You see them at the grocery store, the dollar store, the pharmacy. Packs of glasses that have different numbers on them. It’s hard to know what the numbers mean, and which ones might be right for you. Depending on your needs, you may need stronger or weaker measurements of magnification. These numbers you see on the glasses are called Diopters, or measurements of the magnification level.

There are many factors that drive us to consider reading glasses. Maybe you start having trouble reading your favorite book, or that restaurant menu? Another common reason for thinking about glasses could be frequent headaches or eye strain. This can be contributed to aging eyes or even blue light exposure as we have discussed in the past.

How to know if you need reading glasses

  • Do you ever experience headaches while reading?
  • Is hard to read small prints?
  • Do you hold things closer or farther away to read them clearly?
  • Do your eyes feel tired after reading or using a computer?

If you answer yes to any of these questions it may be time to start wearing reading glasses.

How to know what Diopter to get?

There is a basic rule of thumb depending on your age to determine what diopter reading glasses to get. If you are between 35-45 years old start with a +1.00. As you get older you may need to up it, if you are between 45-50 you will probably need at least +1.5 and then once you are into your 50s you will need +2.00. Generally, the older you are, the higher power lends you need.

The absolute best way to find out what power lens you need is to ask your eye doctor. If you are making regular appointments and getting exams on time, your eye doctor will be able to tell from your exams what your eyes will need.

Make sure to be open and honest with your eye doctor to make sure they can help in the best way possible. If you have symptoms of needing reading glasses but you ignore the signs, this can cause your eyes to continue to strain. Over the years if your eyes are constantly straining, it can make your vision worse. While in contrast, if you start wearing reading glasses at the first signs of needing them it can help to keep your vision from being impaired further.

Be Careful

If you are new to using reading glasses, be sure to pay close attention to how your eyes feel using different strength lenses. If you just pick a lens with no advice from a professional and it’s not right for you it can cause worse eye strain and headaches. You want to be sure that you are using the right strength for yourself.

Let us know here at TriCounty Eye Associates if we can help in any way with selecting the right pair of reading glasses for you!