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What's the difference between drugstore readers and prescription reading glasses?

Most adults have difficulty reading text up close, which requires relying on glasses to see clearly. Whether you spend time reading at night or use your phone throughout the day, your vision may be compromised and require glasses. There are a few differences between drugstore readers and prescription reading glasses to understand to ensure you can talk to your optometrist about which option is the best for your eyesight long-term.

The Strength of the Prescription

It can be difficult to purchase drugstore readers because you may not know the strength that you need to see clearly. Some people spend a significant amount of time in the store trying on different readers and can purchase the wrong lens. Drugstore readers are also not as effective for most people because the prescription is the same in both lenses, but most people need a different prescription for each eye. Drugstore readers also do not correct for astigmatism. However, it may be a more affordable option if you need multiple pairs or tend to lose your glasses.

Prescription glasses are tailored to your vision to ensure you have the best vision for what you need to see. This can reduce eye strain and prevent headaches from developing while spending time reading and working on the computer. They can also prevent double vision, depending on pupillary distance. Generic reading glasses can induce prism (or double vision) since they are not measured specifically for each person and the distance between his or her eyes.

The Quality of the Frames and Lens

Although drugstore readers may be cheaper, they have low-quality lenses that can develop defects over time. After a few months, you may notice scratches and bubbles forming on the lenses, which can be distracting while wearing the glasses. Some of the readers even come with defects. Drugstore readers contain cheaper materials because they're mass-produced. This can also prevent them from feeling as comfortable on your face compared to prescription glasses.

Prescription reading glasses are of higher quality and don't scratch or break easily. This can allow them to last longer before they need to be replaced and can prevent them from becoming bent out of shape as they're frequently in use.

Although drugstore readers may be convenient to purchase immediately and in bulk, they don't always offer the long-term benefits of prescription reading glasses. You can feel more comfortable and at ease obtaining prescription glasses through your optometrist while also preventing eye strain.

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