Are store-bought reading glasses better or worse than the ones at your eye doctor? They’re less expensive, but are they worth it? We tackle the great debate below:
Most pharmacies and many retailers sell over the counter (OTC) reading glasses that require no prescription. People like these readers because they tend to be much less expensive than reading glasses you might buy from your optometrist. However, there is dispute over whether these discount reading glasses are damaging to the eyes. To put this debate to rest, “cheap” reading glasses will not damage your eyes, but they may decrease the amount of time you can read comfortably, depending on your prescription.
Inexpensive reading glasses typically have the same magnification power in each lens. This is beneficial to people who have the same, or almost the same, prescription in each eye. For example, if one of your eyes requires +1.00 glasses and the other varies slightly needing +1.25 glasses, you can probably get by with a pair of cheap reading glasses from the pharmacy. However, if your eyes require markedly different prescriptions, the best reading glasses for you are custom prescription lenses from your eye doctor.
If your eyes have greatly differing prescription needs, and you wear reading glasses with identical prescriptions, one eye will be under corrected or over corrected, depending on which eye your glasses accommodate. This will cause fatigue in said eye, which will, in turn, cause discomfort after a long period of use.
Thus, it is best to visit the eye doctor and receive your prescription. This is a much more sure-fire way to determine your eye needs than trying on pairs of readers at the pharmacy until you find a pair that seems to help your vision.
If the results of your eye doctor appointment deem that your eyes need the same amount of correction, then buying OTC discount reading glasses is just fine. You have the freedom to take your prescription and purchase your reading glasses wherever you want. As mentioned before, reading glasses are sold at pharmacies, many retail stores, discount stores, and you can also purchase reading glasses online.