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How Do I Know What Strength Reading Glasses To Get – It usually starts in the late 30s, early 40s there is difficulty reading well written texts but as time goes on it gets worse. Don’t worry, this is due to a common process called presbyopia.
It goes without saying that the best power reading glasses for you are prescription reading glasses provided by your eye doctor.
How Do I Know What Strength Reading Glasses To Get
However, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot afford prescription glasses but still need something to help you.
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This article will discuss the use of over-the-counter reading glasses, also known as ‘cheats’, off-the-shelf reading glasses or drugstore reading glasses. These can be obtained without a prescription, but you are left to find out which ‘strength’ or ‘strength’ you need on your own. So how do you determine the strength of reading glasses you need?
Pick up your latest eyeglass prescription and carefully read this article to find out. Now, let’s get started!
Interpreting the instructions for glasses can be very difficult if you do not know how they are written. I will be as thorough as possible here but for more information on this you can read an article I wrote entitled How To Read Glasses Prescription.
This will usually be indicated somewhere in the prescription. Generally, whether the prescription is for reading glasses, distance glasses or both (bifocal/progressive glasses) is likely to be written in the comments section of the prescription, or shown in the lens options checklist.
Reading Glasses Strength
Your prescription will likely be written this way if your eye doctor feels you need reading glasses but not distance vision.
Alternatively, if your eye doctor has determined that you need different glasses for distance and reading, you may have a prescription that looks like this.
If you have identified your glasses prescription as specific to reading glasses, you can skip to the section titled Calculating the Spherical Equivalent of Your Glasses Prescription.
However, if your prescription is for both distance and reading glasses, or progressive glasses – in other words, if you have any numbers under the ‘ADD’ section, you will need to calculate your reading prescription.
The Importance Of Finding The Right Lens Strength Reading Glasses
What we do here is use the information provided in your prescription to determine the strength of your prescription.
It’s common to mistake the number in the ‘ADD’ column as what the power of your reading glasses should be, but for most people, that’s not the case. In fact, for most people it doesn’t come close and will make your vision worse!
To find the correct power for your reading glasses, you must add the ‘ADD’ number and the ‘SPHERE’ number for each eye.
Note: Pay close attention to the signs! The number ‘SPHERE’ will have a + or – sign before it. The number ‘ADD’ will always have a + sign in front of it. When adding the two together, make sure you are comfortable adding positive and negative numbers together if necessary.
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Your prescription may or may not have numbers in the ‘CYLINDER’, ‘AXIS’ and ‘PRISM’ columns. If any numbers are present here, they remain unchanged and are still part of the reading glasses prescription. Let’s look at another example. Let’s say these are the numbers on the prescription.
We arrived at these numbers by adding the ‘ADD’ number to the ‘SPHERE’ number for each eye and keeping the ‘CYLINDER’ and ‘AXIS’ the same. The math went like this:
If you still have questions about this part, feel free to ask me in the comment section of this article.
Now that we know the reading prescription, we have to deal with the ‘CYLINDER’ and the ‘AXIS’ number. These numbers represent how much astigmatism correction is in your prescription.
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Over the counter reading glasses never have astigmatism correction. That’s why we want to boil the prescription down to one number. This is called taking
, you can read an article I wrote on The Spherical Equivalent of Your Prescription.
If you do not see numbers in the ‘CYLINDER’ and ‘AXIS’ columns in the prescription, you are done with this step and skip to the next section titled Accounting for Differences Between Eyes.
Similarly, if you see the number -0.25 in the ‘CYLINDER’ column of either eye, you don’t need to do the math. A -0.25 in the ‘CYLINDER’ column is not strong enough to affect the ‘equivalent sphere’ and has just been removed from the prescription and ‘AXIS’ for that eye. So if both eyes have -0.25 in ‘CYLINDER’ proceed to Calculation of Difference Between Eyes.
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However, if the number in the ‘CYLINDER’ column is -0.50 or anything more than that, it should be calculated. Counting i
Note: ‘CYLINDER’ numbers are always (with rare exceptions) negative so pay attention to the signs. If you are not comfortable with math, following the next few steps will arrive at the same number.
Step 1: Look for the number ‘CYLINER’. Does it end in ‘0’ or ‘5’? If it ends in ‘0’, skip to step 3. If it ends with ‘5’, go to step 2. Step 2: Subtract 0.25 from |CYLINDER| (total value of ‘CYLINDER’). This means that in this step, put a negative sign in front of the number ‘CYLINDER’ and subtract 0.25 from that number. You must end with a number ending in ‘0’. For example, -2.75 → -2.50, -6.25 → 6.00, etc. Step 3: Divide the ‘CYLINDER’ number by 2. Step 4: Add the number you get in step 3 to the ‘SPHERE’ number.
Note: The ‘CYLINDER’ and ‘AXIS’ numbers are part of the glass instructions for a reason. The higher the ‘CYLINDER’ number, the more important it is to your vision. If the ‘CYLINDER’ number is 1.00 or higher, it is likely that the prescription reading glasses will provide worse vision than the prescription reading glasses.
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The number you calculated is negative, you won’t be able to get any over the counter reading glasses to help you. Pre-made off-the-shelf reading glasses are only manufactured and sold in the ‘correct’ strength. If the reading glasses prescription is ‘negative’, the only option will be to get prescription reading glasses from your optician.
At this point you should have 1 number for each eye that represents the most suitable strength of over the counter reading glasses.
If those two numbers are the same, you’re in luck and you can skip to the section on Adjusting the Power of Your Reading Glasses.
However, if the numbers are different, unfortunately some compromises will have to be made. As you may have noticed when buying reading glasses over the counter, the right and left eye numbers are always the same.
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If the difference between the number of the right and left eye is only 0.25, choosing one or the other usually does not make much difference.
If the difference between your right and left eye number is 0.75 or more, prescription reading glasses may not be the best option for you. To try to make it work, start with your dominant eye number, then try every step between that number and your non-dominant eye number and see which one gives the best visual comfort.
The power of the reading glasses determines how far or close you will be able to see with them.
If the power is too low, you will have to hold things far away to see them clearly.
Daily Essentials Reading Glasses Mixed Strength 4 Assorted Colours
If the power is too high, you will have to hold things closer than usual before it becomes clear.
By default, unless otherwise specified in your prescription, opticians prescribe reading glasses to magnify vision at 16inch/40cm. If this is the right distance for you, you’re done. No other changes are required.
However, if you feel that 16inch/40cm is too close (as it is for most computer users), or too far (as is often the case for people with short arms) you will need to adjust the power once.
The correct reading power for your glasses will depend on where you need to see clearly (ie, for reading in bed, working on your computer, etc.) so measure that distance, and refer to the following chart.
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Start by finding the number you have ended up with in the top row called “If @ 40cm the ADD is:”, then work your way down that column until you find the correct distance row (listed on the left hand side).
Of course, do not support everything in the theoretical calculations discussed in this article. This should give you a good place to start. The next step would be to go to your favorite retailer of prescription reading glasses and start trying them on.
Start with the number you ended up with after reading this article. If you feel that the vision needs to improve too far then reduce the power.
If any part of this article is not explained