As we age, our eyes age with us, and at a certain age, which varies from individual to individual, our nearsighted vision gets compromised. When it happens, this is may seem like an unpleasant occurrence, however, you should celebrate the fact that you’ve reached that age. Moreover, there is a very simple and non-expensive solution to this issue – reading glasses.
However, in order to make the best use of reading glasses, one must choose the right reading glasses strength. Sure, you can always pay a visit to an ophthalmologist, but there is a much simpler method and we will cover it herein. Moreover, we will cover all the information one needs to understand the reading glasses strength and thus make the right choice.
Consider this article as an extensive guide regarding the reading glasses strength, which will serve all of you who have reached the point of losing clear vision and also those, who have relatives in a position, when they need to determine their reading glasses strength.
Since we want our readers to fully understand the issue behind the need for reading glasses, we will go into details regarding this eye-aging phenomenon. However, if you are only interested in certain parts of this article, fill free to scroll down to the section that is of your interest.
Are you ready to dig deep into reading glasses strength? Let’s do this.
Our Bodies Age and So Do Our Eyes
First, let’s make sure that you all understand that there are various eye conditions that require glasses. And if you have had vision problems earlier in your life or are below 40 and experience blurry vision, you should make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
On the other hand, if you hand a good vision your whole life and have lately started to experience slight issues with near objects, mainly when reading, then this article is just what you need.
You probably know that aging is a natural part of life. As we grow older all our body parts age despite the constant cell replacement (no cell in the human body is older than 7 years) since the cell reproduction process is not perfect and every new cell carries those consequences.
Well, our eyes are no exception. Though the 40s are what people used to felt like in the 30s, eye aging still applies. Thus, 40 remains the lower region when the eye condition that requires reading glasses strength understanding may occur. We will go into more detail regarding the eye condition that requires reading glasses in the following section, though, you should know it is related to your eyes’ loss of flexibility and thus resulting in a slight deformation.
Considering the fact that 40s maybe when the need for reading glasses may occur, it is also reasonable to assume that with older age the deformation will increase and thus worsen your ability to read without the proper glasses.
That said, you now know that this is a part of a natural aging process and nothing to worry about. Luckily there are solutions available that will help you see clearly again.
What kind of eye conditions requires reading glasses?
There are various eye conditions that ask for some sort of eyeglasses or lenses to offer one optical correction needed to ensure a clear vision.
When it comes to reading glasses, those go hand in hand with the eye condition known as presbyopia. As mentioned above, this eye condition occurs due to a loss in eye flexibility. This loss of flexibility causes a natural change in the lens of the eyes, especially after the age of 40 years. This results in the eyes’ disability to clearly focus on objects that are at a closer distance.
Reading may be at the top of the list, but all computer work, smartphone tasks, needlework, and many other tasks will require reading glasses if you are dealing with presbyopia.
Below is a list of a few main signs (symptoms) of presbyopia:
- Holding books and other reading materials up close, the content is blurry and you can’t seem to get in focus. Placing books or your phone farther away makes the blurriness go away.
- You have difficulties seeing smaller print in dim light.
- Your eyes start to hurt when you force yourself to read, sew, or do other close-sighted work.
- You tend to experience a headache when you try to read.
Check out more for Computer Reading Glasses for Reducing Eye Strain
Understanding the Reading Glasses Strength
So are you above 40? Are you having difficulties focusing on text when reading? Was your vision perfect in the past? Are you dealing with any of the above symptoms? If so, you are highly likely to have presbyopia at your hands. If that is that case, you must get familiar with the reading glasses strength.
We will go into details regarding selecting the right kind of reading glasses strength in the next section, but let us first give you an overview of the reading glasses strength.
Reading glasses strength is market with a ‘plus’ (+) sign, which is a standard nomenclature for farsighted conditions, which presbyopia falls under. So the reading glasses strength will always start with a plus sign, followed by a number.
The higher the number following the plus sign the higher the reading glasses strength. The scale starts at +0.5 (which does not require glasses yet) and goes all the way to +8 (which is a very extreme case of presbyopia).
What Reading Glasses Strength do I need?
Now that you have a basic understanding of the principles behind the reading glasses strength, we can present you with details that will enable you to determine what reading glasses strength you need.
We will start by presenting you with the generalized reading strength according to age, which may serve as a solid guideline. As we move on, we will take a closer look at a relatively simple method that enables you to determine your rather precise reading glasses strength from the comfort of your home.
Reading Glasses Strength Guidelines
As you probably remember from the previous sections, the reading glasses strength required gets higher with age. Below are the reading glasses strength guidelines that match the averages and may be used as a rule of thumb.
- Age: 40 – 42 à +0.75
- Age: 43 – 45 à +1.00
- Age: 46 – 47 à +1.25
- Age: 48 – 49 à +1.50
- Age: 50 – 52 à +1.75
- Age: 53 – 55 à +2.00
- Age: 56 – 57 à +2.25
- Age: 58 + à +2.50 (and up)
Home Reading Glasses Strength Test
Following the above guideline is one way to approach your reading glasses strength determination, however, the chance of you fitting the averages is not that great. There is a much more precise alternative that you can make use of.
Most optics offer online charts that must be printed and used as a home reading glasses strength test. You can find those online with the use of Google search or any other search engine. Moreover, we decided to make things even simpler for you and as such provided you with a link to one of such tests.
Here you can find the test sheet: https://dy4266y0q6jw6.cloudfront.net/PDF/reading-strength-shared.pdf
Here are the steps to take the home reading glasses strength test:
- To complete the home reading glasses strength test, you will need to visit the link above or one of the other online available tests.
- Next, you will need to print out the test text on a 100% scale to use it. This part is very important. Make sure that your font is not enlarged or minimized as it will compromise the results of the test.
- Then hold the paper approximately 12-14 inches from your eyes.
- Begin reading the line with the smallest font.
- If you can’t read that line, move on to the next one and so on, until you get to the line which you can read. Since each line has a reading glasses strength assigned to it, you will learn the reading glasses strength that corresponds to your eyes condition.
Note: If you are not able to read the largest font on the test, you should schedule a visit to your eye doctor ASAP.
Book Reading vs. Computer Reading
This is another important aspect to consider. You’d probably like to be able to use the same glasses for both, reading books and computer work, right? Well, the reality is that those are two relatively different things, and to get the best possible results, you will most likely need to use two pairs of reading glasses or adjust their position on your nose.
You see, the classic reading (book, magazines, phones, tablets, etc.) relates to the distance of 12-14 inches. On the other hand, the computer work positions the screen about 18 inches from your eyes, which makes a noticeable difference.
Luckily this difference can be easily accounted for. Use the reading glasses strength results using the test above and simply divide the reading glasses strength by 2. E.g.: if you were to need +2.00 reading glasses strength for classic reading (12-14 inches), your reading glasses strength for computer work would be +1.00.
The above two methods are what you want to use if you plan on ordering your glasses online. To ensure accuracy, we highly recommend using the home reading glasses strength test.
However, if you will be buying your glasses in person, you can always put on reading glasses with various strengths to determine, which match your condition best. When doing so, make sure to also position your glasses on your nose in a matter, in which you intend to actually wear them. Keep in mind that the further away the glasses are from your eyes, the larger the magnification.
Over-The-Counter Reading Glasses vs. Prescription Reading Glasses
The presbyopia is one of the rare eye conditions for which you can actually bypass the visit to the eye doctor. Of course, you can still do so, and you will probably end up with more detailed results and potentially better reading glasses, however, it will cost you also a lot more.
Since reading glasses with standard reading glasses strength are available over-the-counter at most local stores, you can get at an extremely affordable price. Of course, the range varies and mainly depends on the style and material of the frame, and the advanced features of the reading glasses, such as UV protection and similar.
The quality of prescription reading glasses compared to those of over-the-counter reading glasses is much higher. However, many seniors prefer to go with a cheaper option and rather have more pairs of reading glasses at various locations in their home, in the car, etc.
It is up to you, to determine your preferences and decided whether you want higher quality or lower prices. When it comes to being able to see the text clearly, both prescription and over-the-counter reading glasses can provide quality results.
Where to Get Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are available basically everywhere these days. Larger markets, all optics, all pharmacies, and many other places can provide you with various reading glasses strength models.
Another valid option is to make a purchase online. If you are looking for simple reading glasses, places like Amazon or other online marketplaces will do the trick. However, if you want reading glasses of higher quality, you will probably want to visit websites of the professional optic business. These days most of them offer online stores where you can browse for basically all types of glasses, including reading glasses.
If you’ve gotten to this stage of today’s article, then you are a semi-expert regarding the reading glasses strength. You know that the need for reading glasses is a completely natural thing, a part of the aging process, and slight physical deformation of the eye lens due to loss of elasticity of the eye tissue.
Moreover, you should also be able to determine the reading glasses strength for yourself and your loved ones with ease now that you know that this can easily be done from the comfort of your home. Finding the right reading glasses strength and purchasing the right pair should also be no challenge, now that you know you can get proper reading glasses basically anywhere.
We believe in your ability to choose the best reading glasses strength for your needs and thus easily overcome the issue of blurry text.