As middle age approaches, the eye lens becomes increasingly inflexible, making it harder to focus on near objects. This condition, known as “presbyopia,” leads nearly everyone by age 60 to purchase reading glasses. The question then becomes: Why not buy inexpensive glasses at the pharmacy? The fact of the matter is that, because both lenses in these inexpensive reading glasses have the same effective power, they might not work well for people with significantly different focusing power in each eye. Drugstore reading glasses are also set up with optical centers that provide for average pupillary distance (distance between the two pupils), and may not match the wearer’s eyes. Most important, any change in vision should prompt a professional eye exam.
Presbyopia is not a disease and cannot be prevented. It can be tempting to pick up a pair of inexpensive eyeglasses from your neighborhood pharmacy. The key to a successful lens prescription is the proper location of the optical centersof the lenses. Protect your vision by having routine eye health examinations and wearing prescription lenses designed to meet your specific needs.