All people will have it at one point in their lives. It has a lot to do with aging. Left untreated, it can cause more serious problems.

And we’re not talking about aesthetic signs of aging. We’re talking about vision problems!

That’s right, problems with the eyesight will happen to everyone at some point. Why? Because of the inevitable fact of life: Aging.

This is the primary reason about 188.7 million people in the United States wear some sort of vision correction tool. And why you’re now wondering whether it’s time for you to buy reading glasses.

The question is, is it okay for you get one without a prescription?

This is a very important question you need to have answered, as it can affect not just your wallet, but your eyes’ health too. We’ll address all your concerns in this post, so be sure to read on!

Why Do You Need Reading Glasses in the First Place?

Before we can talk about non-prescription and prescription glasses, we first need to discuss the reasons you need them in the first place.

As mentioned above, almost everyone will develop some sort of eye problem at one point in their life. Again, because of aging.

The World Health Organization pointed out that 253 million people have vision impairment. And that more than 80% of those who suffer from moderate to severe eye problems and blindness are 50 years or older.

Note though, that this doesn’t automatically mean your condition will end up this way. Some eyesight issues are minor and don’t need treatment. And for those that do, at-home remedies typically work for them.

However, it’s important you know that other cases may require an eye doctor’s help. In any case, here are a few reasons you’d need to don on those glasses:

  • You’re having a hard time reading this (especially when you’re on a smartphone or mobile device)
  • You’re in your 40s
  • Halos and headlights, anyone?
  • Headaches, together with tired eyes
  • You’ve noticed that you need to put reading materials closer to your face
  • You have a hard time doing activities like sewing or even just seeing what you’re eating in low light situations

If you experience any or many of these, then it’s best you consult with an eye specialist ASAP. This way, you can find out whether you really need those glasses or if there’s something else causing all those blurry lines and letters.

The Battle between Non-Prescription and Prescription Glasses

Now that you’ve reached the point of having to read everything up close, it’s time you know the differences between over-the-counter glasses and those prescribed by a licensed and experienced optometrist.

Let’s take a closer look.

Quality of Lens

You know the saying “You get what you pay for?” That applies to reading glasses too. Buying a non-prescription pair can mean paying for something with quality issues.

Prescription glasses, on the other hand, typically use defect-free materials such as polycarbonate. You won’t have problems with these, like tiny bubbles or minor flaws.

You may not notice these imperfections with OTC glasses, but your eyes will. Also, these seemingly small issues may even make it harder for you to see.

It doesn’t mean that you already have to spend thousands just for a pair of readers. You’d find eye care services offering an extensive collection of reasonably-priced, yet top-of-the-line glasses.

Prescription Strength

When you don’t go in for a consultation with an eye doctor, how would you know if you’re buying the right ones over the counter? And by “right,” we mean the exact prescription you need.

Unless you’re an eye specialist yourself, you won’t know whether to get plus ones or plus twos. Or something in between.

This can then lead to you spending so much time in a store figuring out the most suitable strength for your eyes. You can’t make the mistake of getting a too-powerful pair, as this can actually put more strain on your eyes. Not only does this increase your risk for headaches; it can also hurt your eyes.

Prescription in Each Lens

Did you know that most people have one eye weaker than the other? That’s right. And the problem with non-prescription glasses is that they come in lenses with the same strength.

So, when you purchase over-the-counter reading glasses, that means you’re forcing one of your eyes to settle for a weaker prescription.

Going to an eye doctor, on the other hand, means you can have a pair customized to fit the exact prescription of your eyes. Simply put, you get the right prescription for each of your eyes. No more, no less.

Prescription Readers Offer More Than Just Reading Aid

Another thing to keep in mind is that reading glasses you get over the counter can’t help with more serious vision problems. For instance, they can’t correct astigmatisms, far-sightedness, or near-sightedness.

You also won’t have the option to get bifocals. This is especially important if you have one near-sighted eye and another with far-sighted vision.

Remember, it’s your eyes we’re talking about here. The most commonly used sense you use for almost everything in your life. So, give it the respect and attention it deserves.

Again, you can invest in high-quality readers that won’t burn a hole in your pockets. You just need to do your research and know where to look.

Set Up an Appointment with an Optometrist Now

Now that you know the primary difference between OTC and prescription reading glasses, you should already realize why the latter is a better choice. But there’s more to getting them from an optometrist than just ensuring you get the right prescription for both eyes.

With an optometrist on your side, you can make certain you don’t have eye problems you need to worry more about. These doctors will check your eyes for any possible disease so that you can get treatment as needed.

And that’s where we come to your aid.

Our good office offers more than just high-quality prescription glasses. You can also count on us for eye exams and check-ups. So, before you pick up those OTC readers, give us a call first!