What is a Reading Glasses Test and When Do You Need One?

Image of brown eyeglasses next to a candle and book

In a world where electronic devices are essential for everyday life, having clear vision has never been more important. Unfortunately, degrading eyesight is common for many people.

Let’s face it — eventually, most of us will have to wear reading glasses. And when we do, the first question that comes to mind is: what strength reading glasses do I need?

The problem is that most people buy over-the-counter reading glasses without first taking the strength of the lens into account. Unfortunately, this can do more harm than good. Enter the vital reading glasses test. But what is it, and how do you take one?

What is Reading Glass Strength?

Before discussing reading glass strength further, let’s first talk about how reading glasses work in the first place. Reading glasses are used to treat a close-range vision condition known as presbyopia, which prevents an individual from seeing the pages of a book or the text on a screen clearly. The glasses correct this by using a convex lens that magnifies objects and makes them clearer.

The degree of lens magnification is referred to as the reading glass strength and is measured in units called diopters. Most reading glasses, like Felix Gray eyewear, have typical diopter values from 0.5 – 2.5. The higher the diopter value of a lens, the stronger the magnification and the greater its corrective power.

But how do you know what strength reading glasses to get? It depends on how severe your close-vision problem is. If you’re like most people with minor presbyopia, reading glasses with 1.0 – 1.25 diopters will suffice. However, for more severe cases, it might take a 2.25 – 3.0 lens to solve the problem.

It is important to keep in mind that this is just a rule of thumb. To accurately get the diopter level that works best for you, it’s best to use a reading glasses prescription calculator or take a reading glasses strength test. We’ll talk about how to do that later in this article.

Before you start looking into a reading glasses test, let’s make sure you need reading glasses in the first place.

Image of metal eyeglasses on open book

Do I Need Reading Glasses?

Finding it hard to read smaller prints in a book or on a screen is the most common sign of presbyopia, but it’s not the only one. Other symptoms might warrant reading glasses, such as:

  • Regular headaches while reading, especially near the eyes
  • Needing to hold a book or screen close to your eyes to be able to read it
  • Your eyes are tired or get watery after reading
  • If you’re over 40, there’s a higher risk of developing presbyopia

Even if you can read small print well but notice the above symptoms happening regularly, they may be early warning signs. You can anticipate the problem early on by wearing reading glasses as a precaution.

You should also consider computer reading glasses that can filter Blue Light, such as a pair of Felix Gray eyewear. These can give added protection from the glare of device screens to help prevent eye strain and further vision complications.

Do I Need a Glasses Test?

If you’re asking the question, “Do I need a Glasses Test?”, then Yes, you likely do. The good news about an eye test for reading glasses is that you can do it on your own — no need to spend money with a specialist. Here’s how:

1. Print the Reading Glasses Test

The first step is to download a diopter chart for reading glasses, which you can easily find online.

The chart consists of several lines of sentences that grow smaller as you move further down the page, with a corresponding diopter value on each line. To use, simply print on a standard-sized piece of paper (the chart will often tell you what the proper width of the chart should be).

2. Read It

Now it’s time for the fun part — the test itself.

Remove your glasses and hold the reading glasses chart in front of you, approximately 14 inches from your face. Start reading the sentences from the top and work your way to the bottom.

The moment you can’t read a sentence, or it starts to appear blurry, check the corresponding diopter value on the right. That’s the appropriate reading glasses strength for your condition.

Why is the Correct Reading Glasses Strength Important?

Doing an online eye test for reading glasses is vital because having the wrong diopter level can lead to more problems down the line. Your brain will try to compensate for any excess magnification level your glasses provide. So you’ll be able to see fine right now, but it comes at the expense of overworking your eyes. Over time, this can lead to eye strain, headaches, and blurry vision — the same symptoms the glasses were meant to prevent in the first place.

When you buy a pair of Felix Gray eyewear, you can select between prescription, non-prescription, and reading options at various diopter levels. That way, you’ll always get the best strength to match our Blue Light filtering technology.

Whether you’re starting to notice blurriness now or you’re looking to prevent symptoms in the future, browse our selection of Blue Light glasses today.