Seven signs you may need reading glasses

Woman squints looking at phone screen

Our eye contains a muscle that allows for focusing when we start to read, look at a computer, or examine something up close. The process is called accommodation.

Our eyes’ ability to accommodate and see things clearly starts to decline and change around our teenage years but becomes very noticeable for most people around age 40.

The change in this muscle is normal and happens to everyone. This decrease in accommodation will cause blurred vision when looking up close or reading. Reading glasses, which come in different strengths, can often improve vision for this reason.

If you find yourself doing these behaviors, it may be time to visit your eye doctor:

  1. Holding your phone or reading material further away to clearly see words
  2. Squinting your eyes
  3. Taking breaks after reading or computer work due to blurry vision
  4. Headaches over your eyebrow area and eye strain/tired feeling after prolonged reading
  5. If you have never worn glasses before, you may notice distance and near blurry vision
  6. Your vision is clear far way, but you need to remove your glasses to improve clarity when reading
  7. Increasing size of font or zooming in to read your phone or computer

Even if you’ve never needed glasses before, it’s best to visit an eye doctor if you’re doing these things, to assess your prescription for reading glasses.

For some people, over-the-counter reading glasses can work well, but there are also options to improve computer vision and more custom glasses to account for different prescriptions between your eyes.

The strength of reading glasses depends on many factors. Your eye doctor can assess which type of reading glasses, or possibly contact lenses, are best for you based on your occupation, hobbies or visual needs.

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Ohio State's optometry clinics are conveniently located and provide your entire family with world-class eye care.

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