How to Choose the Correct Power of Reading Glasses
What is happening to my eyes?
If it seems like everyone you know started getting readers around the age of 40 or at least started complaining of
having to hold things farther away so their eyes could focus, they have good reason. Presbyopia is to blame. This
means that the lens of your eye is aging and becoming thicker and less flexible. The muscle fibers near the eye lens
also become more rigid. In general terms, this means that your eyes have a harder time focusing on things that are
up close. Billions of people suffer from this issue, yet not everyone gets the proper help with the right reading
glasses. In general, people that hit 40-years old start off with a +1.0, one of the lowest powers for reading glasses.
Unfortunately as you age the strength will usually increase very couple years.
Reading Glasses or Readers are Not Magnifiers
Many people mistakenly think that the reading glasses are meant to magnify the words, or make them bigger.
However this is not the case, as magnifying will not help you focus. The right power of readers will allow you to focus
your eye, thus enabling you to hold your papers and books at a reasonable length and once again see like an 18
year old again. If you purchase readers that are too strong or not strong enough, you could cause more damage to
the lens as it has to work harder to focus. Keep in mind, though, that as you get older, you will likely need stronger
readers as your lenses become more rigid and less able to focus while you read. You should also keep in mind that
the distance which you read or do your work plays a role in the level of help you need. For example, reading a book
and working on a computer are usually done at two different distances from the eye, which means you will likely
need two different strengths in order to have the most success.
How to Choose the Correct Power for your Eyes
Choosing the right strength for your reading glasses requires you to take an eye test. This is not the same eye test
you take at the doctor’s office. This test can be done in the comfort of your own home. It is called the Diopter test and
it tests the diopter measurement you need to make reading easier for you. A diopter test is provided at the end of this
paragraph. It is a series of sentences that are progressively harder to read. In order to take the test, you should hold
the paper 14 inches from your face and try to read the lines. The goal is to figure out which line you can barely read
with minimal burr. This is the line is the power you should select as for your diopter reading glasses.
How to Use the chart
Go ahead and download the chart and print with your printer. Make sure to use print 100% scale so you have the
proper size. As your printer may scale to fit on the paper and you will not have an accurate measurement.
The diopter measurements increase in increments of .25. When you shop, you will see measurements starting at
+1.0, increasing to +1.25, +1.5 and so forth until you reach +3.25. You should start your search for reading glasses at
the lowest diopter measurement you can read clearly on the reading test. As stated before, most 40-year olds that
have no other corrective issues start with a +1.0 strength, but everyone is different. Don’t base the strength on your
age; take the test to find out for sure what you should start with when trying on readers, no matter how old you are.
You can go up and down one prescription level for each measurement to see if you see a difference as each
manufacturer makes the reading glasses a little differently.
Reading Glasses and The Computer Screen
Working on a computer screen that is 18 inches away will call for a different lens power than working at a screen
which is 28 inches away. Generally for every 6 inches your monitor is past 28 inches you should lower your your
power by 0.25. Anything past about 4 feet will be difficult for any reading glasses to have much an effect.
Benefits of Computer Glasses
It is recommended that you use a different lens when you are viewing digital monitors, to protect you from the UV
and Blue light that is illuminating from your computer monitor. This issue has become known as Computer Vision
Syndrome [CVS], and is known to cause digital eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. Generally for
every 6 inches your monitor is past 28 inches you should lower your your power by 0.25. Anything past about 4 feet
will be difficult for any reading glasses to have much an effect.