Although it’s shared with aging, the need to wear reading glasses can become more urgent than we realize. You might have noticed the strain in your eyes while reading a book or browsing a menu. You may have seen increased eye strain or headaches when working close to things. You should invest in quality reading glasses.

This is normal and natural. However, knowing what kind of reading glasses you need is essential. There are many things to think about before you spend your hard-earned cash. We outline the most important below to help you get started.

Why Reading Glasses Are Essential

As you age, your eyes become less flexible, making it harder to focus on close objects. Presbyopia is the medical term. It means “elder sight.” Have you ever seen someone stretching out their arms to read? This may be something that you have done. This is the behavior to exhibit when someone requires reading glasses.

Signs that you need reading glasses

Naturally Aging

As we have mentioned, reading glasses are most commonly needed by people over 40. Most people over 40 will need magnification to read and work with things close up. However, reading glasses are becoming more popular among 20- and 30-year-olds. This is often due to elevated stress levels, both physical and emotional.

Young adults are experiencing fatigue sooner than ever due to increased screen time on phones and computers. There is no need to worry about premature aging if this is you. You may have overused your eyes. You can give them a break or get a pair of quality reading glasses to restore your strength.

Always Needing Brighter Lighting

When reading, our eyes are always in search of quality lighting. Presbyopia can also manifest as a need to adjust the lighting constantly. When you read a small print, bright lighting can reduce eye strain. If you have presbyopia, however, any lighting increase will not make your eyes focus better.

I was feeling tired.

Reading glasses may be a good option if you feel tired while reading, sewing, or doing any other close-up work. Because the effects of this symptom can be gradual, it is easy to overlook. Over time, your body will accept the new normal. You may only be able to see clearly once you start reading glasses. This may only be obvious to you once you have read it. Take a moment and reflect on whether this is you.

Experiencing Frequent Headaches

This is the more severe manifestation of the fatigue effect. Headaches could be more fun and can be very frustrating. The silver lining is that you can get direct feedback from your eyes about what needs to change. Because a headache can’t be ignored, this problem can help you find the right solution to reading glasses faster.

We recommend that you be generous when selecting your lens power. You should choose the lens magnification that suits your needs. You might be tempted to pick the highest capability possible, thinking it will reduce your headaches or eyestrain. Headaches can also be caused by choosing a lens magnification too high.

You Need to Take into Account When Choosing Reading Glasses

Most people can use over-the-counter reading glasses. Most can read the text if they select a reasonable magnification. Many eye doctors will even admit that the occasional use of these devices won’t cause long-term vision damage.

Frame Fit

Unlike prescription glasses from an eye doctor, over-the-counter reading glasses can’t be personalized for your eyes. You will need to be careful when looking for the right pair. A pair of readers with the correct frame width and bridge will significantly improve optical quality. The visual center of the lens will be aligned with your eye’s center if the frame is fitted correctly. This position is ideal and solves many problems right away.


The most important decision you will make is to choose the correct lens magnification. Many brands will provide a magnification chart to help determine the correct lens diopter. The diopters (magnifications) commonly start at +1.00 but can go up to +3.50. While you can find magnifications higher than +3.50 in some cases, we recommend you visit your eye doctor before deciding on a magnification. Check out our reading glasses power table to get an idea of how much power you need.

High-Quality Materials & Build

You may be tempted to select the cheapest pair when shopping for readers. Although it is possible to find decent reading glasses by doing this, there are better ways to go. Reading glasses that are often cheaper will have poor quality and be made of inferior materials. They will also likely have poor quality control, particularly in the optics section.

Discount reading glasses are often associated with headaches and eye strain due to their inability to produce clear centered optics. Many lenses can be discolored or contain impurities that can adversely affect your vision quality.

Over-the-counter readers are a great option. We recommend them to everyone before they become too expensive. We’d happily spend more on high-quality, over-the-counter reading sunglasses to avoid quality issues.

Intro to Reading Glasses FAQ:

Is reading glasses only for the elderly?

No! No, reading glasses aren’t just for Medicare beneficiaries. Even more, many young adults are becoming aware of the importance of reading glasses. More youthful eyes are feeling the effects of increased physical stress due to phone and computer screens. This causes premature fatigue and a decrease in lens flexibility.

We recommend you visit your local ophthalmologist if you are in your 20s or 30s and might need reading glasses. You can get by with reading glasses only when your vision correction requirements are not severe.

Are reading glasses as effective as prescription glasses?

A few reading glasses brands (e.g., Eyebobs, Corinne McCormack, Eyebobs, Kate Spade) have excellent optics that compete with prescription glasses costing $400+. They are limited in what they can do for you. You may need to buy custom-made reading glasses if you have astigmatism or different magnification requirements for each eye.

You may find that some manufacturers will customize reading glasses for you if you have an imbalanced vision problem (each eye has different powers). We can’t guarantee the quality of these glasses, as we aren’t authorized to speak for brands or manufacturers.

What is the difference between magnification and lens diopter?

The power or magnification of the lens is called a diopter. Diopter can be explained in more detail, but almost all brands and manufacturers use it to indicate the lens magnification. Many brands offer lens powers ranging from +1.00 up to +3.50. However, you can also find lenses with higher powers, such as +5.00.

For an off-the-shelf reader, we would recommend something at most +3.50. Anything more substantial should be referred to your eye doctor. Some states have laws that regulate the strength of prescription glasses. Although this law would not be enforced, it is an example of how serious selecting a suitable visual device can be.

Are reading glasses a weakness?

Reading glasses or prescription eyewear are only designed to improve vision while worn. They won’t permanently enhance your vision or cause permanent damage to your eyes. If your magnification is too high or too low, you can experience headaches and eyestrain.


You’re rapidly becoming an expert in reading glasses. Make sure you carefully examine the next pair before you pull the trigger. To ensure you have a pleasant experience, ensure they are of the highest quality. You may be on the verge of needing reading glasses. If so, check out this section. You will find great resources and topics to help you get the next pair of readers.

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