When you finally cave in and make it to the doctor’s office, you may be surprised when your doctor recommends prescription reading glasses instead of simply purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses. You think to yourself, “This doctor just wants to sell me a pair of glasses!” Why would anyone purchase prescription reading glasses when they could buy a cheap pair at the drugstore?" Well, here are a few valid reasons:
Powers in OTC readers are the same in each eye. You may need a different power for each of your eyes. Looking through readers of the wrong power can cause eye strain, making one eye work much harder than the other.
OTC readers do not correct astigmatism – prescription readers do. Many people have a small amount of astigmatism. Uncorrected astigmatism can cause headaches, tired eyes, and vision that seems a little off.
OTC readers are basically, “one size fits all.” Prescription reading glasses are made so that the optical center of the lens is lined up exactly at the center of the pupil. When the optical center is not lined up, you may end up looking through the side of the lens, which can cause eye strain and eye muscle imbalances.
Prescription lenses are made optically perfect with no distortions, waves or bubbles in the lenses. If you examine a pair of OTC readers of low quality, the lenses may have some unwanted defects.
OTC readers do not work for nearsighted people because such individuals usually require a “minus or negative” lens. OTC glasses only come in “plus or positive” powered lenses.