Reading Glasses

It is a well known fact that the older you get, the more your vision generally declines. What you may not know is that this type of age-related vision issue is called presbyopia. When we enter our 40s, the lens of our eyes lose elasticity, struggling to focus on objects nearby. This is presbyopia.

If your far vision is fine, but you have trouble reading things up close, whether it be the words in a book or the text on your phone, you may need prescription reading glasses.

What are reading glasses?

Reading glasses, also referred to as readers, provide vision help for those who struggle with reading and other close work. The lenses of reading glasses are magnified to help your eyes focus on objects nearby, without blurry vision or eye strain.

How do reading glasses work?

Reading glasses are single vision glasses, meaning they are fitted with one prescription over the whole of the lens, to help you see at one distance. Reading glasses will have one prescription fitted to assist with near vision, the strength of which will be dependent upon your own personal eye needs.

When to wear your reading glasses?

Reading glasses are designed to be worn during close work. This means when you are reading texts, a book or working on digital devices like your computer, you should be wearing your reading glasses.

Where to wear your reading glasses?

Wherever you may be engaging in close work, is where your reading glasses should be worn. Whether that be at home or in the office or perhaps even out to dinner reading a menu.

Your reading glasses are not made to be worn when driving or watching the television, as the eye focuses on far objects when engaging with these activities. It is also not recommended that you wear reading glasses while playing sports, as they are not made for the type of visual demand associated with physical activity. If you find that you need glasses whilst playing sports or watching television, it may be an indication that you need a distance vision prescription.

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How can you tell if you need reading glasses?

There are several common symptoms that indicate you may need reading glasses. These include:
  • Holding your phone or book further away to read it clearly.
  • Having trouble focusing the eyes on small print.
  • Squinting and straining when reading.
  • Headaches or tired eyes that occur when focusing the eyes.
If you think you may need reading glasses or any type of glasses prescription, you should book in with an optometrist to get an eye exam. At Oscar Wylee Canada you can use our online booking page to arrange an appointment.  

Are reading glasses and prescription glasses the same?

Generally speaking, if you receive your reading glasses from an optometrist, they will have a magnified or powered lens tailored to fix your vision issue, meaning they are prescription lenses.

However, if you were to get your reading glasses from a non-optometrist department store or pharmacy, sometimes called over-the-counter reading glasses, these will not have the same personalized, tailored prescription. They will have a preset magnification which is the same over both eyes. These glasses may be more appealing to those suffering with presbyopia as they can be less expensive, however, they are not made for full correction of vision issues such as astigmatism. Long term use can also cause eye discomfort and strain.

Whilst they may be more expensive, reading glasses prescribed by your optometrist will ultimately be best for your eyes in the long run. They can be made to give your eyes the proper vision correction, accommodating any prescription differences over each eye. An optical assistant or optician will also be able to make sure the frames fit your face appropriately.

What if I have trouble seeing things near and far away?

If you find yourself having trouble seeing objects at near and far distances, you may need both reading and far distance glasses. If this is the case, you could consider bifocals, which combine near and far vision prescriptions over the one lens. If you also have difficulty seeing things at an intermediate distance, you may need multifocal glasses that carry three prescriptions over the one lens.

It is recommended that you have an eye exam with an optometrist at least once every 2 years to check your eye health.
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Types of reading glasses

Your individual eye needs will determine what type of reading glasses your optometrist will prescribe. The types of reading glasses are differentiated by the type of lens they have fitted. For example, if you only have trouble seeing close work, you will be prescribed a single vision lens. If you also have trouble seeing far distances, you will be prescribed bifocals that have the vision correction for both far and near distance over the one lens. Keep reading below to find out what types of reading glasses are available at Oscar Wylee.
Reading Glasses

Single vision lenses

Single vision lenses are designed to help you see at either near or far distances. They will have one prescription or power over the whole lens and they will generally correct just the one vision problem at a time.

Reading glasses are a type of single vision lens, helping you to see objects close up. They will come in different strengths depending on your specific vision needs.

Bifocal lenses

Bifocal lenses provide vision correction for those who have trouble seeing at near and far distances. They do so by combining two prescriptions, one for nearsightedness and one for farsightedness, in the one lens.

These two prescriptions are separated by a visible line in the middle of the lens, letting the eye know where to look to see each distance clearly.

Multifocal lenses

Multifocal lenses, also called progressive lenses, are lenses that have three prescriptions over the one lens. This means they can be used to help people who struggle seeing at near, intermediate and far distances. They are hugely convenient as the blended design means you don’t have to switch between reading and distance glasses.

Blue light glasses

Digital screens, whether it be your smartphone or computer, emit a specific light called blue light. Long term exposure to this type of light can strain your eyes and may cause other issues such as sleep disruption. To help combat this, we provide glasses that have a blue light filter, which aims to block out as much of the light as possible. This filter can be added to both prescription glasses and non-prescription glasses, including your readers.

You can learn more about blue light filter glasses on our blue light glasses page.

How do I know what strength reading glasses to buy?

Your optometrist will determine what strength your prescription will be for your reading glasses. They will do so by conducting an eye exam and assessing how much assistance your eyes need when engaging in close up work. Several factors may influence your prescription strength including age, visual demand and pre-existing eye conditions.

Can I wear reading glasses all the time?

Wearing your reading glasses all the time may feel like a convenient solution if you are regularly looking at a small print or other close up objects. However, this may cause eyestrain or headaches as the glasses are only meant to be looked through at a close distance, not intermediate or far.

Always speak to your optometrist if you have any concerns about when or where to wear your reading glasses.
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