Presbyopia? no need to panic, it’s just aging eyes
Are you starting to have problems reading fine print? No, they are not printing smaller it’s your little ole eyes acting their age. Most people start noticing this after age 40, it worsens as you get older. At first it is just difficulty say.. reading a menu in a dim light restaurant, then the text looks super small on your phone. The condition is called Presbyopia. Presbyopia literally means “elder eyes”. The optical industry has recently come up with a new snappier name ” Age-Related focus Dysfunction” Awesome, dysfunction is just what we all want to hear.
As the eyes age (why am I harping on age?) the eyes are less able to focus. It is really a steady decline from age 4. Have you ever noticed how young children often have their faces super close to their coloring? That is because they can focus that close, by age 12 they are 14 inches away from the paper, and now over 40 we need many more inches to focus. It is the hardening of the natural lens and the weakening of the muscle fibers in the eye that cause this condition. If you have it, and many many people do you may need reading glasses.
You may have gone your whole life with perfect vision and then overnight find yourself struggling to read the dosage on bottles of medicine. Now you may need reading glasses. Reading glasses are different than most prescription glasses. These little helpers are available everywhere. These types of glasses are referred to as over the counter (OTC) reading glasses. So much like over the counter pain relievers, they are available without a prescription. (NOTE: READING GLASSES ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD EYE CARE, PLEASE SEE YOUR EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL FOR ANNUAL CHECKUPS)
Reading glasses are basically magnifying glasses. They will make the fine print bigger. You use them to read or do fine focusing tasks. Glasses for reading come in different diopters or strengths. To know what your strength is you can use a common diopter chart. Click here to use one. Another very crude way to judge is… wait for it….age.
55- 2.5 3.0
So there. Now you know. It is also important to know that you do not wear reading glasses on your face when you are walking around, they are just for reading or tasking. This is why you see people with their glasses on the ends of their noses. This allows them to see distance ( no problemo! ) and then look through the lenses to focus on close up stuff. The result is pretty unflattering!
To make matters worse it is common for people to slide readers on their head, we all do it, especially with our sunglasses.
Reading glasses are not as hardy as sunglassses so a few things go wrong. First you stretch the little hinges so they no longer fit your face. So now the glasses fall off your face, land on the floor breaking or scratching the lenses. Lookie lous are designed to wear on the head (or neck) they will not fall off when you lean over.
The next thing you will notice is the little hinges grab your hair and it is almost impossible to get them out without tearing out a few hair at a time. This is so not cool. Keep your hair, lookie lous have no hinges or hardware so you can have your hair and read too!
Traditional glasses for reading are easy to lose. You are constantly taking them on and off so it is easy to lose track. Most veteran reading glasses wearers have a dozen pair because they are so accustomed to losing them. Lookie lous are designed for function, have your glasses when you need them, where you need them. That is good design.