By now you probably figured out that finding your best reading glasses lens power is a little bit more complicated than you expected. That's because today we look at our reading material at many different distances and it's your reading distance that is one of the most important things that determines the lens strength that you need to see clearly. Wearing the correct lenses power in your reading glasses is just as important for clear, comfortable vision as is using high-quality optical lenses.
If you don’t have a prescription from an eye care professional*, use the timeline below as a guide to finding your lens strength. Since age is the main determining factor in the onset of presbyopia, choosing your reading glasses strength according to these guidelines is easy but may require some tweaking depending on the distance you look at your reading material.
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 do have a prescription from an eye care professional, ask them whether non-prescription reading glasses are right for you and if so, what reading glasses lens 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 needs.
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.
BTW , 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!
What strength reading glasses you need depends on the distance you view your reading material...
This is 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 book. If you spend a lot of time at a computer, reading or working at some other close distance, I recommend measuring your reading distances before you get your eyes examined. Bring this to the attention of 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 determine your 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 be 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. Renee's READERS styles Peter, Dave and Lisa are specifically designed for this use.
BTW, good lighting is important. Try to create an environment that has optimal viewing conditions with ample lighting and reduced glare. Read about how to eliminate Computer Eyestrain and what's the difference is between computer glasses and reading glasses.
*Regular exams by an eye care professional are necessary to determine your eye health and vision status.
FYI, 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.