It started innocently enough. You found yourself moving the newspaper closer and farther away from your face during breakfast. Your nightly reading routine was disrupted by a constant squinting and rubbing of your eyes. Then it hit you. The day has finally come:
You need reading glasses.
Don’t panic. This eventual change in our eyes is called presbyopia and it is completely normal as we grow older. But before you pick out any old pair at the grocery store, take some time to read over these guidelines to make sure you find the proper fit to suit your needs.
What are the different kinds of reading glasses?
Do you find that you are near-sighted? Far-sighted? Somewhere in-between? Regardless, there is a pair of reading glasses out there for you! If you find that you are having trouble reading or seeing objects up close, a pair of single vision reading glasses may be the right option for you. They come in different power strengths depending on the severity of the near-sightedness and come in two different basic styles, full-size (which means they cover the entire area surrounding the eye like sunglasses) and half-size (a “Ben Franklin” style that sits low on the nose). Full-size reading glasses are preferred by those who want their entire field of vision covered. The half-size style is ideal for those who want to be able to look down and focus on what they wish to see while also having the option to look up and view their surroundings with plain eyesight. There is a third option, bifocal reading glasses, which feature two different vision power strengths at once. The top part may or may not have a corrective lens, whereas the bottom section allows for close reading and viewing.
Where should you pick out your first pair?
Although it may be tempting to pick up a pair of “ready-made” reading glasses at a local supermarket or convenience store, there are drawbacks to a hasty choice. To begin, ready-made reading glasses are a “one-size-fits-all” deal; if you have different vision needs in each eye, a ready-made pair of reading glasses will not accommodate your needs. This can cause one eye to grow weaker than the other or other negative effects. Furthermore, because the quality of reading glasses purchased at supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be less than ideal, the chance of small defects like bubbles, waves and chips are far more common. These flaws will put extra strain on your eyes as you wear them as you will constantly be trying to focus on them.
But there is one more thing…
If you feel as if your vision is beginning to suffer, even if just slightly, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. He or she can walk you through the process of selecting your new pair of glasses after conducting a series of tests and examinations to determine exactly what your vision needs are. You will also be screened for more serious complications like glaucoma that are hard to treat if gone undetected. Not only will you have a pair that is stylish, well-made and designed especially for your beautiful eyes, you will have the assurance of knowing your vision is in good hands.