There comes a certain age when we start struggling with seeing the tiny words on a page. We notice ourselves moving documents and books further away, leaning in closer to the computer screen, blinking to try to get the letters to clear up.
It’s when our vision starts to go a little and have to face the reality that it’s time for readers. For me, this started happening at 38. I remember sitting at my eye doctor’s office and telling her I thought needed a new prescription because I was having a tough time reading. As a writer and editor who spends a lot of time on the computer and reviewing documents, this is something I need to feel comfortable with. However, when I most noticed it was at the end of the day, when I was relaxed and reading a book for pleasure. When I mentioned this to my doctor, what I learned was that when it first starts to happen, your eye muscles get tired as the day goes on, which is why at the start of the day I felt fine, but at the end of the day the words and letters started to blur. I remember telling her, “But I’m not even 40 yet.” And she informed me that it’s not something that happens at 40, but for many it starts happening in the late 30s.
After my checkup, she suggested I use readers when wearing my contact lenses and reading for long periods of time, and to add a progressive lens to my eyeglasses that would help when reading so that my eyes wouldn’t get as tired so quickly. I immediately said yes to the transition in my glasses and I’m now on my second pair with them. These are not bifocals, they are progressive lenses that make a gradual transition between distance, intermediate and near without visible dividing lines. As my optometrist described it, the lenses I now have on my eyeglasses are an anti-fatigue lens design that helps with focusing. It has some magnification (“plus”) on the bottom of the lens to help with focusing. It relieves some of the stress of my accommodation (focusing system).
I have to say that I’m much more comfortable reading with my eyeglasses than readers or simply my contacts.
But now, as I’m nearing 42, I own multiple pairs of readers (cute ones of course!) and always have them in my purse, nightstand, and even my boyfriend’s house. Readers don’t have to be the old convenient store styles your parents probably wore. You can get cute (affordable—yay!) readers that are not a light, cheap plastic feel with plastic, blurry lenses, but a good quality plastic that feels like regular eyeglasses that have lenses that are not only clear, but also have blue light protection.
Here are a few of my favorites. First on my list are Prive Revaux eyewear, which you can purchase on QVC for a better price. Prive Revaux is Jamie Foxx’s eyewear brand that are scratch-resistant; have an anti-reflective coating; UVA/UVB protection (these come as sunglasses, too). These range from about less than $10 – $30, and on QVC many times you can split the payments at no additional cost. If you don’t need readers yet, you can get these at a 0 prescription and use them just as blue-light blocking glasses. Each pair comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth and a tri-fold case. I have also purchased a pair of these that fold in the middle nose bridge into a tiny lens size that is perfect to carry with you when you are using a smaller purse. Most of the styles are also unisex, I have a pair that I always carry in my purse that my boyfriend regularly borrows when we’re out at dinner.
Another brand I like are Peepers, which were recommended to me by another reader user. However, the reviews online for some of these said that the legs break off, and after about a year of use, the leg to my pair did break off, but I have another pair that has lasted pretty well. I purchased these on Amazon, but you can also get them directly from their site. These these glasses come packaged in a beautiful gold-embossed gift box, but they also come with a matching printed case. Peepers offers options for both men and women with various styles for each. These range from $22-27. If you purchase via Amazon, you can find deals of two pairs for $14.