As we get older, the structures in our eyes begin to change, becoming less flexible than they used to be. These changes are completely normal, but sometimes they can affect the ability to focus on smaller text up close, leading many to hold menus or phones at arm’s length in order to read them. Luckily, a pair of reading glasses is an easy and fun way to help. 

Whether you’ve noticed your vision changing over time, have trouble focusing on smaller text, or just want to promote your eye comfort while reading, a pair of reading glasses can help. 

What Do Reading Glasses Help With?

What are reading glasses? To answer this question, it’s important to look at what they help with and then how they help. 

Reading glasses help with a condition known as presbyopia. This condition usually begins around middle age and can develop until around age 65. Presbyopia is a completely normal process that most people’s eyes go through when they’re older, and it is easily addressed with a pair of readers. Let’s take a closer look at what this condition is and why it affects vision. 

When functioning regularly, two structures in our eyes, known as the lens and cornea, refract light and bend it in order to process images. The muscles around the lens also work to relax when focusing on the objects in the distance and constrict when focusing on objects close by. 

However, as we get older, these muscles can harden and become less flexible. So, when looking in the distance, we may still be able to see clearly and focus easily, but when looking at words and objects up close, it can get difficult to focus on them. 

You’ll notice a few telltale signs of presbyopia, such as needing to hold newspapers, books, or your phone farther away in order to read them. It may become difficult to check your watch, read prices at the store, and perhaps make out details in photos. You may also experience difficulty when reading and you may need to squint in order to see better. 

If this sounds familiar to you, not to worry. Reading glasses are an easy way to help your eyes focus like they once did.

Here’s how reading glasses work:

How Do Reading Glasses Work?

Reading glasses work like a magnifying glass, which means the edges are the thinnest point while the middle is much thicker. This helps enlarge the text you’re reading and makes it easier for your eyes to focus on words and objects up close without needing to hold them far away.

Reading glasses differ in terms of strength, meaning there are different levels of enlargement you can choose. The strength you need will depend on how far your presbyopia has developed or how much assistance you want.

Reading glasses are available in a range of diopters in +0.25 to +0.50 increments, from around +0.25 to +3.50 in most retail locations, with higher  strength diopters available through eyecare professionals. There are many different ways to find your reading glasses strength, and using this reading glasses guide will show you everything you need to know!

Who Can Wear Reading Glasses?

Anyone with presbyopia can use reading glasses to help their eyes focus on material more easily without having to move it far away. However, you don’t have to have presbyopia or poor vision in order to wear reading glasses. 

Anyone can wear reading glasses to increase comfort while reading, prevent squinting and overusing their eyes, and help make focusing on objects and words easier. You can also wear reading glasses all day long to make it easier to focus on smaller details. 

What Kind of Reading Glasses Are Right for Me?

Reading glasses are available in all kinds of styles and types, so there’s a pair for everyone. Here are some of the most common types of reading glasses and what they do, so you can decide which pair is right for you

Traditional Readers

When you think of reading glasses, you likely think of fully magnified readers. These are readers with the same reading strength throughout the entire lens. They’re great for those who tend to wear their reading glasses while working and reading. 

These come in a variety of styles, including brightly colored frames and classic tortoise metal frames.

Bifocal Style Readers

Bifocal style readers describe reading glasses that have unmagnified lenses which also contain inserts with the magnification of your choice in the lower portion of the lenses. The upper portion is unmagnified for distance vision, interacting with others, and doing regular tasks where you don’t need reading glasses. 

This is a great option for those who frequently switch between reading text and interacting with others or using their distance vision. You can wear these all day or only when you need them. 

Discover our best selling bifocal style readers here

Reading Sunglasses

Reading sunglasses are another popular type of reading glasses. They offer the UVA-UVB lens protection necessary to keep your eyes safe and happy in the sun, which is vital to supporting eye health and vision, as stated by the American Optometric Association. In addition to this, reading sunglasses offer you the help you need focusing on the smaller text. With reading sunglasses, activities like reading by the pool and more are suddenly available.

Our reading sunglasses come with a variety of lens tint options, so you can choose a color you enjoy, and that also fits your needs! You can also choose fully magnified reading sunglasses or bifocal style reading sunglasses as well. 

Choose Your Style

Once you decide what type of reading glasses are best for you, it’s time to choose your frame

When it comes to choosing the right frame shape, it’s essential to keep two main things in mind:

  • Check that your glasses will fit your face. Glasses, much like people, come in a range of different shapes and sizes.

This is simply a guideline, however. If you want to go for a bolder look, you can use a similar frame shape to your facial features, choose a bold color, or even use a pattern to stand out. You can also look for thick frames, clear frames, and geometric-shaped frames to stand out from the crowd. To pick a frame, look at our® sizes: our frames come in different sizes for frame height, temple length, and bridge sizes. Take a minute with a measuring tape to ensure a fit that you will love.

  • Think about your face shape. While this isn’t a necessary step, some people find a face shape chart to be helpful. Generally, with fashion, opposites attract. So people who have more angular faces might like round frames. People with round faces might love a square frame. 

Ultimately, the best pair of glasses for you is one you feel confident in and helps you feel and see better. 

Readers for Any Occasion

What are reading glasses? Reading glasses are one of the ways to address concerns like presbyopia and difficulty reading. They do this by enlarging text, making it easier to focus on small print and fine details.

You can use reading glasses wherever and whenever you like to increase eye comfort and make reading easier. Use these resources to figure out what reading strength is best for you and how to buy your first pair of reading glasses.

No matter what your style, at®, there’s a pair of reading glasses for everyone.



Presbyopia: Overview – | NCBI Bookshelf 

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses in Children – Health Encyclopedia | University of Rochester Medical Center 

Ultraviolet (UV) protection | AOA 

Why does eyesight deteriorate with age? | Scientific American