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Pros and cons of cheap reading glasses

Reading Eye glasses cheap vs expensive

More than a year after new regulations on how the “Eye glass rule” and “Contact Lens Rule”, the FTC started to enforce these laws with very specific guidelines to consumers. As a consequence, the US saw a proliferation in the number of people who started buying their prescription glasses online, as a big part of the population is price-sensitive.


Many retail stores now have cheap reading glasses which might be able to help people to read better but they are still not nearly comparable to eyeglasses which have been obtained after a professional eye exam. For many people over the age of 40 reading glasses can become somewhat of a necessity. For many of those people, these glasses are not only used for reading purposes but also as a fashion accessory to complement their personality or image. The challenge is they are relatively inexpensive and there is a wide variety of styles. When one pair is lost it can be easily replaced but there can be no doubt that it will be best to have your eyes examined professionally. There are many people who are making use of cheap reading glasses who think that they have found the solution to that problem. In reality, they are only delaying that overdue eye examination.

At any time when you become aware that there is a change in your vision, it is always best to have your eyes examined. If going to your local optometrist is too costly, it is possible to consider purchasing prescription eyeglasses online. We’ve all seen these examples: GlassesShop.com, Lenscrafters.com, Glassesusa.com and Eyebuydirect.com. Some do focus on providing the consumer a quality product, however, at a fraction of the in-store price. But, before doing so, consider how special your eyes are – and take a deeper dive into issues that matter:

The aging process

As people become older there is a loss of flexibility in the lenses of our eyes. Aging can make it significantly harder to focus especially on objects which are close to us. Attempts to read may not be successful because especially small print can be indecipherable because of the blurring which is caused by faulty eye lenses. All of those enjoyable hobbies such as drawing or sewing can become just about impossible. Many people who are suffering from nearsightedness have to remove their eyeglasses when they want to do any serious reading. Eye conditions which are causing problems when focusing at things close to us are known as presbyopia and there are some people who refer to it as elder vision. Other parts of the human eye are also aging and besides presbyopia, there is also the possibility of developing even worse conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. This is why regular examinations are necessary to discover such problems as early as possible. Once such an eye examination has been done it is possible to use that information to purchase prescription eyeglasses from online retailers. With this option available there is no need to do harm to your eyes by making use of cheap reading glasses.

What are those cheap reading glasses?

The cheap reading glasses found in many retail stores are basically two magnifying lenses which have been mounted in an eyeglass frame. In some ways, they are similar than prescription lenses because they can also provide varying degrees of magnification or refraction. This might range from+1.00 to +3.50 diopters. In the unlikely event that people have the same degree of refraction in both eyes, these cheap reading glasses might be helpful at least temporarily. Even if you turn out to be a good candidate for none prescription lenses it will still be sensible to get professional advice on exactly what strength of lenses will be best for your particular needs. In fact, there are many states that do not allow the sale of lenses with refraction of more than+3.50 diopters. It may still be possible and even legal to purchase those lenses online. However, should you require lenses of that strength it will always be a better idea to obtain professional advice? Alternatively, if you have already had an eye examination you can use that information to purchase prescription eyeglasses online. This will ensure that you are obtaining a quality product at a fraction of the cost when you go to your local optometrist.

Eyesight problems or suffering from astigmatism

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The majority of people will require a different correction for each of their eyes. There are also those who are suffering from astigmatism. This simply means that there are irregularities in the lens of the eye. In this event, it will always be better to use only prescription lenses. During a professional eye examination, it will be determined which lenses will be the best suited to correct the optical deficiencies of your eyes. For those who are not able to identify objects far away, it will also be better to make use of prescription lenses. Some people will require multifocal or bifocal lenses depending on their specific eye problems. When using bifocals or multifocal you are effectively using one pair of eyeglasses to solve multiple problems which you might have as far as your eyesight is concerned. There is no need to make use of cheap reading glasses when it is entirely possible to obtain prescription eyeglasses from reputable online retailers. Millions of people have already made use of this option and they have been extremely satisfied with the end results.

Are online providers catching up?

Despite an uptick in consumer-behavior towards online purchasing, there is no clear evidence yet that this is better for them. However below is an example of how resources are deployed in an attempt to empower consumers with more information before they rush into an online order:

consumer information before buying eye glasses


It may indeed be possible to incur savings and still obtain quality products when buying eyeglasses online. This is especially true thanks to the fact that now, regulations require that optometrists provide very specific information. Some sites even make an effort to assist patients with prescriptions to read it properly before placing an order. Quite frankly, the issue requires deeper analysis, since the most expensive brands also sell on the web and the cheapest brands are also available in physical locations and street corners. Remember that in many cases, a proper assessment of your needs remains important. After all, sight is one of the most important senses to be cherished.

See you in my next story where I m discussing supporting someone with Hearing Loss: a guide by Nano hearing aids.

Adriaan Brits - The author is focused on sustainability and the particular intersection of health, ethical consumerism and e-commerce. He is well known through his thought leadership in Jpost magazine and Consumer Health Digest. Follow Adriaan on Facebook at Healthynewage.