Have you reached your fortieth birthday? Congratulations! Have you collected your fortieth birthday gift yet — your very own pair of reading glasses? If you haven’t, most likely you will need a pair very soon. Let’s start with a little quiz.
Do You Need Reading Glasses Quiz
- Have you shoved your computer monitor back so far that to push it back any farther would find it in a heap on the floor?
- Have your arms grown shorter, with your vision outreaching your grasp?
- Do you squint in an effort to see print or online reading material clearly?
- Do you have trouble getting food from the plate to your mouth without spilling it?
- Have you begun to check out “large edition print” books from your local library?
- Can you no longer read maps in the car, relying on memory or intuition to guide you?
- Do you pretend that you can see things up close when you can’t?
- Do you find it impossible to thread a needle?
- Do you get frequent headaches, eyestrain or eye fatigue while reading?
If you answered yes to several of the questions above, don’t worry!
You’ve got lots of company, specifically almost everyone in the largest-growing segment of the population, the greying crowd. Presbyopia, the clinical name for the condition where the eyes lose their ability to focus, begins in those forty and older. It’s a gradual process, and you probably will not notice its onset. Objects appear blurred at close range, while distant objects remain in focus.
Part of the natural ageing process
Presbyopia is part of the natural ageing process, and it is not a disease. Rather than rob you of your health, it robs you of your pleasure when attempting close work, such as sewing, reading, gardening and playing cards.
First, before you consider taking any action on your own, schedule an eye appointment to verify that you have presbyopia. If you have no astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness in addition to presbyopia, you are a candidate for readers. Your eye doctor will probably recommend that you purchase a pair of inexpensive reading glasses at your pharmacy or department store instead of prescribing expensive, custom glasses. Your eye doctor can help you determine what strength you need.
Reading glasses, or cheaters, as they are fondly called by those who wear them, magnify objects close to you so that they appear sharp. While they bring close-range objects into focus, they blur objects at a distance. Reading glasses will help alleviate the symptoms of presbyopia, but they will not correct the condition.
Reading glasses start at approximately £5 and you shouldn’t have to pay more than £15 for a good pair of reading glasses. They come in several varieties: single lens, bifocals and magnifying half glasses. Bifocal reading glasses contain a smaller magnifying lens at the bottom while the top is plain glass or plastic. You’ll probably start with a strength of 1.25 and gradually increase the strength as your eyes weaken. Not all reading glasses are created equally, so try several pairs of the same strength until you find the one that works best for you.
Keep track of your reading glasses
Now that you’ve found the perfect pair of reading glasses, you’ll need to determine the best way to keep track of them. Some people keep a pair in every room of the house. Some fold them and insert them in a pocket. Some attach a cord or chain around the neck. Don’t wear them on top of your head, because you can stretch the frame, making them uncomfortable to wear or breaking the frame. At a minimum, you’ll want a pair for home, a pair for your purse or coat pocket, and a pair for the car.
Keep your glasses scratch-free by using microfibre materials to clean them. Avoid paper products, because the wood pulp will scratch the glasses.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors gardening or reading in the sun, you’ll want to invest in a pair of reading sunglasses. This one inexpensive expenditure will enhance your outdoor pleasure by an order of magnitude. You’ll wonder how you lived without them.
An extension of your wardrobe
When the time comes that you need to wear reading glasses you can accessorize your wardrobe with them like you would a scarf or jewellery. You might as well have fun with them because, after forty years, you’ve earned the right to wear them and to have fun with them.