Are Non-Prescription Glasses Safe?

As we age we may find it more difficult to make out smaller print or fine details; many often joke about needing longer arms as they stretch to read a book. Changes in the eye due to presbyopia make it harder for eyes to focus, and it happens to all of us beginning around the age of 40. If you can’t see your crossword puzzle as clearly as you used to, a little magnification may be all you need. Inexpensive reading glasses may be tempting, but are non-prescription glasses safe? Will you damage your eyesight if you use a pair of glasses without the okay from your optometrist?

How do reading glasses work?

Reading glasses offer magnification in lens powers from +1.00 to +3.00. Non-prescription glasses are used for focusing on close-up work such as reading, computer or smartphone use, or even outdoor hobbies. Both lenses offer the same strength and do not provide correction for astigmatism or other vision conditions. These lenses only magnify, making it easier to focus on text or other details. While over-the-counter readers are available without a visit to the eye doctor, bifocals or progressive lenses may be a better option if you already wear prescription glasses.

Will reading glasses damage eyesight?

Non-prescription glasses will not damage your eyesight or change the structure of your eyes. Glasses lenses work by bending light to help your eyes focus. An incorrect lens strength may cause symptoms of eye strain such as dry or watery eyes, sore eyes, headaches, or sore neck and back. The good news is that  the symptoms go away after you remove the offending lens. When you’ve found the appropriate strength, the magnification offered may be enough to make reading or close-up work more comfortable.

How do I choose reading glasses strength?

Consider the activity for which you will wear the non-prescription glasses when choosing your lens strength. Different strengths may be necessary for reading than for using your computer or gardening. You may want a pair of readers in one power for your morning newspaper, and a pair for the golf course in another.

The racks of reading glasses at discount stores can help determine your correct power. Try on some drug store readers and look at a magazine; the glasses are too strong if you find yourself holding it unnaturally close. You can also use your age to get a ballpark number. If you are in your 40s, start with a +1.00 to +1.25, and then add half a unit for every decade older you get.

While cheap reading glasses will give you an idea of what lens strength you may need, the power may not be consistent from pair to pair. The glasses at the drugstore are inexpensive, which means you sacrifice quality. The designer reading glasses at FramesDirect.com are made to look better and last longer.

Can anyone use reading glasses?

While one of the diopters, or strengths, found in reading glasses will work for most people, many people have one eye that is stronger than the other or may require additional vision correction for conditions such as astigmatism. You may also find the optics in the ready-made readers are not centered for your pupil measurement. Even if reading glasses work for occasional use, visiting your eye doctor for a regular check-up is still recommended. If you find you’re wearing your reading glasses more and more throughout the day, an optometrist can provide an option that best suits your needs.

Can I wear glasses if I don’t need them?

Gone are the days of hiding your eyewear; glasses have made the jump from annoying requirement to chic fashion accessory. If you don’t need glasses but want to wear them anyway, reading glasses—even weak ones—may cause eyestrain and discomfort. If you want glasses solely for the style factor, request plano lenses, or lenses without correction. While you may not need glasses to see better, there are benefits to wearing ‘fake’ glasses. Non-prescription lenses can include an anti-reflective (AR) coating that reduces symptoms of eye strain and deflects harmful blue light, and an anti-UV coating can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

While regular trips to your eye doctor might seem like a hassle, they can solve problems as they arise. Non-prescription readers may be helpful as a backup pair or for occasional use. However, you should consult your optometrist if you experience eye strain or worsening vision. Whether you choose readers or prescription glasses, flaunt your fabulous frames (and give your arms a rest).

Can Wearing Glasses Improve Your Vision?

Yes, wearing glasses can improve your vision. Glasses clarify and enhance what you can see—but the better vision that comes from wearing glasses is thanks to a change in your perspective, and not the result of any actual changes to your eye or eyesight. Glasses can counteract and correct physical anomalies in the shape of your eye that impact your ability to process light properly, which in turn harms your vision. While glasses are a helpful tool to bridge that gap, they do not actually help your eyesight get better.

Why Do You Need Glasses?

Simply put, glasses help people see better, and they can be used to counteract eyesight problems with distance and/or clarity. You can improve many visual issues and conditions by wearing prescription glasses. For many eyeglass wearers, this leads a much higher quality of day-to-day life.

The physical nature of your eye is directly related to the type of vision problems you’ll face, and helps identify the proper type of glasses to improve your vision. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are the most common visual impairment issues people face. Nearsighted refers to someone who can see things close to them well, but who suffers from fuzzy vision at a distance. In this scenario, the physical length of the eye is too long, which causes the distortion. In contrast, far-sightedness results from an eyeball that is too short, making it difficult to read and see things close-up. Wearing prescription glasses significantly improves both of these conditions.

Furthermore, glasses can be useful during specific activities, like reading, writing, or driving.

Will Wearing Glasses Weaken Your Eyes?

Glasses can improve your vision—but, just like they can’t strengthen or improve your physical eye to fix your eyesight, they are also not going to weaken your eyes if you wear them. Prescription eyeglasses are optical aids that change the way your eye receives light rays to improve visual clarity. This results in a better overall visual experience. Wearing glass does not increase or decrease your actual eyesight and vision strength.

Can Wearing Glasses Improve Your Vision?

If you are having trouble seeing in different scenarios, your eyesight can get better if you wear glasses. Glasses are an excellent tool to help improve your vision, but you must use them consistently as an aid. They cannot “fix” any medical issues or make significant changes to the structure of your eye, so the result of wearing glasses is a temporary boost in your overall visual perception.

Essilor See Change

The latest updates from Essilor See Change, FramesDirect.com’s parent company’s initiative to bring good vision to everyone, everywhere.

  • An estimated 500 million people living in Africa need vision correction but do not have the glasses they need. To reach these new customers, Essilor continues to expand its inclusive business models in the region. To meet some of our Vision Ambassadors in Kenya, click here
  • Last month, Vision For Life™ organized a screening event in an emergency shelter for displaced people in the suburbs of Paris. With the help of 50 Essilor volunteers, close to 200 adults got their eyes tested. Those who could not see clearly, about 40%, received a comprehensive eye exam from an ophthalmologist and glasses, if needed.
  •  Last year broadcasters across the U.S. premiered “SIGHT – The Story of Vision”, a one-hour documentary directed by Kris Koenig and narrated by Sir Elton John. It traces the progress in eye care over the past 800 years, as well as the growing worldwide vision crisis and efforts undertaken by individuals and organizations to resolve it. Read an interview with the director here.
  • Good vision is a basic human right everyone should have access to.  Seeing well improves everything in life, from an individual’s health, education and work opportunities, to the sustainable development of local communities and economies. Learn more in our latest infographic here.
  • To help make India’s streets safer, 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5 NVG) partnered with the foundation of one of the world’s leading tyres manufacturers, Apollo. Thanks to this partnership 12,000 truckers received eye tests in one of 25 health centres run by Apollo’s foundation. 1500 drivers couldn’t see clearly and purchased a pair of affordable 2.5 NVG glasses. Learn more about NVG here.
  • Essilor Vision Foundation Australia has just launched its brand new website, Essilorvisionfoundation.org.au. In Australia EVF focuses on supporting the most disadvantaged members of local communities such as indigenous people and refugees. Since May 2016, the foundation has screened 2,283 children and equipped 181 with a free pair of glasses. Check out their new site here
high index lenses

#FDAnswers: I have a strong prescription. What lenses do I need?

Full disclosure, this post is personal. I have terrible vision. I started wearing glasses when I was about 8 years old. By the time I was 11, I was begging my Mom for contact lenses. This was in the 80’s when high school girls and secretaries in movies would take their glasses off and suddenly be transformed from invisible to gorgeous. Glasses were not pretty – that’s the message I received loud and clear. Thus began a lifelong struggle with glasses, I would only wear them at home, if at all, never in public, and half the time I fell asleep with my contact lenses on. Even as the decades passed and glasses became the fashion accessory du jour, I couldn’t enjoy them. Why? Because my vision is so bad my lenses looked like the proverbial coke bottles, and turned my eyes into blinking little beads.

So that brings us to today. My prescription is -8 in my right eye and -11 in my left. I can’t see ANYTHING without glasses or contacts, but I have found a way to wear my glasses without feeling completely self conscious – three words: High Index Lenses. If your prescription is crazy high like mine, you should get the thinnest possible lens, which is the High Index 1.74. Anything +/- 6 you definitively need them. Another trick I’ve learned is to ask for no edge polish. When your lenses are VERY thick, polished edges call even more attention to them.

Here’s one of our expert opticians, Amanda, talking about the benefits of High Index 1.74 lenses.

 

If your prescription is between +/- 2 and 6, you could get the High Index 1.67 lenses. The 1.74 are the thinnest, but they aren’t available with tinting or progressives, so you may need the 1.67 if you’re looking for those add-ons. The other varieties of lenses – plastic and polycarbonate – aren’t great if you have a prescription that’s +/- 3. High Index lenses are a bit more expensive but well worth avoiding the coke bottle look!

All our high index lenses come with scratch resistant and UV coatings for no additional cost. You can learn more about all the lens types we offer at FramesDirect.com here.

Also see How Do Glasses Work?

Newest Oakleys Now Available in Prescription

Oakley has recently added some new styles to their prescription offering. If you’ve been thinking of making the switch to Rx sunglasses, (or just waiting for the perfect pair to come along to get fitted with your prescription,) take a gander at these sporty styles and be the first in line for your own custom-made pair. Remember, FramesDirect.com is staffed by expert opticians so we’re poised and ready with advice on getting the perfect lenses for perfect vision.

Here are the cool Oakleys that are now available with prescription lenses…

Glaucoma Awareness

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January has been declared National Glaucoma Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness and other leading eye health organizations, in an effort to help educate the public on the disease. Glaucoma is a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the eye to the brain, and is the leading cause of preventable blindness.

Glasses for Your Eye Color

You may have heard people say “I’m a Winter,” or “I have cool undertones” and wondered what they meant. Knowing what colors suit you can be confusing. At FramesDirect.com, we have a do-what-feels-right philosophy when it comes to fashion. People with olive skin can’t wear yellow? People with red hair can’t wear red? Wear what makes you feel great!

Raise Awareness on World Sight Day

Did you know that every year on the second Thursday of October it’s World Sight Day? World Sight Day is organized by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and was created to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment. As part of the World Health Organization’s action plan to achieve universal eye health, World Sight Day sheds light on the, largely preventable, vision problems that affect 2.5 billion people around the world. The goal of these initiatives is fulfill a future wherein “nobody is needlessly visually impaired, where those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential, and where there is universal access to comprehensive eye care services.” from iapb.org

Foods for Eye Health

Most people have heard the old adage “carrots are good for your eyes.” Well, it’s true that carrots are great for your whole body’s health, including your eyes, but it turns out so are any of the other brightly colored fruits and vegetables that have orange, yellow, and red pigments.