Reading Glasses vs Prescription Glasses

Eyeglasses are very important for people who need to keep their optimal vision. In general, a human’s vision begins to deteriorate over the age of 35 – 40. But the deterioration may begin sooner due to some reasons. Nevertheless, when choosing a pair of eyeglasses, people often wonder about the differences between OTC Reading Glasses vs Prescription Glasses.

There are several things that you need to consider when opting for either OTC reading glasses or prescription glasses. Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The differences of OTC reading glasses vs prescription glasses,
– The purposes and benefits of each kind of eyeglasses, and
– Which eyeglasses that are more recommended for the best results.

It is important to point out that reading glasses are designed primarily for people with presbyopia, an eye condition that is caused by aging and is common among people over 35 years old. Reading glasses are not designed to treat other eye conditions such as myopia, astigmatism, and glaucoma. See also: Cap vs Hat.

An individual with presbyopia no longer has elastic eye lenses, so they experience blurry vision and the inability to focus their sight to close-range objects, as noted by Wikipedia.Reading glasses help to re-align the light rays entering the eyes so that the user can clearly see close-range objects.

On the other hand, prescription glasses are custom-made to match your needs. Before giving you a pair of prescription glasses, the optometrist also checks the overall health of your eyes. They can find out if you have other eye conditions. Because the lenses are custom-made for you, prescription glasses can treat not only presbyopia but also other conditions, including myopia, astigmatism, and glaucoma.

Prescription Strength
A pair of over-the-counter reading glasses typically has the same prescription strength on both the left and right lenses. These reading glasses are not custom-made for specific people, so the manufacturers just produce the glasses with the same prescription for each pair’s left and right lenses.

Many people make the mistake of buying reading glasses that are too strong, thinking that it will help them to see more clearly, but this will only strain their eyes and cause headaches. Well, if you only wear the reading glasses for reading a few minutes, you won’t get many side effects. But continuously wearing reading glasses that don’t match your eyes’ needs will cause eyestrain, eye fatigue, and headaches.

Most people in the world actually have one eye that is stronger than the other. So, you probably require different prescriptions for your left and right eyes. Prescription glasses can be customized to have specific prescriptions for the left and right eyes so that you can have optimal vision without eyestrain or headaches.

Lens Quality
Finally, over-the-counter reading glasses are often made from lower quality materials. They are usually made from plastic or glass, and they often have imperfections such as micro bubbles and fine scratches. At first, you won’t really notice these imperfections. But your vision will feel more blurry and your eyes will get fatigued more quickly.

On the other hand, prescription glasses can be made from higher quality materials. They are generally defect-free, or at least close to it.

Reading Glasses vs Prescription Glasses

Reading GlassesPrescription Glasses
- Designed mainly for presbyopia- Custom-made to treat various conditions including presbyopia, myopia, astigmatism, and glaucoma
- Similar prescription strength for the left and right lenses- Different prescriptions for the left & right lenses as needed
- Lower lens quality, often have imperfections- Higher lens quality, defect-free or close to it
- May cause eyestrain and headaches if used continuously- Less likely to cause eyestrain and headaches

Reading glasses are nice if you only wear them a few minutes for reading. However, if you want to keep optimal vision throughout the day, prescription glasses are much more recommended. Prescription glasses are custom-made for you, with prescriptions that specifically match your left and right eyes. Hence, prescription glasses can treat a wide range of eye conditions without causing eyestrain or headaches.

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