Read this before buying new reading glasses
Buying a new pair of readers might be more complicated than you think. Here’s what you should consider first.
1. Bifocals, half-frame or full glasses?
When purchasing reading glasses, you first have to consider what type is best suited to your lifestyle. Full glasses are bigger and carry a prescription through their entire lens, meaning when you look up from your book, things in the distance will be blurry. These types are good for those who spend a great deal of time focusing on details or wish to only wear their glasses for short periods. Half frames are like full glasses, only they have smaller frames and sit lower on the nose, and as such, are easier to look up from. These are better for people who expect to wear their glasses throughout the day. Bifocals are a hybrid of the two: their lenses are magnified on the bottom, but not on the top. This type is suited for multi-taskers.
2. Custom glasses or pre-fab?
While prefabricated glasses do have some positives, they are generally outweighed in benefit by their customisable counterpart. Pre-fabs are inexpensive, conveniently purchased at your chemist and come in a variety of colour options. As such, you can buy many pairs and have to worry less about losing them. On the downside, however, pre-fabricated glasses have pre-set prescriptions. Few people have exactly the same prescription in each eye, and many have astigmatisms that are not corrected with this kind of eyewear. Your eyes are not a one size fits all, but pre-fab glasses treat them this way. It’s easy to wear the wrong prescription, which can cause headaches, nausea and eyestrain. Overall, it’s advisable to order a customised pair from your doctor. It will be more expensive, yes, but it will correct your vision in exactly the way you need it corrected. And on the plus side, you have more options for lens tint and frame colour if you’re willing to wait a bit longer for your glasses to be made.
3. To eye exam, or not to eye exam?
This question ought to be a no-brainer, but many people who wear pre-fab glasses end up consequently avoiding their eye doctor. In reality, you should be seeing your optometrist at least every two years, not only because your prescription needs can change over time, but to catch and treat degenerative eye disease should you develop it. For example, glaucoma has very few symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. Your doctor can perform exams to test for this and other eye complications. If you value your eyesight, see your optometrist.