Are over-the-counter OTC reading glasses reliable?

  • Olivia
  • 04/28/2023

Everyone in the United States should be aware that glasses for nearsightedness and farsightedness require a prescription, but reading glasses do not, and you can buy them on the shelves! That's right, the reading glasses on the shelves are reading glasses. Are such reading glasses reliable? Or are prescription reading glasses better?


Why do reading glasses not require a prescription?
As we age, the lens in the eye gradually hardens and it is difficult to adjust the focus, resulting in symptoms such as blurring and eye fatigue when seeing nearby objects, while seeing distant objects relatively clearly. Reading glasses are a convex lens used to correct presbyopia, and the curvature of the lens is relatively low. Compensates for loss of vision by zooming in on close objects to make them appear larger and clearer. Because reading glasses only magnify objects and do not correct specific vision problems. It's a magnifying glass in the shape of glasses, so you can buy it without a prescription.

Are OTC Reading Glasses Reliable?
OTC reading glasses are available at supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, and Costco/Sams without a prescription. Each pair of reading glasses has a fixed power, ranging from +1.00 to +3.00, called power or strength. The degree is incremented by 0.25, that is to say, if you feel that the reading glasses with +1.00 are still not clear, you can try +1.25 instead of jumping to +2.00 all at once. Over-the-counter reading glasses don't require a trip to the eye doctor, are much less expensive than prescription reading glasses from an eye doctor, and if you choose the right prescription, they work just as well and don't hurt your eyes.

Are Prescription Reading Glasses Better?
If you're asking if prescription reading glasses are better than OTC reading glasses, the answer is yes. The eyesight of a person’s two eyes is not always the same. Some people have myopia and presbyopia, and some people have astigmatism. This requires an optometrist to ensure that the prescription of the lens is precisely suitable for individual needs. In terms of the choice of frames and lenses, prescription reading glasses are also available in more styles, sizes and materials than OTC, which can provide a more comfortable wearing experience and prevent fatigue when worn for a long time. Purchasing prescription reading glasses requires an eye examination by a professional ophthalmologist. The steps are the same as for myopia glasses.

How to choose OTC reading glasses?
OTC reading glasses are like one-size-fits-all clothing in that they are designed to fit as many people as possible, but there are subtle differences between brands, and like clothing, one-size-fits-all can be comfortable or uncomfortable. One of the great things about OTC reading glasses is that you can go to the store and try them on without professional guidance.

Although the most accurate way to know the degree of presbyopia is to see an ophthalmologist, but if you don't want to go to the doctor, you can easily test it yourself in the store. You can hold a book or ad at your usual reading distance in front of you, and try on several pairs of reading glasses until you find the best fit. For people whose main task is to look at the computer, because the computer screen is usually farther away, you can place the reference book at a farther distance than usual reading to judge the reading glasses degree. If you feel like you're between two prescriptions, choose the lower prescription glasses.

Amazon, Zenni Optical, EyeBuyDirect, etc. all have reading glasses, such as the following reading glasses that sell well and have good reviews on Amazon:

Kerecsen $15.95





TruVision $20.99