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How to Find Your Reading Glasses Strength

Many individuals who are near the age of 40 will experience presbyopia, which results in a decreased ability to focus on close range objects. Luckily, reading glasses are a cheap and effective solution for their close range vision problems, and they don't even require a doctor's prescription. Similar to contact lenses, reading glasses are easy to purchase online. It's just a matter of finding the proper strength for your eyes. While the lack of a prescription requirement makes the purchase of readers convenient, it can be a challenge to find what strength you need if you've never tried on reading glasses before.

What do the numbers mean?

For those who've just recently started to experience presbyopia, the first thing they'll see when looking for reading glasses are a bunch of tags and labels that read similar to the numbers listed below.

  • +1.00
  • +1.50
  • +2.25
  • +3.00
  • +3.50
  • +4.00

The numbers above represent the corrective strength of eyeglass lenses. The units are known as "diopters" and are typically measured in increments of .25 diopters to differentiate stronger and weaker corrective powers. Someone who would need strong vision correction will likely need reading glasses with a strength around +3.00, while someone who needs only minor vision correction would likely wear reading glasses with a label of +1.25.

For most people new to needing readers, it's highly unlikely that they'll need a high powered lens. Presbyopia, like many eye diseases, typically starts as a minor vision impediment, and slowly increases as you age. While it's possible for people to need reading glasses that use a strength of 3.50 - 4.00 diopters, glasses like theses are relatively rare, and most people only need low powered readers.

Reading glasses are rarely manufactured for strengths greater than 4.00, and typically range from strengths of 1.00-3.00. While reading glasses generally don't need to be as accurate as normal prescription glasses, finding the right size for you is important, as wearing the wrong size can cause headaches, dizziness, or nausea. In order to find the right strength for your reading glasses, take our online reading glasses test to determine the lens strength you need.

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