How to Know When You are Ready for Reading Glasses



Do you ever feel like you look like you're playing the trombone when reading a book, text or recipe? It goes something like this: you look at the print up-close, then adjust the distance several times until the words come into focus. If this new method of reading is becoming a habit, it might be time for reading glasses.

The 5 Signs It's Time for Reading Glasses

  1. You are over the age of 40. Everyone's eyesight changes at a different rate, but most people develop presbyopia in their 40s. Presbyopia is a condition in which the eyes strain to focus on nearby objects. This is different from farsightedness, or hyperopia, a condition in which you can see distant objects clearly, but objects nearby may be blurry. Hyperopia is usually present at birth, but presbyopia develops during the aging process.
  2. You need brighter light when reading. If you never seem to have enough light, regardless of the room type or the number of lamps you have turned on, it may be time to get reading glasses. According to a study, a 60-year-old requires three times as much light as a 20-year-old to do the same tasks.
  3. Your eyes get tired when reading or working at your computer. Do you find yourself dozing off at your computer, or do your eyelids get heavy when you read or do detailed work? If you are developing presbyopia, your eyes are working harder and straining more than they normally would. A temporary solution is to blink more often, take more breaks, or adjust your screen to reduce glare. Another option would be to get some reading glasses!
  4. You are getting more headaches. Consistently straining your eyes to read or focus on crafts could give you headaches. A headache right behind your eyes could be indicative of hyperopia. It is important to remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If your headaches persist, you should visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.
  5. You see halos. When your lens cannot focus light into your retina, it makes your vision appear blurry. You may see glowing circles around lightbulbs or car headlights. Glasses often solve this problem, but this may also be an early sign of cataracts (Source: Readers Digest).

Staying current with your comprehensive eye exams is the best way to know when you need your first pair of reading glasses, or "readers." At each visit, your eye doctor will test your distance vision and your near vision so your prescription can be adjusted and fine-tuned to your eyes' needs. If it has been more than one year since your last comprehensive eye exam, call your eye doctor to make an appointment or use our Find a Physician tool.