It’s a fact of life as we age our eyesight deteriorates. This natural consequence of ageing is called presbyopia.
Once you reach the age of 40, even if you’ve never worn glasses before, you may start to find it increasingly difficult to focus on things close up. Books, menus, phone screens all become a bit of a blur. And, whilst for a while holding things further away can help eventually your arms are just not long enough!
This is when you’ll need reading glasses to help bring everything back into focus. Your optician can proscribe you reading glasses but in our busy, hectic lives sometimes we need a backup. This is where ready readers come in as a handy spare pair of glasses.
What is a Ready Reader?
Ready-made reading glasses or ready readers are magnified non-prescription reading glasses. They have 2 single vision lenses each, often made of plastic, and come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. They are designed to be used for near vision tasks only such as reading. They should not be used for watching TV, computer work or driving.
What are the benefits of ready readers?
- They are made specifically to correct presbyopia so are suitable if you need glasses for reading only.
- They can be useful as spare glasses when you are out and about, shopping, reading menus, maps and phone screens.
- As they are relatively cheap to buy you can have several pairs and it doesn’t matter too much if you lose them.
- They come in a colourful range of styles so you can mix and match them with your desired look.
What are the disadvantages of ready readers?
- Ready readers are a “one size fits all”, so the frame may not fit you and you may not be looking through the centre of the lenses, which can cause headaches or eye strain.
- The lenses in both eyes are the same, so they are not suitable if the sight in one of your eyes is different from the other.
- They do not correct astigmatism, where the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football. This can distort both your distance and near vision. Your vision will still be distorted, even though it may be clearer if you wear read readers.
- They are meant to be only a temporary or occasional substitute for prescription reading glasses
- They are not suitable for people who suffer from computer eye strain or double vision
Remember the importance of regular eye examinations
If you do decide that a pair of ready readers are the right solution for you, don’t forget to visit your optician for an eye test first to ensure there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed and to check what strength you need. And ask your optician about prescription reading glasses. These are custom made to allow you to read at a range of distances and with coatings that can reduce glare and boost visual comfort.
Finally, don’t forget to schedule regular eye exams even after you’ve purchased your reading spectacles to check for problems such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related degeneration.