A: Aging can take a toll on your eyes, a reality obvious to anyone who has held a restaurant menu at arm’s length or up to their nose to clearly read the list of entrées.
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If this describes you, let’s start with the basics: It’s important to have your eyes examined to determine if you need a prescription for glasses or if there’s some other issue related to your vision. Don’t put this off.
Now, let’s talk about where you might be able to find corrective reading lenses if they’re needed.
For the vast majority of people, over-the-counter (OTC) readers should not be a problem as long as they match the power of the prescription. For instance, if your doctor recommends +2.00 in each eye, then purchasing OTC readers of the same power should generally suffice.
Know this, though: The quality of the lenses and materials of mass-produced readers are usually inferior to those of privately manufactured specs. Many people are willing to accept this compromise because of the low cost of the product.
There are instances where OTC readers are not ideal, though. In rare cases when the distance between pupils is very small or very wide, the lenses in OTC readers can cause eye strain or double vision.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms with OTC readers, it’s best to replace them with a proper pair of prescription glasses.
But if you can go the over-the-counter route, here are some tips.
If your vision continues giving you problems after adding glasses, schedule an appointment to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist. You may need a different prescription, bifocals or some other remedy.