Do I Need Reading Glasses?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, February 18, 2021

Nearly 62% of the population wear reading glasses, due to an eye condition called presbyopia.

Presbyopia is not a serious sight-threatening disease, rather simply part of the natural aging process, which starts usually after the age of 40. Reading glasses are not only for people in their 60’s.

Eyes naturally start to change as people get older. Presbyopia, literally means ‘old eye’. This is not a serious eye condition but occurs when the lens inside the eye becomes more rigid making it difficult to focus on close objects.

Simple tasks like reading a book, becomes difficult for people with presbyopia. They may even find themselves holding their phone at an arm’s length just to focus on a text message. If this sounds familiar to you, chances are you are living with presbyopia.

Optical lenses for presbyopia include single vision lenses as well as bifocal and multifocals.

The Find an Eye Doctor directory provides a list of eye doctors near you that can diagnose if you have presbyopia and prescribe you reading glasses that best suit your eyes.

SEE RELATED: What is Presbyopia?

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Signs you may have presbyopia

Knowing if you need reading glasses are not may not be as clear cut as one would think. Blurry reading, tired eyes, halos, rubbing or squinting, or even getting headaches are all signs of having presbyopia, leading to the need for reading glasses.

Blurry close vision

If you have noticed reading a book or magazine is not as clear as it used to be, or even struggle to read messages on your phone ,you may have the early signs of presbyopia.

Often the first signs of presbyopia are noticed when trying to read the menu in a dimly-lit restaurant or needing to increase the size of your text messages or font size on your computer. With reading glasses, it will make it easy to read menus making it more enjoyable going out as well as catching up on your emails.

Tired eyes

Eyes may start to feel tired, while reading a book, reading on a tablet, or working at a computer. With presbyopia, the eyes work extra hard while focusing on close-up objects. This is why eyes feel strained or sleepy during long periods of reading. Wearing reading glasses can help a person see more clearly allowing their eyes to focus and not work so hard.

Frequent headaches

With presbyopia, after long periods of reading or doing computer work can cause headaches due to eye strain. Reading glasses can help reduce eye strain that cause frequent headaches.

Seeing halos around lights

As eyes age, the ability to focus light into the retina can become scattered causing blurred focus or fuzzy vision. This fuzzy vision causes a halo effect, especially when looking at headlights or lightbulbs.

Reading glasses can help correct this issue, however, it could be a sign of a more serious eye condition, such as cataracts therefore it is important to speak to an eye doctor near you.

Difficulty seeing after dark

Over time, night vision will slowly deteriorate, which is another symptom of presbyopia. This will make it difficult to see things closely after dark, even with all the lights on.

If the dashboard on your car is difficult to see, especially at night, you may be noticing the first signs of presbyopia.

Frequently rubbing your eyes

This is another symptom that can be caused by eye strain. In the initial stages of presbyopia, eyes may feel irritated from working to overcome focusing challenges. Reading glasses can relieve eye strain and decrease eye rubbing.


Presbyopia can progress slowly, causing people to hold off on getting eyeglasses. However, if you notice that you are often squinting when trying to focus, then it is time to see an eye doctor.

It is recommended to see an eye doctor if you notice that your reading or mobile phone is not as clear as it used to be or you become tired when using a computer.

LEARN MORE:  Optical and Contact Lenses

The eye doctor directory will help you find an eye doctor near you that can prescribe the right reading glasses so that your eyes can relax and focus allowing you to get back to enjoying all those fun daily activities.