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Prescription Reading Glasses vs OTC

Typically, about the time you hit 40, though sometimes a bit earlier or later, you start to need reading glasses for up close work. People who do a lot of fine detailed work or work with numbers, like seamstresses and accountants, may notice the need earlier, but eventually it happens to almost everyone.

You wouldn't buy shampoo at the eye doctor, but for some reason, people think nothing of buying corrective lenses at discount drugstores. The price may seem like a good option, but as with most things, you get what you pay for.

Lens Quality

Like most everything purchased at a discount retailer, reading glasses bought there may have quality issues. Polycarbonate and other materials used for prescription lenses are generally defect free, or close to it.

Minor bubbles or imperfections in the lenses of over the counter reading glasses might not be something you realize you notice, but your eyes do. Imperfections can make it harder to see or cause your eyesight to decline more rapidly.

Prescription Strength

Without an eye doctor checking your prescription and verifying exactly what you need, choosing a pair of OTC readers can be confusing. Do you need plus ones or plus twos? What if you are somewhere in between?

Buying OTC reading glasses can mean literally spending an hour or more in the store trying to find the strength that is right for you. Many people err on the side of buying lenses that are too strong, hoping that it will help them see more clearly, but that can hurt your eyes or induce headaches.

Same Prescription in Both Lenses

Over the counter reading glasses offer the same prescription in both lenses even though most people have one eye that is stronger than the other. In contrast, eye glasses purchased through your eye doctor can be customized to fit the prescription your eyes need.

Reading glasses purchased at discount stores also cannot correct near-sightedness or astigmatisms. They do not come in bifocal options for people who need both near and far vision assistance.

More Than Just Vision Correction

In addition to correcting your sight, optometrists also check the overall health of your eyes. A good eye exam to check what strength reading glasses you need can help you pick the right glasses but can also lead to early detection of other conditions that might be affecting your sight.

Cataracts can account for some declining vision, and glaucoma can slowly rob you of your sight. A basic eye exam can not only help you find the right glasses, it can help you find them for the right reasons.

At America’s Best, we want your eyes to be at their healthiest. That’s why we’ve partnered with independent doctors of optometry nationwide to provide one-stop eye care.

And don’t forget that if you need glasses, we offer an amazing deal: buy two pairs of glasses and get your eye exam for FREE*!

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*In certain states, eye exams provided by independent Optometrists or Ophthalmologists. Two pair purchase required to receive free eye exam. Eye exam $45 without two pair offer.