A patient who wanted a new pair of reading glasses walked into the clinic. One of the lenses in her current reading glasses had fallen out and she couldn’t find it.

The eye doctor asked for her prescription and she didn’t have it. Then, the doctor proceeded to check the power of the remaining lens using the lensmeter.

The lady appeared to be in her early 40s and the power of the lens was +3.00. That was quite high for someone of that age. So, the doctor decided to ask more questions.

Long story, short, the woman was in her mid-forties. She bought the glasses in the market early in the year and according to her, the glasses were okay; though she usually had headaches from time to time.

Then, the doctor convinced her to do an eye exam to get the right prescription and these were his findings:

  • Her actual prescription was far lower than what was in the glasses she had been using. This means she was using the wrong eyeglasses all the while. Wearing glasses with the wrong lens power causes eye discomfort. If the power is too high, it can cause headaches and eyestrain.
  • She had a mild refractive error requiring correction for distance vision. Since reading glasses provide correction for near vision only, the woman’s distance vision was not corrected.
  • The prescription for her two eyes were not the same. Since the lenses in a pair of off-the-shelf reading glasses has the same power, the reading glasses did not adequately cater for her needs.
  • Complications of hypertension were visible on her retina. If you are like most people, you would probably not go for an eye check until you have obvious eye symptoms. Therefore, getting a pair of off-the shelf reading glasses that relieves your symptoms can make you forgo eye exam and further delay the detection of non-symptomatic vision-threatening conditions (if any).

Eye examination is very important. Apart from determining your correct lens prescription, it can reveal vision-threatening problems that do not show symptoms early enough. It can also give an insight into chronic and life-threatening health problems that you may have and not know about.

Do you need reading glasses? Have you discovered where to get it off the shelf?  That is not a problem. Just make sure you have done your eye exam and have your right prescription.

If your prescription is not available in the off-the-shelf reading glasses, do well to get the right glasses from your doctor.