Choosing the best power reading glasses

Even if you’ve had perfect vision most of your life, it is likely that after age 40 you may need reading glasses. This is very typical and is caused by changes in the lens inside the eye with age, which make it more difficult to focus on small print or close-up objects. The technical term for this change is presbyopia.

If you’ve never needed prescription glasses for vision problems like before, you could try non-prescription reading glasses. You can purchase these “ready readers” at many local shops and opticians.

What power is suitable for my vision?

Using a chart like the one below, can help determine which power is the best for you.

Typical reading glasses power by age:
40-44                                         +0.75 to +1.00
45-49                                          +1.00 to +1.50
50-54                                          +1.50 to +2.00
55-59                                           +2.00 t0 +2.25
60+                                              +2.25 to +2.50
Keep in mind, though, that the lens powers on a chart like this are just a starting point. The best reading glasses power for your needs depends on more factors than just your age alone.

Generally speaking, most people begin having problems seeing small print sometime after age 40 and these problems gradually worsen with age. Also, you may notice your eyes feel tired more quickly when reading. You may even start to get headaches when reading or using a computer extensively.

Non-prescription reading glasses usually range in power from +0.75 diopter to +3.00 diopters (D). Both lenses have the same power, which usually is indicated on the inside of the frame.

In most cases, when two reading glasses powers seem equally suitable, choose the glasses with the lower power. Picking reading glasses that are too strong typically will cause more discomfort problems than reading glasses that are a little too weak.

Finally, for best results, schedule a comprehensive eye exam and ask your optometrist for professional advice regarding the best solution for your individual visual needs.

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