For people who have never had to wear glasses before, it can be difficult to come to terms with needing reading glasses.  When you do finally decide it’s time to purchase a pair(we strongly recommend Glasses Direct), you might be tempted to avoid the eye doctor and pick up an inexpensive set of readers at your local drug store.  Such glasses, known as stock glasses, may be gentle on your budget, but are likely not the best solution for your eyes for the following reasons:

  1.      One size does not fit all.  To achieve ideal vision correction, you should be looking directly through the center of the lens of your glasses.  This is why if you are fitted for custom reading glasses in an optometrist’s office, one of the things they will measure is the distance between your two pupils.  Stock reading eye glasses are made in a general size in an attempt to fit anyone who tries them on, and therefore they may be too wide or too narrow for your face.  Additionally, it is very common for people to have different levels of magnification needs in each eye.  While custom reading glasses can be created to take that into account, stock glasses will contain two lenses with the same magnification.

2)      You get what you pay for.  Stock reading glasses are inexpensive, but this usually is tied to them being of lower quality.  Typically, they are made of cheap plastic, which means the frames can break easily, and the lenses may be blurry or bubbled in a way that actually impairs your vision rather than helping it.

3)      Reading is not just for books anymore.  Nowadays, it is likely you do most of your reading on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, rather than in a paperback novel.  All of these devices produce screen glare, and are meant to be held at a different distance from your face than a regular book.  While stock glasses do not take these factors into account, your optometrist can design you lenses that fit your unique needs.

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