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Reading Glasses

For those who have trouble reading up close, reading glasses, also known as readers, are a functional accessory to have around. Designed to help the eye focus on close objects, these eyeglasses help those with decreased lens elasticity. With a variety of strengths, designs, and colors, selecting the right eyeglasses can help make reading less of a chore.

What are full frame and half frame reading glasses?
  • Full frame: The entire lens is prescription glass. These readers are appropriate for those who spend a great deal of time focusing on material that is close-up. Looking up through the glass at distant objects could result in blurred vision, however.
  • Half frame: Half frame glasses sit lower on the nose and have a smaller lens. The lens glass does not obstruct your vision when you're looking up at distant objects. This type of reader is appropriate for occasional use or when the vision field changes often.
What do the numbers on reading glasses mean?

The numbers on reading glasses refer to the optical power of the lenses. Corrective eyewear for reading increases the eye’s ability to magnify close-up objects. The power of reading glasses is measured in diopters and ranges from one to three. Depending on the level of correction needed, the power will increase by quarter diopters through that range. A very weak pair would be plus .75 diopter.

Should you see an eye doctor for reading glasses?

You do not need a prescription for reading glasses, but some people have one eye that is stronger than the other. Over-the-counter reading glasses contain glass that is only one power per pair. Prescribed reading glasses may have glass that is two different strengths. Over-the-counter reading glasses function well for the majority of people.

How do you determine what strength reading glasses you need?

To determine which eyeglasses you need, you must first test your eyes. Reading test cards are available which allow you to find the level of magnification you need. The power of your eyeglasses will depend on the first line of text you can read clearly on the card. Next to this line will be a diopter number. This is the magnification power of the glass needed in your lenses. Once you have determined how strong your glasses should be, you can then choose an eyewear design.

What styles of reading glasses are available?

There are a number of styles to suit every need and taste. Rimless readers offer magnification without obstructing the reader’s sight with frames. Other styles feature plastic or metal rims in varying colors and thicknesses. Flexible and folding designs are made of durable plastic that allows them to fold and bend without breaking. Sunglass readers are another eyewear option. Sunglass designs contain tinted glass to allow individuals to focus on objects while protecting their eyes from UV rays.

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