Reading glasses can become more and more a necessity as we age, when a natural decline in visual acuity can complicate even the simplest things. For example, reading traffic signs, ingredients on a food label, or instructions on a medicine’s packaging.
Reading glasses have been around for a long time and have recently become very popular. Several million pairs are sold every year in Europe alone. Not surprisingly, more than ninety percent is sold to people over the age of forty-five.
These glasses do not cost much, and can be purchased mainly in supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores.
Reading glasses: choice of magnification
Reading glasses are rated for their dioptric strength. Dioptric strength, also known as magnification, typically varies in increments of 0.25 units; a higher number indicates greater magnification. Basically, you may actually need two pairs of glasses: one for looking at a computer screen, and a second pair for reading.
The general guideline is that people need about 0.75 fewer units for the computer than the normal reading.
Reading sunglasses – for enjoying a good book on the beach – are now widely available. Buy polarized lenses, which block UV rays and reflected light from flat surfaces like roads and water. This will minimize squinting due to glare and reflections.
Non-prescription bifocal sunglasses, with progressive magnification at the bottom of otherwise unmagnified lenses, will also allow you to use the sunglasses for all your outdoor activities.
Reading glasses are manufactured taking into account a uniform standard pupillary distance, from the center of the right eye to the center of the left. If your eyes are closer or further apart than the standard pupillary distance, problems with eye fatigue may arise. If this happens, your ophthalmologist can customize a pair of reading glasses to fit your face.
Also, if you wear contact lenses for distance vision, wearing a pair of glasses for close-up reading shouldn’t be a problem.
Reading glasses: can they help with distance vision?
Let’s say no. These glasses will not provide the same sharpness in both eyes, as each eye often requires a different prescription. Also, these glasses will not correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is a lens defect that makes images appear distorted.
What power do you need?
The reading glasses are available in a wide dioptric range, depending on the magnification you need. You can use the general guidelines in the table below, based on your age. When you buy them, bring reading material printed in standard-sized letters like a newspaper or similar, and try the lenses well without rushing.
|44-47||+1.25 to +1.50|
|48-51||+1.50 to +1.75|
|52-55||+1.75 to +2.00|
|56-59||+2.00 to +2.25|
|60-64||+2.25 to +2.50|
|65+||+2.50 to +3.00|
Here are the 10 models that we have judged to be the best reading glasses, with an eye (it should be said) not only on the goodness of the lenses, but also on the beauty of the frame. Glasses are also an important aesthetic accessory, which not only corrects a vision defect, but can alter our physiognomy and the way we are perceived. We use this to our advantage by choosing a model that enhances us and – why not – fashionable!