Most of us will need help to be able to read the fine print after the age of 40.  If you can relate, then what options are available to you?


Firstly, I would recommend a visit to your local Optometrist.  They will be able to tell you what your optical prescription is and check the health of your eyes.  Once your prescription has been created your Optometrist should be able to give you some options of what types of options are available for you.  I will now go into some of those lens options for you in more detail.


For example, I see many patients that miss the first step and visit a chemist and buy magnifying glasses.  Now while this can appear to fix the problem for many people.  These magnifying-wearing people may be fixing the problem at the time but this fix may lead to more problems later.  Such as problems with binocular vision (how your eyes work together) or problems with dominance (only using one eye) as their prescription isn’t the same in both eyes.  It is certainly worth mentioning that most people do not have the exact requirements for vision correction in both eyes.  Thereby those that wear magnifiers that have the same magnification in front of each eye (you may only have one eye working).


Secondly, you need to determine what type of lenses would suit you the best.


The simplest and most used lens option to help people read is single vision near lenses.  Single vision lenses are great for one task and can be set for whichever distance you choose.  It should be noted that single vision lenses are only good for one thing.  Such as reading or computer, not both.  So, if you want this type of lens, it is best to measure the distance you require to be clear so that your Optometrist can take that into consideration when organizing your prescription.


A bifocal lens can be considered a little old-fashioned these days.  When people like to have their lenses look like ‘normal’ lenses without lines.  A bifocal lens can have two prescriptions normally they are the distance (up the top in front of your eyes) and reading the segment that is generally D-shaped on its side.  You could choose to have your computer prescription in the reading segment or even at the top of the lens.


For those that are working on the computer or wish to have a bit more flexibility and range for their reading glasses.  Then you should consider an occupational progressive lens.  They are designed with computer distance to be clear at the top of the lens and the prescription changes to reading at the bottom of the lens.


All progressive lenses have corridors of clear vision, with a progressive occupational lens the corridor is wider than a standard progressive lens.  As the occupational lens only has 2 different prescriptions in the lens.  While a full progressive lens has three with distance in front of your eyes in normal position and the prescription changing as your eyes move down the lens through your intermediate prescription to reading at the bottom of the lens.


The corridors of clear vision are shaped much like a tree with the distance portion of the lens having the branches (the widest part of the corridor) then the intermediate (computer distance) is the trunk and the reading is like the roots (wider than the trunk but not as wide as the distance part of the lens).  Off to the side (outside the corridor of clear vision), the vision is blurry, and depending on the lens design it could be distorted.


As you have read there are many different lens options available to help you with reading.  You just need to determine what is the best option for you and your situation.  Please be aware that all progressive lenses come with a 3-month adaption warranty.  So, if you are unable to get used to the lenses the manufacturer pays for them to be changed.


Hopefully, this article has informed you of your options, and along with your Optometrist’s advice you can make an informed decision about what would be in your best interest.