4 Benefits of Reading Glasses

by Jan 18, 2023

For most people, reading glasses are associated with aging and may evoke a sense of an elderly or grandparent-like figure. However, the reality is that the majority of people will need to wear reading glasses of some form in their forties. This is due to the aging of the eye through a natural aging process called presbyopia. There are other options besides reading glasses including contact lenses and eye drops that can also treat presbyopia.

What Causes Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a term that describes the hardening, thickening, and inflexibility of the crystalline lens with age.

The crystalline lens is inside the eye behind the iris and is one of the important structures for bending light into the eyes.

The lens is also the primary structure that is responsible for adjusting the focus of the eye for viewing things close to the face or at an intermediate distance.

The changes to the lens are slowly progressive and once the lens is unable to flex to focus as well as it once did, the individual will develop presbyopia and need help to see near.

The particular cause of presbyopia is unknown as it is considered an expected finding by the age of fifty and is likely related to a loss of cells that keep the lens flexible.

Why Reading Glasses Help with Presbyopia

Since the natural lens is unable to flex to focus at a close range, vision will be blurry when doing near tasks like reading and writing.

Reading glasses provide clear near vision by replacing the need for the lens to adjust the focus with the plus power of the reading glasses.

With the small amount of plus power from reading glasses, the light will focus on the retina without the need for the crystalline lens to adjust its focus.


When will Reading Glasses be Needed?

For every individual, the exact age that reading glasses are needed will vary. This is due to variations in the rate of change due to presbyopia, the different types of prescriptions in eyes, different levels of acceptable blurred vision, and different needs for vision near.

Despite these differences, most people will find that reading glasses are needed at some point in their forties, and nearly everyone will need them by the age of sixty.

If you are someone who requires a precise, fine vision for reading or spends a lot of time looking at a computer, you may find that you need reading glasses at a younger age.

However, if you have very few requirements for near vision and are primarily focused on things in the distance, and have a lax personality, you may not need reading glasses until well into your forties or fifties.


Alternatives to Reading Glasses

While reading glasses provide an affordable and reliable option for treating presbyopia, there are many other options.

Contact lenses can be used to correct both near and distance vision either with multifocal lenses or monovision designs.

There are eye drops, Vuity, which can provide clear vision for up to eight hours at all distances.


Our eye doctors at Neal Eye Group in Conshohocken, PA excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrists at (610) 828-9701 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about reading glasses.  Our optometrists provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Conshohocken, Norristown, Plymouth Meeting, Lafayette Hill, and Philadelphia.

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