Do you need reading glasses for Presbyopia?

If you don’t already wear glasses by the time you’re 40, there’s still a good chance you could find yourself needing to perch a pair on your nose.

Many people find that they start to require the help of reading glasses as they get older. One of the reasons for this is a condition called presbyopia, a type of long-sighted vision that’s part of the ageing process and affects many. In fact, as we live longer, it is becoming more and more common, just like other age-related medical issues. The good news is that a pair of reading glasses is easier to buy than prescription glasses. They’re cheaper and don’t need to be customised as much as full prescription glasses.

What Is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that causes blurred vision up close. It usually starts with slightly blurred vision and gets worse over time. Presbyopia occurs as the lens in the eye gets thicker and less flexible as you age. This is different to other types of vision problems, such as short-sightedness, which are related to the shape of the eye. When the lens becomes less flexible, it can’t focus clearly on close-up objects or might take longer to focus. This means that light received by the cornea, which should be deflected onto the retina, ends up behind the retina instead. This creates blurred images and eye strain as the lens tries to focus.

The Symptoms of Presbyopia

People with presbyopia might notice that small print or small details are difficult to see up close. You might find yourself holding a book at arm’s length to see it better, or you might find it difficult to see other types of writing, from menus to newspapers or your tablet or e-reader. You could also experience eye strain from trying to see things up close. Anything that requires you to see in detail can become more difficult as you struggle to see clearly.

Treating Presbyopia

If you already have a glasses prescription for distance vision, you might consider having your prescription glasses changed. Some people wear bifocals, which are divided into two sections for near and distance vision. Others have progressive addition lenses, which are similar to bifocals but change progressively, instead of having two distinct sections.

Reading glasses are a suitable choice for many people, whether you already have a glasses prescription for distance or not. Reading glasses are more simple than prescription glasses and don’t need to have several different measurements. You will find reading glasses in different strengths, which are expressed as a positive number. You can generally buy them in increasing strengths of +0.25 with +5.00 often the strongest that you can buy. This makes it simple to pick up a pair of reading glasses from a pharmacy or other shop, without the extra cost of prescription lenses.

Reading glasses can also be worn if you already wear contact lenses, which is beneficial for people who already have a glasses prescription. You might find it more convenient to have a pair of reading glasses, rather than bifocals or varifocals.

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of presbyopia, getting your eyes checked is a good idea. Your vision problems could be caused by presbyopia, particularly if you are over the age of 40, but it’s important to rule out any other issues too. Pay attention to whether things look blurry up close, or if you find yourself having to hold things further away to read or see them.

Regular eye tests should be part of your health routine. They’re generally recommended every two years, although some people might benefit from more regular checkups. However, if you notice any changes in your vision or you’re experiencing headaches or fatigue that you think might be caused by eye strain, don’t wait until your next routine eye test to get checked out. The sooner you get your eyes tested, the faster you can treat the problem.

If the problem turns out to be presbyopia and normal aged-related vision changes, a pair of presbyopic glasses will solve it. Safe and Sound Health has a range of stylish, bold and practical ready-readers available in a selection of different diopter strengths. You can find their range by clicking here.


Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Click below to submit your query online.


* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.


Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!