Along with the aging process comes natural changes in vision. One of the most common eye changes in older adults is what is known as near vision loss. This gradual decline in the ability to see up close can impact your daily activities. Some people begin to notice a difference in middle age in how they read their smartphone or laptop. Fortunately, a pair of reading glasses can make it more comfortable to read and work.
Readers can help enhance quality of life. They can also help to protect your eyes from future vision problems. Whether you are near the age of 40 or you are having difficulty reading up close, it is time to learn the common signs you might need glasses. You will also learn how you can take the next step to better vision with a reading glasses test you can do at home.
Common Signs You Might Need Reading Glasses
There are some typical signs that people need reading glasses due to aging. This is also known as presbyopia. A few of these symptoms are quite common in people who frequently use their smartphones or need a computer for work.
1. You Have Difficulty Reading Up Close
The aging process causes distinct changes in the lens of the eye. As the eye lens gets older, it begins to harden. Its rigid structure makes it more difficult to focus light into the retina of your eye. At the same time, many of your eye muscles are becoming weaker. Symptoms like these can cause you to squint your eyes when you are reading things up close. You may also hold your smartphone or your book away from your face to help your eyes focus.
It is common to notice a new straining of your eyesight while you try to scroll on your phone. You may also try to focus as you are reading a book or working on your computer. Other activities that may become more challenging include reading ingredients on the outside of a box or browsing magazines on your tablet.
2. You Have Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Constant straining of the eyes can lead to a group of eye and vision problems known as digital eye strain. Your eye doctor may refer to it as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Digital eye strain is connected to the extensive use of digital devices and computer screens. If you spend a lot of time on your smartphone or a computer, you may develop the symptoms of CVS.
It is also possible to develop digital eye strain from uncorrected vision problems and excessive screen glare. People also tend to blink less while they are trying to read some small print. If you need readers, your eyes may become dry as you strain without blinking. CVS and digital eye strain can cause blurred vision and eye discomfort. You may also notice eye fatigue or itching of the eyes. Headaches and shoulder pain occur with digital eye strain, especially if you have poor posture or are scrolling on your phone in an awkward position.
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3. You Need More Light to Read Than Before
If you have presbyopia, you may need more lighting to read your computer screen comfortably. This happens because the muscles that control the eye pupil are weaker than they were before. The pupil is the part of your eye that is responsible for letting in enough light. As the pupil ages, the text and images on your digital screens may appear darker than before.
When you find yourself squinting at text, consider increasing your screen brightness. Additional lighting like lamps and overhead lighting will also help to enhance your workspace. Reading glasses can also help to make words and images appear sharper. Combining your readers with ample light will help to create a more comfortable reading or working experience.
How to Take a Reading Glasses Test
If you have any of the above signs that indicate you might need reading glasses, now is a good time to take a reading eyeglasses test. Thankfully, you do not have to leave the comfort of your home to find out if readers can make a difference for you. A printable vision test is similar to the chart you read in your eye doctor’s office. All you need to do is print the chart you can use to make sure you purchase the right reading glasses strength for your needs.
This vision test is not difficult to complete and does not have any fine print. All you need to do is hold the page 12-14 inches away from your face and then start reading the chart from top to bottom. Keep going until you can read a full line clearly and comfortably. Find the associated strength that matches that line, which will tell you your reading glasses strength.
About Reading Glasses Strength
Reading glasses strength is measured in diopters. You can purchase glasses in strength from 1-3 diopters. The lens strength increases by 0.25 diopters at a time. The higher the number, the stronger the readers.
Everyone’s eyes are unique, which means you may have a completely different reader strength than someone else your age. You may need to increase strength if the symptoms of presbyopia worsen. There are plenty of styles and colors of reading glasses available in various strengths. You can also buy reading glasses with a protective blue light coating, which helps to further protect the eyes from the effects of digital eye strain and too much screen time.
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Discover the Perfect Pair of Readers
Now that you know some of the signs that indicate you need reading glasses and how to find your reading glasses strength, you have a better idea if readers are right for you. If you think they may be able to help, take the vision test as soon as possible. Once you have the reading glasses strength that is right for you, you can begin shopping for the perfect pairs for work and play.
Today’s best readers are durable, lightweight and affordable. They also come in a variety of frame shapes and colors. From tortoiseshell to vibrant hues, there is something for everyone’s style. After all, everyone deserves to feel comfortable and avoid the effects of digital eye strain while they enjoy their favorite activities. It is also a good idea to protect your eyes as they age.
Quality readers will prevent eyes from straining and becoming dry as you read books and screens. Wearing readers now can also help to prevent your presbyopia from worsening. You are now just a few steps away from feeling more comfortable and energized as you use your smartphone or computer. You will also be protecting your vision as you read and work.