See yourself smile. See yourself save.

Find a Store or Schedule an Exam

view all locations

Reading Glasses

If you find yourself holding your book or paper out at arm's length just so you can read it, maybe it's time to invest in some reading glasses. Those reading glasses may have become a necessity, but they can still be a fabulous accessory. You can find reading glasses in all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. Reading glasses with a tint can become your prescription sunglasses and offer UV protection for those who want to comfortably read outdoors.


There are two main styles in reading lenses. The first is a full frame made of one entire lens that has the reading prescription. With this type of lens, the reading prescription is in the entirety of the frame. These types of glasses are ideal for people who spend a majority of their time concentrating on close-up reading material.

The second type of reading glasses are referred to as half-eye glasses and are usually worn lower down on the nose. These glasses have prescription just on the lower half of the lens, therefore when you look up and out of the top of the lens; you are still able to see clearly without removing the glasses. These are similar to bifocal glasses.

Prescription Reading Glasses vs. Ready Made

Local pharmacies and grocery stores sell ready-made reading glasses at inexpensive prices. Because they're inexpensive, they have gained a lot of popularity. Many people with buy 2 or 3 pairs at a time so they can be left in multiple locations around your home or in case a pair is lost. There are benefits to buying these ready-made glasses, but keep in mind that they can actually harm your eyes. Here's how:

  • Because you don't need a doctor's prescription for these inexpensive frames, many people just eyeball (no pun intended) their prescription when it comes to reading glasses.
  • Vision doesn't just vary from person to person, but also from eye to eye.
  • Many people have a different prescription in each eye, and wearing glasses that don't cater to each eye can cause unnecessary strain and discomfort.
  • Ready-made glasses don't address unique vision attributes like astigmatism.
  • Because they are not made specifically for your vision, you may experience headaches, nausea, and tired eyes, especially if you wear ready-made generic eyeglasses for a long period of time.

It should be noted that reading glasses are different from computer glasses. Because reading is done much closer to your face than reading a computer screen, you may experience strain trying to use one in place of the other.

What to Do if You Need Reading Glasses

Visit your eye care professional. As always, it is advised that you consult your local optometrist as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your vision in order to take preventive measure. This also helps to confirm that there's no major underlying health issue.

Some people use smaller, inexpensive accessories for reading before they decide to get reading glasses. If you begin to use magnifying glasses and carry them around to work so you can read papers or to restaurants so you can read menus, it's a good indication that you should go and see your local optometrist just to be sure there aren't any underlying issues or causes for your change in vision.


Related Articles:

Eyeglass Frame Types