Reading Glasses Strength 101

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Were you aware of the fact that nearly 100% of people will eventually require a pair of reading glasses? Well, dear reader, now you are. Over time (especially after 40), the natural process of using your eyes day in and day out, puts all of us in the strange position of finding ourselves unable to … read. That is to say, our cognitive abilities may be on point, but our eyes less so. Whether it be a map, your most revered Hemmingway prose, or the wine list, this blurry predicament can easily be corrected with a spiffy pair of reading glasses.

As you may know, reading glasses have a long and sordid history of living among the aisles of poorly lit drug stores, giving the impression that they are somewhat disposable, uncomplicated, unsightly, and/or generally superfluous. However, due to the fact that we are here together on the “Reading Glasses Strength 101” page, we can all agree that reading glasses are a topic of substance and as questions on the matter abound for bold eyewear junkies everywhere, so do answers.

Difficulty reading be damned! Feast your eyes upon our eyebobs’ approved cheaters cheatsheet:

How do reading glasses work?

How do reading glasses work?

If you ask us, they work by making you look incredible and give off an inexplicably wise air about you. If you ask an eye doctor, they might tell you that reading glasses magnify all the information coming into your eyes, making it easier to focus on up-close activities like reading, writing, or mindlessly playing solitaire (during work hours) on your computer screen.

Reader strength, what is it?

Reader strength, what is it?

Simply put, reader strength refers to the intensity of magnification you’ll need in your lenses ranging from +1.00 to +4.00. You can visit the eye doctor for some help determining the proper strength for you (or take our handy-dandy reader strength test), but generally, if you just need a little boost to keep things in focus, you are probably closer to a +1.00. If words look more like inkblots from a Rorschach Test … you may need a more substantial power, like a +4.00.

Diopter? Please explain:

Diopter? Please explain:

Technically, a diopter (dīˈäptər) is a unit of measurement that accounts for the refractive power equal to the reciprocal of the focal length (in millimeters) of a given lens. Or, you may be more familiar with the Snellen chart, a staple at every eye exam, that connects a text size to a specific lens strength, which can help determine your reading power or distance correction needs.

How do I choose my lens power?

How do I choose my lens power?

One of the most common methods is using a diopter chart, and lucky for you, we have one you can download and use immediately. Please note that it’s not a perfect science. Your vision, eye health, and excellent style are obviously of the utmost importance to us, so please feel free to stop by one of our locations to get the correct lens type and, of course, the perfect pair of frames.

If you’re in the Twin Cities area, you can stop by any of our three store locations and use one of the diopter charts we have ready for lavish eyewear-loving customers like yourself.

What’s the highest strength?

What’s the highest strength?

In the world of reader lenses, +4.00 is as high as you can go, but even if your need for some readers is strong, it’s important not to assume you’re in need of the strongest power. If you don’t already have a pair, know that it’s normal to experience headaches, blurred vision, and holding things farther away as your eyes age. These are common signs of presbyopia (aka a need for readers). It’s also not a perfect science, but one easy way to tell if you’re in need of a higher reader strength is if you’re stretching your arms out as far as they can possibly go! Aka, the more sore your arms are, the more of a boost your eyeballs require.

Presbyopia? Go on:

Presbyopia? Go on:

Presbyopia is the (extremely common) culprit behind most people in need of readers. It’s when the eye loses its ability to focus on nearby objects, but it’s also your opportunity to ditch the eye strain and find some dashing specs that highlight your “maturity.”

Should you have more questions, your yearly eye exam is the perfect place to speculate about your special spectacles. And we do recommend you go yearly to stay on top of the exquisite windows to your soul.

Anything else I should know?

Anything else I should know?

Not every eyewear company considers themselves know-it-alls in the reading glasses category. Not every eyewear company can assure you that donning a pair of readers won’t condemn you to resemble Ben Franklin for the rest of your days. As you embark on embracing the natural evolution of your eyesight, we encourage you to find eyewear that compliments your ravishing good looks and your zest for life. Now go forth and read.