts that are close to you like your phone or a book, or you are simply noticing that you are holding these items further away from your eyes in order to be able to read them then it may be a good idea to visit an optician.

You can purchase reading glasses that are sold by most opticians or chemists, however, it is not advised to pick these glasses up without consultation with your optometrist. You can also use the power test guide that we have in the reading glasses section to find out your power. Having an eye test done will give a precise indication of which strength you need for your reading glasses. Reading glasses come in many different strengths so it is important that you find the right one for you - the weakest strength that they come in is +0.25 and in some cases, they can go up to +4.00. Any strength between +0.25 - + 1.00 is usually considered to be relatively low. However, If you have been prescribed reading glasses that are anywhere between +1.25 - +1.75 then this will be considered moderate, although, for those who have been prescribed with glasses which are above +2.00 then you should note that these are considered to be high-strength reading glasses.

Once you have been given your reading glasses and have started to use them you should pay attention to how your eyes or body is reacting to your glasses - are you still finding that you have to move objects away from you to read them, or perhaps even finding that you are bringing them forward? If this is the case then it may be a sign that the strength of your reading glasses is either too weak or even too strong. If your glasses are too strong, you may experience headaches, eye strain, or nausea, in most cases, although it is safe to say that you will notice if there is a problem sooner than later - if you are experiencing these symptoms then you should consult your doctor straight away. These symptoms may also occur if your reading glasses are too weak, in a similar case you should also consult your doctor - as these symptoms will cause dizziness and nausea.

Choosing your reading glasses strength by ‘age’. 

For some users of glasses, it may not be possible for them to go to an optical examination in order to determine the power they need for their reading glasses - they may be able to determine the power you need in your glasses using the chart below:

  • Age 40-44 – Recommended power +0.75 to +1.00 dioptre
  • Age 45-49 – Recommended power +1.00 to +1.50 dioptre
  • Age 50-54 – Recommended power +1.50 to +2.00 dioptre
  • Age 55-59 – Recommended power +2.00 to +2.25 dioptre
  • Age 61-65 – Recommended power +2.25 to +2.50 dioptre

This chart is just a standard guideline for users to make an estimated guess for the strength that they need - you may find yourself stuck between two strengths, in which case you should opt for the one with the lowest power as wearing high powered reading glasses will strain your eye and cause sharp headaches, which will lead to dizziness and nausea.

You may also find that you might need different powered glasses for different tasks, like the power you may need to view your mobile device may be different to the power you need to read a magazine for example as you will be holding them at a different distance from one another. If this is the case then you may need to purchase a few different glasses with different reading powers from your optometrists.

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