Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

By on August 1, 2012

By Renee Bachner –

Sight is a precious gift that we don’t want to lose. However, as we age our sight can change too like so many other physical changes that we experience do to aging. What happens as we age is that we can develop a condition called Presbyopia, which is a condition where as part of normal aging, the eyes lose their ability to focus up close. This usually becomes noticeable around age 40. The muscles in the eye slowly lose their elasticity which makes it difficult to focus at different distances. If you can focus, you usually cannot do it for long periods of time or without some eyestrain. Reading glasses can easily solve this.

Since much of our close work takes place at different distances, selecting the correct lens power requires some careful analysis. If you do not have a distance correction, you can use your age as a guideline to determine approximately what lens power you may need. Between the ages of 38-43, start with a +1.00, at around age 50, a +2.00 may be appropriate. As you age, you will require more power to see clearly at close.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

Since everyone’s vision needs are so varied, determining where you want to use your reading glasses will determine what lens strength you need. If you don’t have a prescription from an eye care professional then using a near vision eye chart, which is usually available with most over the counter reading glasses, will be helpful. Reading distance is usually measured at 14-16 inches.

If most of your reading is done at a computer then you need to establish how far you are from the computer screen, which can be a different distance depending on whether you use a laptop or a desktop computer. To determine  the correct power for reading at computer distance, it is best to first determine your lens power at close (usually between 14 -16 inches) and then reduce that power by half which should give you the power you would need if your computer is approximately 18-20 inches away. The further you are from the screen, the less lens power you will need to see clearly.                                                                                                                    

To further reduce eyestrain, try these simple things:

*Reading printed material in a well lit room makes it easier to see clearly.

* Position your computer screen so as to avoid glare from windows or overhead lighting.

*Taking frequent breaks when working at the computer helps reduce eyestrain.

*Just as changing your focus and blinking often.

*Adjust your monitor so that the screen is 4-6 inches below eye level.

*Adjust brightness, contrast and text settings until you find the balance that is easiest on your eyes.

*Try to keep materials beside the monitor so as to require less head movement.

Over the counter reading glasses are a less expensive alternative to prescription eyewear. For clear, undistorted vision, choose reading glasses that have high optical quality lenses. Optical quality lenses have uniform curves through the lens and are often aspheric in design, which means that as your eyes move behind the lenses your vision will be clear and comfortable. Anything less than an optical quality lenses will cause eyestrain and fatigue.


Renee’s Readers are optical quality reading glasses, made up in flattering shapes and colors and designed with attention to the comfort features so many of my customers were searching for in their reading glasses such as long temples with sturdy spring hinges, wide bridges, and a large lens area for easier viewing of your reading material. Each style reflects the quality and attention to detail that can only come from an experienced licensed optician that is trained to look for fit as well as style. Sharing their stories on aging further inspired me to name Renee’s Readers after my customers, whose personal style and attitude although unique to them describes so many of us as we get older.

About Renee Bachner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder