How to Know When It’s Time to Buy Reading Glasses

One of the challenges of aging is how things that used to come easy become more difficult, seemingly overnight. That old knee injury you barely remember from your college years starts acting up when the weather changes. You pull a muscle if you don’t do adequate stretching before, well, anything.

And, two of your body’s hardest working organs start getting tired after years of work… your eyes. Here’s how to know if it’s time to give them a little relief with reading glasses.

Are you getting regular headaches?

Changes in your vision can be the root cause of many headaches! You may remember, if you’ve worn glasses or contacts over your lifetime, experiencing headaches as you’ve adjusted to a new prescription. This is often associated with eye fatigue.

Do you see things close-up more clearly when you squint?

When you’re struggling to focus on something, squinting is a natural response. It helps improve your vision’s clarity and focus, temporarily. But it’s also something you want to do a lot of because it can make your vision worse.

If you need to squint to help your eyes focus on a book, phone, computer screen, tablet, or fine detail work, it may be time to consider reading glasses.

Are you keeping reading materials at an arm’s length?

As you age and your eyes lose their flexibility, it’s common for people to push things farther from their eyes so they can focus more easily. Ideally, your reading material should be about 12 inches from your eyes. Once you start holding things farther than 14 inches away, you should consider reading glasses.

Is your vision fuzzy or blurry?

As you age, your eyes gradually begin to lose their ability to focus light as well as they once did. And your eyes won’t necessarily be in sync as they change! When they change at different rates you can experience double vision. If you notice these symptoms, you may find it helpful to go to your eye doctor for a custom prescription for reading glasses.

Are you buying brighter light bulbs?

If you are buying brighter bulbs than you’ve always preferred, it may be time for reading glasses. One of the natural parts of the aging process is the slow deterioration of your night vision.

Are restaurant menus difficult to read on date nights?

Restaurant menus are almost always written in small type. And when you’re settling in for a romantic candlelit dinner, it can become more difficult to see the wide variety of choices on your menu. Unfortunately, as your eyes age, it can become even more challenging to read the text in dim environments.

If you’re a foodie and have always loved perusing your menu options, but have started choosing your “usual,” you may want to check your vision. You may have adapted to the changes in your eyes without noticing.

Are you seeing glare or halos around lights?

Holiday decorations can be pretty and fireworks are beautiful. But seeing glare and halos around lights can be a safety hazard, especially when driving at night. If you’ve noticed vision changes like halos or glares when you encounter street lights, headlights, or other bright objects, it may be a result of vision changes.

Have you hit the big 4-0?

As a rule of thumb, it’s safe to assume the lenses in your eyes will start to lose some of their flexibility as you enter your 40s. It’s a natural and unavoidable part of the aging process called presbyopia.

These changes become noticeable, in most people, between the ages of 40 and 65. Because the vision changes usually happen with a subtle progression over time, the first noticeable symptoms you are likely to experience are those related to eye strain.

How can you tell if you are experiencing eye strain?

Eye strain can be easy to dismiss and overlook, in part because there isn’t only one way it shows up. Every person’s experience is unique. So to make it easier, check out our list of eye strain symptoms:

• Dry eyes
• Scratchy eyes
Irritated eyes
Soreness
Watery eyes
Blurred vision
Difficulty changing focus
Problems with contact lenses
Neck pain
Back pain
Shoulder pain
Headaches
Bloodshot eyes
Dark circles under the eyes

If your eyes are strained and tired, you may notice yourself rubbing your eyes more frequently… But obviously, many of these symptoms could be attributed to other health issues, including allergies. It’s always best to check in with your doctor.

The Eyes Have It

It happens naturally, but the aging process can still be hard. Over time, you’ll need to adapt to the changing limits of your vision. Thankfully, while there isn’t a cure for presbyopia, reading glasses have come a long way. You can make yours a fun fashion statement to create your own style!

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