Age can have an impact on your vision, just like it can affect other parts of your body. Once you reach your forties, the lenses in the eyes become less flexible, which can make it difficult for you to focus as easily as you could when you were in your twenties and thirties. As the lenses in your eyes become less flexible, your vision will become progressively worse.
This is a condition known as presbyopia. The inability to read your computer screen, read your favorite book, or watch a movie can have you shopping online in search of the best reading glasses for men and women, hoping that these glasses can be a quick fix and one that may be able to instantly improve your quality of life and vision. But do these glasses really work? What type of features should you look for in over the counter reading glasses? How do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel and visit an eye care specialist? These are all important questions that can help you to determine when over the counter reading glasses will work for you, or whether prescription reading glasses would be more beneficial.
Readers are a popular option since they’re very affordable, which means you can purchase a few pairs and keep them stashed in convenient locations and places around the home or at work, so you’ll always have a pair on hand. But considering there are so many models to choose from, you may be unsure which type or brand can offer the best fit and lens quality.
That’s where I come in. I’ve included the top five pairs for men and the best-selling readers for women, for a total of ten products. You’ll get the inside scoop on lens quality, size options, diopter range and much more.
Below you’ll find the comparison chart for the five leading pairs for men and my product recommendations.
Reading Glasses Comparison Chart
Reading Glasses 2.00 Black 3 Pack
This package includes a total of three pairs of men’s readers at a price that’s affordable. Not only do these glasses feature the type of masculine, sophisticated look that many buyers are looking for, but the glasses themselves are incredibly durable. If you’re tired of buying readers that fall apart on you in a matter of weeks, then you’ll be impressed with this model’s Sure-Flex comfort spring arms, in addition to the Dura-Tight screws, both of which work together to prevent many of the common issues you’ll encounter with lower-priced readers such as weak arms or missing screws. These glasses are ergonomically designed, featuring a modern look and sleek design. They offer durable spring hinges that gently hug the temples and a comfortable fit that will encourage you to use your readers often.
- Dura-Tight screws
- Sure-Flex comfort spring arms
- Three pairs for the price of one
- Ergonomic design
- Classic look
- Lenses are not scratch-resistant
This package includes three pairs of men’s readers for a price you can’t beat. The Dura-Tight screws and Sure-Flex comfort spring arms, combined with the ergonomically designed frames will encourage you to wear these glasses often. They offer a classic look, a comfortable fit, and 2.00 magnification. Essentially, these glasses don’t look like your average readers. The one-hundred-percent manufacturer guarantee will give you every reason to buy and try readers that have the type of durable design most men are looking for.
Gaoye Progressive Multi-focus Reading Glasses
This single pair of men’s readers by Gaoye comes equipped with polycarbonate, non-polarized lenses, a resin and spring hinge frame for improved durability, and a built-in blue light filter that protects the eyes from UVB, UVA light, to reduce symptoms linked to blue light exposure. The ultra-lightweight frames are durable and feature a vintage design that both men and women will love. The flexible spring hinge design is perfect for all types of face shapes and works to gently hug the temples. The swingable arm design reduces pressure on the face, for improved comfort.
- Protects the eyes from harmful blue light
- Seven magnification levels to choose from
- Lightweight resin frames
- Ergonomic design fits faces of all shapes and sizes
- Low price
- Middle portion of the lenses does not have blue light filter
Unlike low-quality readers, these glasses are lightweight with an ergonomically designed frame that’s comfortable and works for faces of all shapes and sizes. These glasses are available in seven magnification levels and do double duty by protecting the eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Eyecedar Metal Half-Frame Reading Glasses
This five-pack of men’s reading glasses by Eyecedar are designed to fit most face shapes and are made out of a lightweight stainless steel material for improved durability. The spring hinges are durable and designed to last, unlike the spring system you’ll find on competing models that tend to quickly wear out over a matter of weeks. The wear-resistant lenses are available in five colors including:
- Matte gray
- Metal gray
The glasses are covered by a two-year warranty, which is pretty impressive considering the low price. The half-frame style will complement most face shapes and features a comfort flex design that reduces the amount of pressure placed on the face and bridge.
- Ergonomic design
- Five color options
- Low price
- Five pairs for the price of one
- UV protection
- Six magnification options
- Glasses have a strong odor fresh out of the box
These ergonomically designed readers come equipped with metal spring hinges that are designed to adapt to different face shapes, while also working to improve durability and arm flexibility. The included warranty is one of the biggest selling points since you won’t typically come across readers with such extensive coverage. The biggest drawback is the fact that the glasses are only available in six magnification options, so this lack of variety means these readers won’t be a good choice for everyone.
Double Take Men’s Readers
This package includes two pairs of men’s readers that have non-polarized lenses, a metal frame and flexible arms for improved comfort. The simple, semi-rimless design offers an elegant, classic look. You’ll have a choice of ten magnification levels to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find the perfect pair that can instantly improve your focus and boost your productivity in the workplace. Each pair also comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth and a hard carrying case for ultimate protection. The manufacturer offers a ninety-day money-back guarantee, in addition to a two-year warranty.
- Two pairs
- Semi-rimless design
- Carrying cases included
- Covered by a two-year warranty
- Only one color option available
These lightweight, flexible reading glasses by Double Take feature a modern design, durable lenses, a comfortable fit, and ten magnification levels to choose from. The included carrying cases provide ultimate protection during transport and storage, while the heavy-duty polycarbonate lenses ensure these glasses last year after year. The fact that you get two pairs of glasses for the price of one will allow you to keep a pair at home and at the office. Elegant, stylish, and affordable, the frames have the designer look, without the high price tag.
Lighter Focus Multifocal Glasses
These multi-focal glasses work double duty by not only improving your focus as you read or complete close work tasks, but they also protect the eyes from blue light, which can cause eye strain and headaches. The durable, lightweight frames are comfortable to wear. The progressive readers consist of lenses that are unmagnified but contain inserts with the magnification of your choice, placed in the lower portion of the lenses. These lenses will be a great option for the person who’s looking for readers that are more versatile. The glasses only weigh in at fifteen grams and feature a screwless design, so you won’t have to worry about losing screws or having to retighten them often.
- Blue light protection
- Screw-free design
- The price
These multifocal glasses are covered by a forty-five-day product guarantee and come equipped with anti-blue light lenses that will prevent dry eyes, eye strain, and headaches and other symptoms that are associated with eye strain caused by blue light exposure. The magnification inserts will instantly improve your ability to focus so you can read the fine print, enjoy your favorite hobbies, and more. For some, the price may seem a little steep for a single pair of readers, but considering the quality build, blue light protection, and the variety of magnification options to choose from, these glasses are a steal for the price.
Best Reading Glasses for Women
Next, I’ll go over the top five pairs on the market that are designed for women, what features each model has to offer, and why each pair earned a higher than average user rating.
Eyeguard Women’s Reading Glasses
This package includes four pairs of reading glasses for women, each of which is equipped with acrylic scratch-resistant lenses, complete with lightweight polycarbonate frames, and Dura-Tight screws, for improved durability. These glasses are also FDA registered and are available in ten different magnification options. The frames come in four colors:
- Light blue
Each pair also comes with its own carrying pouch for added protection during storage or transport.
- Four colors
- Four-pack of glasses
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- No warranty
- Arms can crack at the attachment point
While the manufacturer claims the frames are durable, there have been some reports that the arms have a tendency to crack at the attachment point, especially when users attempt to tighten the screws. While it’s not a common problem, it’s definitely something you’ll want to take into consideration before you buy, especially since these glasses are not covered by a warranty. This four-pack of women’s glasses feature scratch-resistant lenses, a lightweight polycarbonate frame, and Dura-Tight screws. Fashionable, and available in ten different magnification options, these unique, colorful glasses are well-built, designed to last, and work to instantly improve your vision.
GR8 Sight Reading Glasses
This package includes five pairs of non-polarized reading glasses with plastic lenses and frames. These lightweight readers feature a flexible spring hinge design that reduces the pressure placed at the temples. This ensures a more comfortable fit and will encourage you to use your readers consistently, whether you’re reading the paper, working a crossword puzzle, or at the office. The classic frame shape will complement most face shapes and sizes. Each pair will come with its own cloth pouch, to protect the lenses from scratches during transport.
- Five pairs
- Includes five carrying pouches
- Flexible spring hinge design
- Lenses are prone to scratches
This five pack of reading glasses can seem like a real bargain, but considering the lenses are easily scratched, you will definitely need to remember to use the carrying pouch at all times to minimize lens damage. This is a common issue with most over the counter readers. For the price, you’ll get a total of five pairs of readers that are available in thirteen magnification options, so you should have no problem finding a pair that will work for you and your vision needs.
OCCI CHIARI Stylish Reading Glasses
The Occi Chiari round women’s reading glasses are available in nineteen color options including gray, brown, purple, and red. The right and left ends of each frame option have a leopard pattern for a nice pop of color. The non-polarized, clear acrylic lenses are durable and scratch-resistant. You can choose from thirteen different magnification levels, which is a huge selling point for most buyers. The flexible spring hinges are durable and will work for most face types. The pads on the bridge are supportive and designed to prevent the glasses from slipping, but also work to reduce the level of pressure placed on the bridge.
- Thirteen magnification levels to choose from
- Flexible spring hinges
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Durable frame
- Low price
- Nineteen color options
- Padding on the bridge can pinch skin
These fashionable, sleek reading glasses will flatter any face shape and feature an integrated nose bridge that helps to improve durability and prevents the glasses from slipping. However, there have been reports that the padding on the bridge can pinch the skin, which can be a deal-breaker for some buyers.
Peepers by PeeperSpecs Women’s Bravado Blue Light Filtering Reading Glasses
These reading glasses feature plastic non-polarized lenses and a lightweight polycarbonate frame. The glasses are designed to reduce eye strain by filtering more than forty percent of harmful blue light from digital devices including computers and TVs. The lenses also have a seven-layer anti-reflective coating that’s designed to further reduce glare from digital devices. The glasses are available in six magnification levels and six color options.
- Six color options
- Polycarbonate frames
- Lenses filter out over forty percent of blue light
- Lightweight design
- Only six magnification levels to choose from
Stylish, available in six color options, and able to filter out harmful blue light which will reduce headaches and eye strain, both of which are linked to constant exposure to blue light via digital devices. The fact that these glasses are only available in six magnification options is pretty limiting and can make these glasses a poor choice for those in need of a stronger pair of reading glasses. Overall, the designer style frames, lightweight design, and blue light filtering lenses make these glasses some of the best-selling readers on the market.
MARE AZZURO Reading Glasses
The Mare Azzuro reading glasses have non-polarized acrylic lenses with a plastic frame. The frames are made out of Italian imported plastic and feature a forty-five-degree flexible spring hinge design that’s specifically designed to reduce pressure on the face and prevent the bridge from pinching the skin. The square shape of the frames will complement most face shapes, while the frames themselves are available in four color options.
- Four color options
- Fourteen magnification levels
- Bulky frame design
These designer inspired readers are durable, comfortable, and available in fourteen magnification options. The large square-shaped design may be too bulky for some buyers and aren’t the best choice for people with round faces. The spring hinge system, flexible arms, and Italian imported frames make these glasses incredibly durable.
Reading Glasses Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve decided to give over the counter reading glasses a shot, then you’ll need to know what to look for in terms of diopter strength, how these glasses work, and how they can help. I’ve done most of the research for you and created a guide for both men and women that will discuss the important features to pay attention to, how to find glasses that will offer the most comfortable fit, and information that can help you determine whether readers will be the best option for you or if you’re a better candidate for prescription-strength reading glasses.
Are over the counter reading glasses any good? Yes and no. This depends on your vision needs. If you’re experiencing age-related vision loss, then yes, over the counter readers are an affordable, effective option. If you have other vision needs in addition to age-related vision loss, then you’ll need to meet with your eye care specialist for an exam.
Readers can be the best thing that ever happened to you if you’ve found that it’s now taking significantly longer to read through your favorite book, complete basic data entry, read the paper, or any other reading task or activity that requires focus. If you’ve noticed you’re not getting enough done at the office, or you no longer enjoy some of your favorite hobbies, buying reading glasses can instantly improve your vision, if you’re experiencing age-related vision problems. However, if you also have an existing vision problem, then you may need prescription reading glasses.
What Happens to Our Vision as We Age?
Once the lenses in the eyes have become less flexible, many people will have trouble reading small print, such as the print in a newspaper, on a computer screen, or in a book. While you were once able to read a book for hours effortlessly, now you’re squinting and struggling to make it from page to page. You may also notice that your eyes feel sore, swollen, and your eyelids may even feel heavy, once you’re done reading for the night. Other people can experience dry eyes and headaches. In some cases, the best glasses for gaming and office work can help since these glasses can block out blue light, which can cause eye strain and many of the same symptoms that can also indicate you need reading glasses. But if you find that you’re having vision problems even when you’re not using the computer, staring at your phone, or watching TV, then this often means something else is going on. Most likely, you’re experiencing presbyopia.
Below you’ll find some common symptoms that can indicate you’re experiencing age-related vision problems:
- You hold a book too close to your face.
- You can’t read in dim lighting conditions
- Your eyes feel tender after reading for more than an hour
- You often get headaches after reading
If you decide to give readers a shot, then there are some features you need to pay attention to. This can include the size options, magnification strength, and the types of materials the frame and lenses are made out of.
What Are Reading Glasses
The most common form of vision correction for people of all ages are reading glasses. These glasses have lenses that are specially designed to improve a person’s vision and quality of life by allowing them to clearly see the world and prevent eye strain. Reading glasses are the most common type of glasses used, followed by distance glasses. Both types can reduce the amount of effort needed to focus. While both distance and reading glasses are designed to improve vision, they are designed to achieve different goals.
Reading glasses are designed for people with presbyopia, which is an age-related condition that reduces the flexibility of the lenses in the eyes over the years. In terms of shape, reading glasses are curved outward, which causes closer objects to look clearer. Non-prescription models are available in stores and online and have generic strengths, which can make finding the right pair a matter of trial and error. These models of ready-made reading glasses will come with the same corrective strength for each eye, so it cannot account for astigmatism some people have. Another issue you may encounter when shopping for over the counter reading glasses is that they don’t have the same level of quality as prescription models, yet it is possible to find higher-quality readers available online.
When you’re shopping for readers, make sure you look for the magnification number that’s listed in the product description. Diopter is a type of unit that the reading glass power is measured in. 1.00 diopter is the lowest strength available. Some models will increase in strength by factors of 0.25. 4.00 is the strongest diopter available over the counter.
If you’re planning on ordering a pair online because you can get a higher quality pair of readers for less, compared to if you purchased them at your local pharmacy, then you’ll need to first determine the strength you need. To do, head down to your local pharmacy and try on different strengths, taking note of which ones work the best for you.
When you order online, you’ll have more of a selection to choose from in terms of strengths, designs, and styles. You’ll also come across readers that are made by popular designers, which you won’t find at your local pharmacy.
Testing Your Sight
When you’re trying on different strengths of readers, make sure you actually try to read something and don’t just determine which strength worst best for you based on the frame styles you like. Grab a magazine and hold it approximately twelve inches away from your eyes. If the glasses make it much easier to read the print then you may have found a winner.
Some people may need readers that offer a couple of different strengths: one pair for middle distances for computer work and one for close reading. It’s important that you chose the lowest number diopter glasses that work for you. Never use a higher magnification than necessary.
Are Readers as Good As Prescription Glasses?
Readers will not work as well as prescription glasses. They cannot correct vision problems the way prescription glasses will, and instead will only work to magnify. They also cannot be adjusted if you need a different strength for each eye. Over the counter reading glasses are meant for people who are having trouble focusing due to age-related vision loss. They are not designed to replace prescription reading glasses, which can help to correct certain types of vision problems. Seeing an eye care specialist is the best way to determine whether over the counter readers will work for you, or if you need to use prescription strength reading glasses.
Should I See an Optometrist?
If you’ve noticed a dip in your vision and your close vision is blurry, then it may be time to make an appointment with your eye doctor to have a routine exam. Your doctor will be able to recommend prescription-strength glasses or readers. If you want to try out readers, he or she can also recommend what type of magnification strength will work the best for you. Even if it’s determined that you only need readers, it’s still a good idea to have your eyes examined by a professional, in order to rule out other eye conditions.
If the exam results determine that you need to use glasses for distant vision as well, then you may need to wear progressive lenses, trifocals, or bifocals. Bifocals will help you to see both far away and close. Progressive lenses and trifocals can adjust for distance, middle, and close viewing.
Make an appointment with an eye care specialist immediately if:
- You have pain in the eyes
- You feel pressure behind one or both of your eyes
- You see halos or flashes of light
- Everything suddenly looks blurry
- You’re experiencing double vision
Ideally, you should have an eye exam every one to three years if you’re between the ages of fifty-four and sixty-five, and every one to two years beginning at the age of sixty-five. In some cases, you may need to see an eye doctor annually, if you’re diagnosed with an eye condition such as glaucoma or cataracts.
Types of Reading Glasses
If you didn’t need to wear glasses all the time prior to your presbyopia diagnosis, then you can use nonprescription glasses. These readers can work if you choose carefully and find a diopter range that works for your eyes. These glasses will work best for close work and reading. You’ll need to try different levels of magnification and opt for the lowest one that will allow you to perform close work or read, comfortably.
Prescription glasses for presbyopia is a must if you’re not able to find an appropriate magnification range for the nonprescription readers available. You’ll also need to use prescription glasses if you already use lenses to correct an existing eye problem. There are several different types of reading glasses to choose from, such as:
Bifocals-These glasses provide two different types of focus, with some pairs featuring a noticeable line between them. The upper portion of the glasses is designed for distance, while the lower portion works for close work or reading.
Progressive lenses-These glasses are designed similarly to bifocals. However, they don’t have a visible line and offer a transition between the close and distant portions of the prescriptions more gradually.
Trifocals-Like the name sounds, these glasses feature three points of focus. The portions are designed for distance, mid-range, and close work. Some are made without visible lines or with.
As you age, your eyes will continue to lose their ability to focus on close objects, gradually. Because of this, if you wear over the counter reading glasses, you may need to switch to a higher magnification every two to three years. If you wear prescription eyeglasses then you’ll need to have your prescription reviewed and changed based on your routine eye exam results.
If presbyopia is left uncorrected or undiagnosed, your vision will gradually deteriorate, and over the years it can have a major impact on your quality of life and your lifestyle in general. If corrections aren’t made you can experience a significant visual disability. You can develop vision problems that can impact your productivity at work and it can even prevent you from participating in everyday activities. You will also be at an increased risk of eye pain and headaches if certain tasks such as reading become difficult.
Because every person will develop this condition as they grow older, it’s possible to have presbyopia as well as another type of vision problem, such as myopia or hyperopia.
You can also have different types of eye problems in each eye. In most cases, the vision lost by this condition can easily be corrected by wearing eyeglasses. This type of gradual loss of vision will continue until a person reaches around sixty-five years of age, which is approximately around the time that most of the elasticity will be gone. Even at that point, a person can still wear reading glasses to improve their vision.
Is it Possible to Prevent Presbyopia?
Unfortunately, there’s no proven treatment or technique that can help to prevent this condition. This gradual loss in the ability to focus will happen to everyone. However, there are some things you can do to protect your vision. This includes:
- Regular eye exams
- Control of chronic health conditions that can contribute to vision loss, such as hypertension and diabetes.
- Wearing sunglasses consistently
- When participating in any type of activity that can result in an eye injury you should always wear protective eyeglasses
- Ensure that the glasses you wear are the correct strength
- Use adequate lighting when you read
Speak with your eye care specialist regarding any changes to your eye health or vision. There are many types of eye diseases that can benefit from early treatment.
The Pros and Cons of Reading Glasses
Once you’ve made an appointment with your eye care specialist, they can explain exactly what is going on with your vision, whether you’re experiencing simple, age-related vision loss or you have an underlying condition that’s responsible for your changes in vision. Often nausea and headaches can be a result of wearing the wrong type of prescription readers. The basic design of the readers can also pose a problem, especially if the optical centers in the readers are placed too far away from the pupil. This can also cause eye strain, pain, discomfort, and headaches. Because of this, it’s important to speak with your eye doctor for recommendations concerning which types of readers will work the best for you and your unique vision needs, and what type of magnification level will provide the results you’re looking for.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages that come with wearing over the counter readers?
In terms of drawbacks, as I mentioned above, wearing the wrong magnification level can lead to a whole new level of problems including:
- Eye fatigue
- Eye strain
- Red eyes
- Difficulty focusing
This is why it’s so important that you try on different magnification levels and go with the lowest magnification that works for you. If you’re uncertain whether a pair of readers is right for you, meet with your eye doctor for an eye exam and recommendations.
- Unlike prescription reading glasses, readers are very affordable. This means you can purchase multiple pairs and keep one at work, in the car, by your favorite armchair, and in your nightstand.
- You’ll have more choices of styles and frame designs compared to prescription reading glasses that are covered by insurance.
- You can also easily replace readers if the lenses become scratched.
- Readers can instantly improve your vision and allow you to enjoy your favorite book, complete work, or participate in one of your regular hobbies.
But remember, it’s crucial that you first determine what type of magnification level is right for you before you buy.
Can Wearing Readers Damage Vision?
No. But wearing the wrong type can cause unwanted symptoms, which I mentioned above. However, they cannot cause any long-term side effects. They’re an affordable option and one that many people can benefit from, especially if you’re someone who’s known to lose or break their glasses often.
The best reading glasses for men and women will improve your focus instantly, allowing you to get back to work, complete tasks faster, enjoy reading your favorite book or performing your favorite hobby, and can basically improve your quality of life. These glasses are affordable, available in a variety of sizes, magnification levels, styles, and brands. If you don’t have any existing vision issues, then you can benefit from ordering one of the leading models in my list for readers for men or women.
This buyer’s guide is designed to help you learn how to choose the right pair of readers that can allow you to enjoy the hobbies and books you once loved. Considering their lower price, you can also purchase multiple pairs to keep around the home, in your car, and at the office, so you’ll always have the right pair of reading glasses close at hand.