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It happens to everyone — fine text becomes blurry and you find yourself holding menus farther and farther away to be able to see. You, like millions of others, need reading glasses. If you’re hesitant about whether or not you should start wearing readers, here are a few other indicators that might convince you.

Step 1: Use a Reading Test Card

Diopter test charts have rows of words ranging in text size that correspond to reading glasses strengths. If you’re purchasing reading glasses online, you can use our printable diopter chart below. Start by attempting to read the top line. The first line you can read clearly without your glasses on is the diopter you need.

Tip: Make sure to remove your glasses when you use the diopter test. If you have different vision needs in your right and left eye, simply cover up one eye at a time to test each eye individually. 

rea-updated-diopter-chart-image

Having trouble finding your reading glasses prescription using our diopter chart? No worries! You can use our interactive quiz to help you determine your reading or computer power.

Step 2: Test Various Reading Strengths

Prescriptions for reading glasses increase by 0.25 diopters, such as +1.00, +1.25, +1.50, and so on. However, for simplicity, some diopter charts may increase by 0.50 or by the whole number. Start by trying on reading glasses in the power that your test results yielded. If you’re trying on glasses at a retailer, you’ll want to test out several pairs that are both weaker and stronger than your test results. Narrow it down to two prescriptions — both of which you see well with — and always choose the lower of the two powers.

Step 3: Purchase!

At most stores, you’ll find readers in the following whole number prescriptions (and everything in between):

Reading glasses +1.00
Reading glasses +2.00
Reading glasses +3.00
Reading glasses +4.00
Reading glasses +5.00
Reading glasses +6.00

If you’re looking for something special, like computer readers, folding pairs, or high powers, you may need to shop online. Another benefit of heading online is your ability to customize select reading glasses to accommodate different vision needs in your right and left eye.

25 Comments
  • J.W. Bowers Jr.

    Reply

    What if I can’t read any of them, without my glasses on?

    • Readers.com

      Hi, J.W. If you’re having trouble reading the entire chart, we recommend visiting an eye doctor for additional help determining your power.

    • VintageClass11

      You are supposed to have readers ON when looking at the chart .
      &-)

      • Orangecoke

        That’s not what the article says ?

        • Sayit Strait

          Chart doesn’t work. All are blurry to me and then perfect with 2.5 glasses on.

      • Lucy

        The chart is to be read without anything on so you can determine what strength in readers you need to buy.

    • Amanda

      U did it right, without the glasses. U need to go see the eye doctor!!

  • Jerry

    Reply

    What if I can read the lines but I get headaches after playing board games or scanning articles online via computer?

    • Kawaii Kitsune

      Then get computer glasses, Anti-strain glasses/UV.

    • corey

      Get your eyes checked to learn if you are near sighted, far sighted, or both. You might need two different strengths. That is, readers for computers, which you look at from a further distance than where you hold a book to read. You’d need a different lens for reading books perhaps, if your farsighted. Don’t mess with your eyes. Go get them checked.

  • Sandra

    Reply

    Which is stronger 2.00 or 1.00? This is the over the counter glasses?

    • Jon Corwin

      Hi Sandra, +2.00 is stronger than +1.00. The higher the number the stronger the power. Yes, these are for over-to-counter reading glasses. Thanks for your question!

  • Melissa Geittmann

    Reply

    If you wear regular glasses or contacts for distance, you should have those on. You should NOT have your readers on!

  • Thao Nguyen

    Reply

    My RX : Sphere: OD -0.50 Cylinder: -1.25 Axis 093 Add +2.25
    OS-0.25 – 1.50 093 +2.25

    I wonder would you please tell me what the power glasses I may get?
    Thanks,

    • corey

      Thao :
      Check again with your doctor. You have a prescription which may correct for other eye issues, for example; one eye requires a different lens, an astigmatism, or presbyopia. Readers may not be appropriate for you as they simply magnify. Check with your doctor. It looks like you need prescription glasses, which are very different and serve a different purpose. If your doc tells you you must have prescription glasses. Ask him or her to explain why, especially if they want to sell you glasses.

  • Brian Brochet

    Reply

    Hi, I have a prescription that says sphere right -075, cylinder 0, axe 0 and add 1.72//// and sphere left +050. cylinder -050, axe 42, and add 1.72. Does this mean I nead 1.75 readers?

  • pianist702

    Reply

    I don’t have a problem with “reading.” I want magnifying glasses to double the size of my music when playing piano and to use when doing counted cross stitch. What strength would you suggest for me? Thank you

  • Mario

    Reply

    as for computer readers, is there not any strength or additional feature to consider, except for the design, right?

  • weebit

    Reply

    from my eye test I need 2.50 or 2.75 it’s hard to tell. When i wear this strength (both) My eyes feel funny and hurt and i have to remove them. Reading glasses are not for me?

    • Readers.com

      Hello! Our optician would be happy to assist you. We also have customizable reading glasses if you find you need a different power in each eye.

  • Sarah Thomas Dulis

    Reply

    Hi! I need someone’s help. I wear glasses and u am shortsighted. My optometrist have always told me that my power is 50 on each side. But when I try to find on the Internet, everything is in point form (Eg. -1.50 or +2.00.) So I don’t know how to read it. Reason why I need to know this is because I have considered about wearing contact lens but I need to know which power suits me.

    • Readers.com

      Hi Sarah, if you’re having trouble determining your power from the diopter chart, you can give us a call at 1-800-210-3975. Just ask for our optician, and she would be happy to assist you. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  • George Weber

    Reply

    If the 14″ is correct for reading glasses, what’s the correct distance for computer or piano music reading? I think it’s more like 20″.

  • Terry Caporaso Aulisio

    Reply

    I got a problem. When to dr yesterday got my eye exam. Normally I have just used over the counter readers. I wore 1.75. But we just got eye insurance and thought I would use it. Dr gave me an prescription for 3.25. Went to pick up my glasses I could read but everything was blurry. Told the girl I did not want them. She was insisting I take them and get used to them. I refused, so now I have to go back and dr has to re check me. Now I am confused asked her about progressive glasses she said I could get them and my prescription would be 1.50 on top and 1.75 on bottom. I said ok, she said but your 3.25 glasses should cover it because it adds up to it. Ttotaly confused.

  • Sarah

    Reply

    I can see them all without any readers but my question is I have trouble seeing small print would readers be a good option for me?

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