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How Do You Know If You Need Reading Glasses?

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A woman having trouble reading a book and squinting to see better.

Over time, our eyes undergo changes that can make daily tasks more difficult. One of the most common vision changes is the need for reading glasses. But how do you know when it’s time to get reading glasses?

You may need reading glasses if you’re developing eye strain, you find it difficult to see close up, or you need more light to see. Your eye doctor can advise and recommend reading glasses during a routine eye exam. They’ll let you know if reading glasses will help or if another problem needs to be addressed.

Why Do You Need Reading Glasses as You Age?

As you enter your 40s, your vision will gradually change due to presbyopia, a refractive error like nearsightedness or farsightedness. It occurs when the lens in our eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close-up objects. This change can affect our ability to read, work on a computer, or perform work that requires focus.

Presbyopia is a normal part of aging and will eventually affect everyone. Reading glasses are a common solution for presbyopia. They provide additional magnification to help compensate for the decreased ability to focus up close. Reading glasses are available over-the-counter or can be prescribed by an optometrist to meet your needs.

Signs You Need Reading Glasses

Some common symptoms of presbyopia can indicate the need for reading glasses for close work.

Your Is Vision Blurry When Reading

Blurred vision is one of the most common signs that you need reading glasses. It can make it hard to do everyday tasks like driving, texting, or reading. If you find yourself extending your arm to hold the reading material away from your face to see it better, you may need reading glasses.

You Get Frequent Headaches

Squinting or straining your eyes to read can lead to eye strain, which can cause headaches. If you experience headaches more frequently, it could be a sign that you need reading glasses.

When you’ve ruled out the other causes of frequent headaches, it’s worth getting your eyes checked to get an updated corrective prescription.

You Experience Eye Fatigue During the Day

If your eyes feel tired or strained after reading for an extended period, they’re likely being overworked. Reading glasses can help reduce this strain on your eyes and help improve your overall comfort when reading.

You Need Brighter Light to See Better

Age-related changes in your vision can be temporarily improved with brighter light. If you have to turn on additional lights or lamps to read, it’s worth getting your eyes checked to see if reading glasses could help. 

Why You Should Get Reading Glasses from Your Eye Doctor

While purchasing reading glasses from the drugstore may be tempting, there are several compelling reasons to go to your eye doctor instead.

Prescription Glasses vs. Over-the-Counter Glasses

Many people assume that reading glasses are over-the-counter products that don’t require a prescription. While it’s true that you don’t need a prescription to purchase reading glasses, the glasses you get from your optometrist are different from the ones you buy at the drugstore.

Reading glasses from your optometrist are custom-made for your eyes and contain the correct prescription strength. They are designed to fit your face correctly to help prevent eye strain, headaches, and overall discomfort.

To custom-make glasses that provide the right vision correction, your optometrist needs to take precise measurements of your pupil distance and cornea’s curve.

You can also get more technologically advanced lenses with prescription eyewear than over-the-counter reading glasses, such as bifocal, multifocal, or progressive lenses. If you do a lot of computer work, your optical team can also personalize computer glasses to help prevent digital eye strain.

Personalized Eye Care

When you purchase your reading glasses from your optometrist, you will receive personalized eye care from a trained eye professional. Optometrists have extensive knowledge and expertise in vision and can recommend lenses with the proper corrective power for your needs.

A trained optician is also skilled and helps you find frames that are comfortable and functional for your needs that fit your prescription. Feel good while seeing well! 

This level of care and attention is not available at the drugstore.

Quality Assurance & Durability

Drugstore reading glasses are often less durable than custom reading glasses and may not last long. Opticians use quality materials, and many provide warranties for their items, guaranteeing durability and performance. 

Your optician can adjust your frames over their lifespan to help them fit comfortably without slipping or pinching.

An optometrist performing a slit-lamp exam on his patient to find signs of eye problems.

Discover Customization Options for Reading Glasses 

If you think you’ll benefit from reading glasses, give us a call at Focus West Optometry. Our experienced optometrists are here to provide you with personalized solutions, including bifocals, multifocal, and progressives. Whether you’re experiencing presbyopia or any other vision concern, our knowledgeable and professional staff is ready to assist you.Give us a call today to book an eye exam.

Written by Focus West Optometry

Welcome to Focus West Optometry! Since our founding in 1997, our team has been proud to serve the Calgary community and provide comprehensive eye care for the whole family. We offer a wide range of eye care services, including addressing dry eyes, an extensive optical boutique, and innovative technology to make your visit as efficient as possible.

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