How to Choose The Correct Lens Power in Your Reading Glasses

Print out this reading glasses strength chart to help determine your appropriate lens power.

Presbyopia, describes the condition where as part of normal aging, the eyes lose their ability to focus close up.  This usually becomes noticeable around age 40. The muscles in the eye slowly lose their elasticity, which makes it difficult to see clearly at different distances. This becomes most noticeable when reading small print especially in low light conditions or when reading for long periods of time. Welcome to middle age! 

Since much of our close work takes place at different distances, choosing the best lens power for your specific reading distances requires some careful analysis.  If most of your reading is done at a computer then it's best to determine how far you view your computer screen. This can be a different distance depending on whether you use a laptop or a desktop computer. 

Reading glasses lens power is partially determined by the distance you do your reading  


 Choose your reading glasses lens power using our eyechart: 

To determine the correct power for reading at computer distance, first decide on your lens power at close (usually between 14 -16 inches) and then reduce that strength by ½ which should give you the power you would need if your computer is approximately 18-20 inches away.  The further you are from the screen, the less lens power you will need to see clearly.
For a reading distance between 14-16 inches, following the reading glasses lens power chart below will help you find the correct lens power for you.




How to use our reading glasses chart:

Print this page out on your printer. You cannot use this chart by looking at your monitor due to size and resolution differences among computers. The chart should print out at 7.5 inches wide.

To find the right lens power for you, read the chart at the customary reading distance of 14-16 inches. The first line you have difficulty reading is the suggested lens strength for you at that distance. To determine your correction for computer distance, refer to the directions above for a more detailed explanation. 


If you have a prescription from an eye care professional and are unsure of what lens power would be best for you, email your prescription to for help. 

Not everyone can be corrected with ready-made readers. People who have a lot of astigmatism usually require prescription reading glasses for the best correction. Slight amounts can usually be sufficiently corrected in ready-made reading glasses. For larger astigmatism corrections, ready-made readers will correct you but they will not be comfortable for extended periods of time. If your correction in both eyes is very different, it may be hard to find a correction that is suitable for you. With high corrections (usually a +3.00 and above), prescription reading glasses will give you the best correction because any variance in your P.D. (the measured distance between your eyes) may hamper your vision.