What strength reading glasses do you need?

We know that it could be a tough pill to swallow, but as you age, you're probably going to need reading glasses.

Sure, you may have enjoyed 20/20 vision all your life (or possibly even had Lasik surgery at some point), but as you get older you may notice that it's starting to be a struggle to see up close. At times, you might even notice headaches and constant eyestrain when you read.

It's probably time to purchase a pair of reading glasses and outdoor reading sunglasses. The lenses inside our eyes change as we age, making it difficult to see smaller prints or focus on objects that are up close. In the medical field, this is often referred to as presbyopia.

With that said, check with your eye doctor first to rule out other problems with your eyes. But if you’re in a pinch and need a more inexpensive solution to your eye problems, we can help.

We’ll give you the lowdown on how to choose reading glasses. We’ll start by defining what reading glasses strength mean and then give you tips on how to find the right reading glasses for you.

But first — do you really need reading glasses?

Not quite sure if you need reading glasses or not? This can easily be determined with the help of the following questions:

● Do you get headaches whenever you read?
● Do you find it difficult to read smaller prints?
● Are you more than 40 years old?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then it may be time to find the best possible reading glasses for you. For you to do this, you need to understand the different strengths of reading glasses available and then determine which one is right for you.

What does reading glasses strength mean?

To answer this, we need to introduce you to diopters, also known as magnification.

Diopters are the units of measurement that determine the strength of your reading glasses. Non-prescription glasses typically start at +0.75 and can reach up to +4.00. These can be measured in increments of +0.25.

Now ideally, the diopter level that you need will depend on your specific needs. However, there are available reading glasses power charts that recommend the strength of reading glasses you'll need depending on your age -

    • ● If you're around the age of 35 - 45, you'll likely need to go with reading glasses that are +0.75 to +1.00.

    • ● If you're 45 - 50, you can start at +1.5 and work yourself up to find the pair that works for you.

    • ● For those over 50, at least +2.00 is needed.

  • ● Those over 60 will likely need at least +3.00.

Of course, as well-researched as these recommendations may be, keep in mind that this chart should simply be used a guide for you. There's more to choosing the best reading glasses for you than just your age.

How to choose the right reading glasses and sunglass readers strength for you

Your age is just one of the things that you should factor in when you buy your reading glasses. To help you choose beyond this specific criterium, here are some tips to help you drill down the details:

1. Understand how the diopter chart works

The diopter chart is more than just a tabulated data of your age and the corresponding strength of reading glasses that you need. It is basically an at-home eye exam — a sheet of paper that you can easily print up to determine which parts you can easily read to determine your level of vision.

In the sheet, you’ll find that there are lines that correspond to each diopter level. So say you can clearly see the print beside +2.00 but +1.5 is blurry, then you know that you'll need reading glasses that have a strength of +1.5.

2. Test out the glasses

Based on your age and the diopter chart test, you may already have a working idea of the strength of reading glasses that you need. It's now time to test-drive your hypothesis.

You can go to your local store or trusted optometrist to try on reading glasses and try the diopter test again.

If you hold out the chart and find that +1.5 (as in the previous sample) is not enough, then you can opt for a stronger one. Keep testing to see which level you can comfortably read in.

3. Find one that fits your style

After research and testing out different levels of diopters, you probably already know the reading glasses strength that you need. By the way, this applies to both full lens reading glasses or bifocal glasses even if they are tinted like sunglasses. Now it's time for you to buy a pair that you will be comfortable wearing.

Just because you'll only be wearing your glasses on occasion, doesn't mean that you should just grab the first pair that you see. It's important to find a pair of reading glasses that fits your style too.

4. Look chic with reading sunglasses

    • ● Full lens sun readers - are fully magnified reading sunglasses that have your magnifications throughout the entire lens.

    • ● Bifocal sunglasses - are sunglasses with built-in reading bifocals on the lower part of the lens for reading outside.

      When you are buying bifocal sunglasses or full reading sunglasses, be sure to add UV400 protection to keep your eyes safe from the sun.

      We recommend that you start with bigger pair of specs, at least for your first-time wearing reading glasses. This will allow you to fully experience the points where the prescription lenses are. You can eventually downsize for the next pair that you buy.