Drug Store Reading Glasses vs Prescription Reading Glasses

If you find yourself struggling to read the newspaper and the computer screen is starting to look blurry, it’s probably time for some reading glasses. While they sell reading glasses at the drugstore, you shouldn’t neglect having your regular eye exam.

Just as preventative care is important to maintaining your overall health, regular vision exams are essential if you want to keep you sight. This is especially true as you get older. Here’s why and how to choose between drug store reading glasses vs prescription reading glasses.

Rule Out Serious Problems

While you’re probably suffering from presbyopia if you’re over 40, there are other eye problems that can cause similar symptoms. Only your eye doctor can give you an official diagnosis. Some eye diseases, if left untreated, can progress to the point of irreversible vision loss.

Drug Store Reading Glasses

Reading glasses from the drug store or other retailers are less effective than an eyeglass prescription for the following reasons:

  • The fit won’t be as good as they would be if the glasses are made just for you
  • They only correct some levels of near vision problems, usually very mild ones, and won’t address multiple vision needs or other conditions like astigmatism
  • Ready-made glasses have the same prescription in both eyes, while most people have one weaker eye, meaning only one of your eyes gets adequate vision correction
  • Glasses not specifically designed for you means that the optic centers of the lenses may not line up with the center of your pupils
  • Wearing glasses that are the wrong prescription or off center can cause headaches, eyestrain and nausea

Prescription Eyeglasses

Depending on your vision needs, there may be a better option for you than standard reading glasses. For instance, you may already be wearing glasses for distance vision. In that case, a pair of multi-focal lenses may be in order. Only your eye doctor can address these needs.

Many people over 40 engage in a number of different activities. It’s important to have good clear vision whatever you’re doing. Your eye doctor can prescribe glasses that correct your vision so that it’s the best it can be and being fitted by an optician ensures that the frames will fit correctly. Other options and features, such as special lens coatings, can be chosen as well.

There may be other alternatives to eyeglasses that you qualify for, such as contact lenses or eye surgery that can correct your vision to the level it was before and sometimes, even better. Only a qualified eye doctor can determine your eye health and recommend the best options for your individual needs.