What Strength Reading Glasses Do I Need?

Choosing reading glasses today has become a bit more complicated as we are reading at many different distances. Reading distance determines the lens strength that you will need to see clearly. Read on and watch the video for a step by step explanation on how to choose the reading glasses strength that's best for you and your reading distances.

Choosing reading glasses strength:


If you don’t have a prescription from an eye care professional* use this timeline as a guide to find your lens strength. Since age is the main determining factor in the onset of presbyopia, choosing your reading glasses strength according to the guide is easy but make require some tweaking for reading distance. 

40 years old -start with a +1.00

45 years old +1.50

50 years old +2.00

60 years old +2.50 - +3.00

If you do have a prescription from an eye care professional, ask them whether non-prescription reading glasses is right for you and if so what reading glasses strength they would recommend. Our video also gives you a detailed explanation on how to read your eyeglass prescription so that you can choose the correct lens power in your reading glasses that most closely represents what your doctor prescribed. If you haven’t gotten an eye exam in a while, this is probably a good time. Just so you eliminate any uncertainty and get a correction that really works for your reading distance.

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Reading glasses lens strength...just a few more things you should know

What strength reading glasses you need depends on at what distance you view your reading material...

This is an important because the strength of your needed lens power is determined by the distance at which you look at your close work. Working at a computer screen at 18” will require a different lens power than working at a screen that is 28” away. Reading at a laptop will require different lens strength than reading a hand held book. If you spend a lot of time at a computer, reading or working at some other close distance, it's a good idea to measure your reading distances before you get your eyes examined. Discuss this with your doctor so that you get a correction that works best for you. Today we view computer screens/reading material at several different distances. Pinpointing your main reading distance will help you find the most precise lens strength. It is very common to have several reading distances. Our Reading Glasses Strength Chart has additional information that may be helpful.

How do you like to wear your reading glasses? 

As you move your reading glasses down your nose you will notice that the magnification increases. This also needs to considered when choosing the strength and style of your reading glasses. Some people prefer readers that allow them to look over them easily to see things in the distance and also read up close without taking them off, such as when watching T.V. while reading a newspaper or ipad. For this purpose, your reading glasses should have extra-long temples so they stay on securely and a smaller lens depth so you can look over them easily. Our styles Peter and Lisa are specifically designed for this use.

BTW, good lighting is important. So try to create a environment that has optimal viewing conditions. Read about how to eliminate  Computer Eyestrain and what's the difference is between computer glasses and reading glasses.

QUALITY READING EYEWEARDrug store and dollar store readers are probably the cheapest reading glasses you can find but the tradeoff will be in your compromised vision. Lenses that are not optical quality can also cause eyestrain as your eyes are fighting to see through lenses that are not clear and free of imperfections. The frames are not very durable, so plan on replacing them often.

Our high quality reading glasses are made to endure everyday wear and tear, will not fall short of your expectations and provides the smart, style features that makes their use comfortable and easy. We believe that today's busy, always on-the-go way of living demands fashion that's balanced with style that includes quality that lasts and the functionality that makes looking good easy.

Not everyone can be corrected with readymade readers. People who have a lot of astigmatism usually require prescription eyewear 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.

*Regular exams by an eye care professional are necessary to determine your eye health and vision status.

Renee Bachner/ Licensed Optician

If you're still unsure about choosing the correct strength for your reading glasses just email us at renee@reneesreaders.com and our licensed optician will answer your questions.