Saturday, March 8, 2008

Reading Glasses

If you're over age 40, you'll probably need to wear reading glasses to see clearly up close after LASIK. This is due to presbyopia, which is a normal age-related loss in near focusing ability.

Though you should continue to have routine eye exams after LASIK to have the health of your eyes checked, it's not necessary to purchase expensive custom-made reading glasses. Pre-made "over-the-counter" reading glasses, available either online or in specialty stores, are usually just as comfortable and cost less.

Since pre-made reading glasses (commonly called "readers" or "cheaters") are relatively inexpensive, you can afford to buy several pairs. It's highly recommended that you have more than one pair of reading glasses. Leave a pair at work, keep a pair in your car, and have a few pair at home so you don't have to go searching for your readers every time you want to see something up close.

The power of reading glasses usually ranges from +1.00 to +3.00 diopters (D):

* Low-power readers (+1.00 or +1.25 D) are usually the most comfortable for computer use, reading a newspaper, or doing other visual tasks at arm's length.
* Moderate-power reading glasses (+1.50 to +2.00 D) are usually best for seeing things a bit closer (e.g. reading a paperback book or reading in bed).
* High-power readers (+2.25 to +3.00 D) are usually best for fine detail tasks (e.g. manicuring your nails, threading a needle, or tying a lure on your fishing line).

For most people, +1.50 reading glasses are the most versatile. You may want to try these first. If they seem too strong for certain visual tasks, buy at least one pair of low-power readers as well. If the +1.50 readers don't seem strong enough for some tasks, purchase one or more pair of higher power reading glasses for more magnification.

Be aware that higher power reading glasses will provide more magnification than low power readers, but they also require a shorter working distance: You'll be able to see small details better, but you'll have to hold objects closer to your face for the details to be in focus.

Wearing reading glasses that seem to be the wrong power won't harm your eyes in any way---you just won't see as clearly!

Editor's Note:
To purchase reading glasses online, I recommend They have a huge selection of high quality frames and reading glasses, great prices, and free shipping. I've ordered eyewear from myself and was very pleased. -GH

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