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How to Buy Reading Glasses

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Old 06-10-2019, 05:00 PM
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Default How to Buy Reading Glasses

If itís getting harder to make out small print or you find that your eyes are becoming more easily strained when you read, then it may be time to consider reading glasses. While they are only designed to treat presbyopia, a common condition that makes it difficult to focus your eyes on small print, reading glasses can prove to be a helpful purchase. But due to the vast number of lenses, frames, and styles, it can be difficult to figure out which pair is right for you. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to determine what kind of reading glasses you need.


EditGetting an Eye Exam
  1. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist to get an eye exam. An eye exam carried out by a licensed professional is really the only reliable way to tell whether reading glasses will help your symptoms.
    • Itís good to schedule regular visits with an eye doctor anyways, and they will be able to perform their regular exams while testing your vision. [1]
    • You should get a full eye exam every two to four years.[2]
  2. Ask your optometrist about reading glasses. An eye doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have presbyopia with certainty. After they confirm the diagnosis, ask your doctor about what kind of reading glasses would work for you specifically.[3] Youíll know a lot more about what to look for in a pair of reading glasses based on their specific recommendations for you.
  3. Complete an eye exam online if you canít see a doctor. A simple reading test can be found online and can be used to diagnose the level of magnification that you will need in your reading glasses. Most reading tests that you can complete at home require you to read different sizes of print, which will help you identify what kind of lenses you need.[4]
    • Completing an eye exam on your own is no replacement for a medical professionalís opinion, but can serve as an alternative until you have an opportunity to see your physician.
    • While completing an online eye exam can help you determine what level of magnification youíll want in your reading glasses, it cannot determine the cause of your symptoms. Only a medical professional will be able to diagnose the root cause of an issue with your vision.
    • Reading glasses have signs or stickers on them that indicate their level of magnification. Write down the results of your eye exam when going shopping for a pair.
EditPicking the Right Lenses
  1. Start with a full frame for your first pair. Full frame lenses refer to larger lenses that provide uniform magnification across the entirety of the lens. They tend to look like regular prescription glasses and come in a variety of styles. Full frame lenses are good choices if you think youíll be using your reading glasses for longer periods of time, since they cover your entire eye.[5]
    • Some eyecare professionals suggest starting with a full frame because it will help your eyes adjust more easily to the magnification.[6]
  2. Pick a half-eye frame for more flexibility. Half-eye glasses are smaller and tend to sit further down on your nose. They make it easy to move your eyes in and out of the lens depending on what youíre doing. If you tend to multitask or find yourself taking your full lenses on and off with great frequency, you may want to consider switching to half-eye frames.[7]
  3. Select bifocals or progressives if you know exactly what you need. Bifocals and progressives refer to full lenses where the magnification is different depending on what part of the lens youíre looking through. Bifocals have two distinct areas of magnification, while progressives contain lenses with a magnification that shifts gradually from one part of the lens to the other. They can be hard to get used to if youíve never worn glasses before.[8]
    • Bifocal and progressive lenses are more commonly found in prescription glasses, since theyíre often built to meet a specific set of needs.
    • Because bifocal and progressive lenses can take a lot of effort to get used to, itís probably best to start with full or half-eye frames first.[9]
  4. Buy sun readers if youíre frequently struggling to read outdoors. There are specialty lenses on the market that may be better for you depending on what you need your reading glasses for. If you are struggling to read small print outside, you may want to consider sun readers. These usually come with ultraviolet protection and repel sunlight.[10]
  5. Buy specialty glasses if you struggle with computer screens. The same way that there are specialty lenses for reading outdoors, there are specific reading glasses that are made for people that spend a lot of time staring at screens. These lenses help the user reduce eyestrain specifically caused by bright screens and make it easier to read off of a computer.[11]
    • If you experience difficulty staring at your computer screen for a reasonable period of time, you may want to bring it up with your doctor. You may have something called Computer Vision Syndrome.[12]
EditBuying Your First Pair
  1. Set a budget based on how you intend to use your glasses. Plastic frames are a common and inexpensive choice that are preferable if you donít want to worry about replacing your glasses. Metals like titanium or aluminum can cost quite a bit more, but tend to last longer.[13] Consider what amount youíre willing to spend on a pair of glasses before you start poking around in the store.
    • If you tend to lose glasses or drop them frequently, a cheaper pair may be better for you as they'll be easier to replace.
    • If you aren't prone to losing glasses and tend to take good care of them, feel free to spend a little more on a nicer pair.
    • Many people tend to buy multiple copies of the same pair of reading glasses, since theyíre relatively inexpensive and some people only use them at a few select locations (like a reading chair or office desk). Having multiple pairs can keep you from worrying about taking your glasses with you everywhere.[14]
  2. Pick a style that fits you! Once youíve determined what kind of lens youíll need, itís time to figure out what style of frame you want. While some people donít necessarily care what their reading glasses look like, having fashionable eyeglasses can be important. From rimless to full-rimmed glasses and from square to rounded edges, reading glasses come in all different shapes and sizes. Pick a style that is not only comfortable, but looks good![15]
  3. Test them out before buying to make sure they suit your needs. If youíre buying your pair at a store, bring a book with you to test out a pair of glasses and make sure that theyíre right for you. If you are wearing your glasses and still have to hold written materials away from you, consider a stronger pair. You also want to make sure that a potential pair rests comfortably on your face.[16]
  4. Inspect each pair of glasses for damage or flaws. Examine a potential pair for bubbles, waves, or damage on the lens itself. A good pair of reading glasses should have a uniform lens that is free from any blemishes or defects. Because reading glasses are not subject to FDA labeling rules, the quality between pairs can vary wildly.[17]
    • If you're buying a pair of reading glasses online, check to see what the return policy is before buying them. You donít want to get stuck with a pair that doesnít fit.
  5. Talk to your doctor about prescription lenses if it isn't working out. If you find it difficult to get used to your new reading glasses, it may be that you need prescription lenses. Pay attention to how your glasses help with your vision while youíre wearing them. If you find yourself pushing your books away from your eyes even while wearing your reading glasses, you may require greater magnification that what reading glasses can offer you. It may also be possible that your eyesight has changed since your last eye exam![18]

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