Are There Any Alternatives for Reading Glasses?

Are There Any Alternatives for Reading Glasses?

June 8th, 2023

Reading glasses are inexpensive over-the-counter glasses many people use for close-up work. They’re helpful for those who find it harder to focus due to natural changes that happen inside the eyes as you age. 

This condition is called presbyopia which gradually worsens over time. Over the counter reading glasses magnify, but since they’re not prescription glasses, they won’t correct your vision with the precision of prescription glasses. 

While prescription or over-the-counter reading glasses are the cheapest option to combat presbyopia, eventually, you’ll have to take the next step.

Keep reading to learn more about presbyopia and reading glasses, including if there are any alternatives to reading glasses!

What is Presbyopia? 

As you age, near-vision problems can develop in adults forty and older. This is called presbyopia.

Presbyopia is an eye condition that occurs due to changes in your eye’s natural lens, which makes it hard to focus on small print or close-up work in dim light. You may find it difficult to read small type and may need to hold printed material farther away to see it clearly. 

Headaches and eyestrain can also occur. 

Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses

Although over-the-counter readers can help you when you are reading menus or books, if you are nearsighted, you will still need distance glasses to see far away.

If you only need to maintain one pair, it’s manageable to only use over-the-counter readers. However, if you’re nearsighted and swapping between distance and close-up glasses, there are other options. 


Bifocals are two glasses in one, allowing you to see distant objects and things up close. Typically the upper portion of the prescription lens is intended for distance viewing, and the lower portion is designed for looking at intermediate or closer objects. 

This is why bifocal wearers constantly move their eyes up and down to change focal lengths. Bifocals are obvious as the sharp edge of the close-up lens is visible as it’s inset into the larger distance lens.

Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses are bifocals that are seamless, so the transition from the distance to the close-up viewing portion isn’t visible.

Contact Lenses

Some people choose to have monovision contact lenses. With these contact lenses, one eye will be set for distance, and one will be set for near vision.

What Happens When Cataracts Form?

Presbyopia isn’t the only condition that comes along with aging. Cataracts also affect the eye’s natural lens.

When proteins break down and bunch together inside the lens, it causes clouding, leading to blurry vision, among other symptoms. Eventually cataract surgery is necessary.

During cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon in Huntsville will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new lens implant. 

Benefits of Cataract Surgery

Many patients are excited at the idea of cataract surgery because of the choices in vision correction. Like contacts, you can choose a monovision lens. 

Before cataract surgery, you will need to choose a lens to replace your natural lens where the cataract is. By choosing a premium lens, you can experience clear vision at a variety of focal lengths, including distant vision, intermediate vision, and functional up-close vision. 

With a premium lens, you’ll be able to drive and read road signs, see the speedometer on your dashboard, and glance at your phone for directions. 

Are you experiencing blurry vision up close? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!