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How to Use Reading Glasses?

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A young man reading a book while wearing his pair of reading glasses.

Reading glasses are a simple yet powerful tool for many individuals who experience difficulty reading small print as they age. 

They are essentially magnifying glasses that can help you read better, reduce eye strain, and improve your overall vision. 

However, many people are unsure how to use reading glasses properly, resulting in discomfort or even damage to their eyesight. 

Whether you’re a first-time user or looking to optimize your experience, it is important to keep in mind the following for how to use reading glasses: 

  • Get regular eye checkups
  • Understand your prescription 
  • Make sure to choose the right strength 
  • Wear your reading glasses at the proper distance 
  • Make sure to maintain and clean your reading glasses properly
  • Avoid prolonged usage 
  • Have the right lighting

At Hercules Optometric Group now operated by Total Vision, we make sure each eye exam is customized just right so your family finds the solutions that fit them best. From your little ones to your grandparents, we’ve got everyone covered. 

Optimizing Your Reading Glasses Experience

Regular Eye Exams

If you haven’t had your eyes looked at recently, it’s best to do so before buying reading glasses. This is important because wearing the wrong prescription can strain your eyes unnecessarily and cause headaches. 

Schedule regular eye exams to monitor changes in your vision. Your prescription may need adjustment as you age, and an optometrist can ensure you’re using the correct strength of reading glasses.

Understand Your Prescription

Understanding your eye prescription is more than just knowing what reading glasses to buy. It’s about enhancing your vision clarity and overall quality of life. When you understand your prescription, you can make sure your lenses are made specifically for you, giving you the best possible vision.

If your prescription is outdated, your eyes may work harder than usual. You might find yourself squinting to see things clearly, which can strain your eyes over time. With an up-to-date prescription, you can avoid this unnecessary strain.

Your prescription can also tell you a lot about your eyes—like how severe your vision issues are. It’s not just a baffling grid of abbreviations and numbers. With a bit of knowledge, it’s easy to interpret.

Choosing the Right Strength

Selecting the appropriate strength of reading glasses is essential. Opt for the glasses that provide the clearest vision without straining your eyes.

Reading glasses come in different strengths labeled from +1 to +4 diopters. The higher the number, the stronger the lens. Try a few pairs while reading a book or magazine to determine the right strength. If the print is clear, that’s the right strength for you.

Wear Reading Glasses at the Right Distance

Position your reading glasses at the bridge of your nose, and make sure they sit comfortably. If your bridge is level with or lower than your pupils, you’ll want to opt for a bridge size between 16 to 18 millimeters. 

But if your bridge is higher than your pupils, you’re better off with a larger bridge size; around 19 to 21 millimeters should be just right for you. 

A close-up of a pair of reading glasses being cleaned using a microfibre cloth.

Proper Cleaning & Maintenance

Keep your reading glasses clean for optimal vision. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away fingerprints or smudges. Store them in a protective case when not in use to prevent scratches and damage. 

Also, keep them away from harsh chemicals or detergents and avoid excessive heat to avoid crazing.

Avoid Prolonged Use

While reading glasses are beneficial for close-up tasks, giving your eyes breaks is essential. Prolonged use can lead to eye strain and discomfort. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Reading glasses are meant for doing close work and not as a substitute for prescription eyeglasses. Avoid wearing them while driving or doing outdoor activities, as they can cause dizziness or distorted vision. 

Bifocal or progressive lenses might be suitable if you need correction for both close-up and distance vision. Consult with an optometrist to determine the best option for your specific needs.

Lighting Matters

Adequate lighting is crucial when using reading glasses. Make sure the area where you’re reading is well-lit, as poor lighting can strain your eyes even with the help of reading glasses.

Confidence & Comfort Through Reading Glasses

By following these tips, you can learn how to use reading glasses effectively. Remember to get an eye exam before purchasing a pair to make sure you have the proper strength or to help determine if you might benefit more from prescription glasses.

Choose the correct strength for your needs and wear them at the right distance. Keep them clean and avoid wearing them all the time. Reading glasses are a useful and inexpensive tool to improve your reading experience and reduce eye strain. 

With proper care and usage, they can last many years and help you enjoy your favorite activities.

The friendly and professional staff at Hercules Optometric Group are here to help you with all your prescription needs, including picking out the right reading glasses or finding an alternative option! Book an appointment today to see what we’re all about!

Written by Total Vision

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