Three Things to Consider Before Buying Reading Glasses

Reading glasses aren’t just for old people anymore, and the sooner you’re willing to wear a pair, the better your vision will be in the long run.

Woman holding up a pair of reading glasses
If you feel like your near vision isn’t what it used to be, a pair of inexpensive magnifying glasses can make all the difference in the world.Pexels/@designecologist

It is a fact of life that at some point or another everyone will need help with their vision. As we age, the natural lenses in our eyes stiffen, making it harder to bring near objects into focus. For those fortunate enough to have enjoyed 20/20 vision, assistance will arrive in the form of basic reading glasses, which are simple magnifying lenses that help sharpen fine print and effectively bring the eye of the old needle closer to the eye of the beholder. If you are shopping for a reliable pair of readers, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Magnification

Gaoye 5-Pack Reading Glasses Blue Light Blocking
If you have never used reading glasses before, start by testing low-magnification lenses and increase the increment if you still can’t see well.Gaoye

Over-the-counter reading glasses generally start at about 1x magnification and increase in .25x increments known as diopters. This is pretty much the universal starter range, but the need for greater magnification usually increases as one ages, up to about 3x or more diopters for users in their late 50s and older. The best bet is to consult an eye doctor for a diopter test to get evaluated for a lens of the correct strength.

Construction and Design

Reading Glasses 5 Pairs
Just because you need to use reading glasses doesn’t mean they can’t look stylish and cool.Kerecsen

If there is one universal truth about reading glasses, it is that your first pair will not be your last. Over the course of a lifetime, we lose, break, loan, or otherwise forfeit pair after pair. With a price range of from $2 to $20, it’s important to get your money’s worth in each pair. Look for spring-hinged frames made of a semi-flexible polycarbonate or nylon material that won’t snap every time they get sat on or abused. Design is a matter of individual taste, with a kaleidoscope of choices that range from military-style “birth control” black to full-on Elton John floral prints. Just because your vision suffers, your personal style doesn’t have to.

Blue-Light Blockers

Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Like UV rays from the sun, rays from the blue-light spectrum coming from electronics can have long-term negative effects on your eyes.Gamma Ray Optics

Most people don’t give a lot of thought to the vision problems associated with computer and tablet use. But the light emitted by these devices can have a long-term detrimental effect on our eyes. A pair of blue-light blockers, with or without reading magnification, can go a long way in preventing problems that may develop from years of computer use.

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