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Why Do People Wear Reading Glasses?

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Your Washington, D.C. optometrist explains who needs reading glasses, and how to choose the right pair for you.

Eyeglasses are the most common type of vision correction for people of all ages. They give a sharper view of the world, upgrading your quality of life. Wearing eyeglasses can also help you to avoid eye strain and all the uncomfortable symptoms associated with it.

There are two primary types of eyeglasses – distance glasses and reading glasses, both of which help you to focus on objects. However, they don’t achieve the same goals.

Distance glasses are intended to help people with myopia (nearsightedness) to see faraway objects more clearly. In contrast, reading glasses are worn generally by people with presbyopia, an age-related vision condition that causes the eye’s lens to lose flexibility. Presbyopia reduces the quality of near vision and reading glasses improve the ability to see something up close, such as a smartphone, computer screen, or book.

Who needs reading glasses?

Our Washington, D.C. optometrist fits almost every patient over age 40 with reading glasses at some point. Typically, you’ll know you need them when you start having trouble reading small print, especially in dim lighting and when you’re tired. If pushing the object further from your face brings it into sharper focus, it’s a relatively sure sign that you have presbyopia and could benefit from reading glasses.

How do you know which reading glasses to buy?

All reading glasses are made from convex lenses, which makes near objects look clearer. Non-prescription reading glasses are sold widely with generic strengths from +1 to +4, and people must use trial-and-error to find their optimal lens correction. Also, these over-the-counter reading glasses are typically constructed from lower quality materials than the eyeglasses sold by your local optometrist. As a result, the lenses usually cause more distortions.

For reading glasses that provide ideal vision, it’s best to have an eye exam to determine your precise prescription. Also, customized reading eyeglasses are much more appropriate for people with astigmatism, myopia, or an unequal lens strength in each eye.

We also recommend having an experienced optician check the fit of your reading glasses to ensure that your frames sit on your face properly and suit your lifestyle needs.

Can I wear contact lenses with reading glasses?

Yes, this can be an effective vision solution for some people. If you wear contact lenses for nearsightedness and also have presbyopia, putting on a pair of reading glasses over your contacts for short-term use can be a helpful way to read small print or do tasks up-close.

How do I know what style of reading glasses is right for me?

Our Washington, D.C. optometrist strongly suggests selecting reading glasses that fit your face shape and complement your sense of fashion. Because if you aren’t happy with the way you look in them, you won’t wear them!

Do you have memories of grandma sitting with reading glasses perched on her nose or hanging from a chain? Once upon a time, reading glasses came in only a few dated designs. Nowadays, there’s a fabulous range of flattering styles to choose from, ranging from small traditional wire frames to larger, chunky eyeglasses in bold colors. Browse the collection at our Washington, D.C. optical store to find a few pairs of readers to coordinate with your different outfits and moods!

At Washington Eye Doctors, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 202-335-5032 or book an appointment online to see one of our Washington, D.C. eye doctors.

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