How to Buy Reading Glasses

If it’s getting harder to make out small print or you find that your eyes are becoming more easily strained when you read, then it may be time to consider reading glasses. While they are only designed to treat presbyopia, a common condition that makes it difficult to focus your eyes on small print, reading glasses can prove to be a helpful purchase. But due to the vast number of lenses, frames, and styles, it can be difficult to figure out which pair is right for you. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to determine what kind of reading glasses you need.

EditGetting an Eye Exam
Schedule an appointment with your optometrist to get an eye exam. An eye exam carried out by a licensed professional is really the only reliable way to tell whether reading glasses will help your symptoms.
It’s good to schedule regular visits with an eye doctor anyways, and they will be able to perform their regular exams while testing your vision. [1]
You should get a full eye exam every two to four years.[2]

Ask your optometrist about reading glasses. An eye doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have presbyopia with certainty. After they confirm the diagnosis, ask your doctor about what kind of reading glasses would work for you specifically.[3] You’ll know a lot more about what to look for in a pair of reading glasses based on their specific recommendations for you.

Complete an eye exam online if you can’t see a doctor. A simple reading test can be found online and can be used to diagnose the level of magnification that you will need in your reading glasses. Most reading tests that you can complete at home require you to read different sizes of print, which will help you identify what kind of lenses you need.[4]
Completing an eye exam on your own is no replacement for a medical professional’s opinion, but can serve as an alternative until you have an opportunity to see your physician.

While completing an online eye exam can help you determine what level of magnification you’ll want in your reading glasses, it cannot determine the cause of your symptoms. Only a medical professional will be able to diagnose the root cause of an issue with your vision.

Reading glasses have signs or stickers on them that indicate their level of magnification. Write down the results of your eye exam when going shopping for a pair.

EditPicking the Right Lenses
Start with a full frame for your first pair. Full frame lenses refer to larger lenses that provide uniform magnification across the entirety of the lens. They tend to look like regular prescription glasses and come in a variety of styles. Full frame lenses are good choices if you think you’ll be using your reading glasses for longer periods of time, since they cover your entire eye.[5]
Some eyecare professionals suggest starting with a full frame because it will help your eyes adjust more easily to the magnification.[6]

Pick a half-eye frame for more flexibility. Half-eye glasses are smaller and tend to sit further down on your nose. They make it easy to move your eyes in and out of the lens depending on what you’re doing. If you tend to multitask or find yourself taking your full lenses on and off with great frequency, you may want to consider switching to half-eye frames.[7]

Select bifocals or progressives if you know exactly what you need. Bifocals and progressives refer to full lenses where the magnification is different depending on what part of the lens you’re looking through. Bifocals have two distinct areas of magnification, while progressives contain lenses with a magnification that shifts gradually from one part of the lens to the other. They can be hard to get used to if you’ve never worn glasses before.[8]
Bifocal and progressive lenses are more commonly found in prescription glasses, since they’re often built to meet a specific set of needs.

Because bifocal and progressive lenses can take a lot of effort to get used to, it’s probably best to start with full or half-eye frames first.[9]

Buy sun readers if you’re frequently struggling to read outdoors. There are specialty lenses on the market that may be better for you depending on what you need your reading glasses for. If you are struggling to read small print outside, you may want to consider sun readers. These usually come with ultraviolet protection and repel sunlight.[10]

Buy specialty glasses if you struggle with computer screens. The same way that there are specialty lenses for reading outdoors, there are specific reading glasses that are made for people that spend a lot of time staring at screens. These lenses help the user reduce eyestrain specifically caused by bright screens and make it easier to read off of a computer.[11]
If you experience difficulty staring at your computer screen for a reasonable period of time, you may want to bring it up with your doctor. You may have something called Computer Vision Syndrome.[12]

EditBuying Your First Pair
Set a budget based on how you intend to use your glasses. Plastic frames are a common and inexpensive choice that are preferable if you don’t want to worry about replacing your glasses. Metals like titanium or aluminum can cost quite a bit more, but tend to last longer.[13] Consider what amount you’re willing to spend on a pair of glasses before you start poking around in the store.
If you tend to lose glasses or drop them frequently, a cheaper pair may be better for you as they’ll be easier to replace.

If you aren’t prone to losing glasses and tend to take good care of them, feel free to spend a little more on a nicer pair.

Many people tend to buy multiple copies of the same pair of reading glasses, since they’re relatively inexpensive and some people only use them at a few select locations (like a reading chair or office desk). Having multiple pairs can keep you from worrying about taking your glasses with you everywhere.[14]

Pick a style that fits you! Once you’ve determined what kind of lens you’ll need, it’s time to figure out what style of frame you want. While some people don’t necessarily care what their reading glasses look like, having fashionable eyeglasses can be important. From rimless to full-rimmed glasses and from square to rounded edges, reading glasses come in all different shapes and sizes. Pick a style that is not only comfortable, but looks good![15]

Test them out before buying to make sure they suit your needs. If you’re buying your pair at a store, bring a book with you to test out a pair of glasses and make sure that they’re right for you. If you are wearing your glasses and still have to hold written materials away from you, consider a stronger pair. You also want to make sure that a potential pair rests comfortably on your face.[16]

Inspect each pair of glasses for damage or flaws. Examine a potential pair for bubbles, waves, or damage on the lens itself. A good pair of reading glasses should have a uniform lens that is free from any blemishes or defects. Because reading glasses are not subject to FDA labeling rules, the quality between pairs can vary wildly.[17]
If you’re buying a pair of reading glasses online, check to see what the return policy is before buying them. You don’t want to get stuck with a pair that doesn’t fit.

Talk to your doctor about prescription lenses if it isn’t working out. If you find it difficult to get used to your new reading glasses, it may be that you need prescription lenses. Pay attention to how your glasses help with your vision while you’re wearing them. If you find yourself pushing your books away from your eyes even while wearing your reading glasses, you may require greater magnification that what reading glasses can offer you. It may also be possible that your eyesight has changed since your last eye exam![18]

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Today in History for 10th June 2019

Historical Events

1190 – Third Crusade: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa drowns while crossing the Saleph River (modern Turkey) leading an army to Jerusalem
1861 – Battle of Big Bethel Virginia (Bethel Church, Great Bethal)-Union retreats
1966 – Mamas and Papas win gold record for “Monday, Monday”
1975 – Rockefeller panel reports on 300,000 illegal CIA files on Americans
1979 – Baltimore Orioles pull their 8th triple play (5-4-3 vs Cleve)
2018 – French Open Men’s Tennis: Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 for his record 11th French title (17th Grand Slam victory)

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Famous Birthdays

1822 – John Jacob Astor III, American businessman (Astor Estate holdings), born in New York (d. 1890)
1912 – William Gordon Harris, civil engineer
1926 – Willem Oltmans, Dutch journalist (Outlawed, Free as a Bird)
1927 – Michael Walsh, major-general/director (Overseas Relations)
1954 – Richard “Rich” Hall, American comedian, writer, and musician (Saturday Night Live, Fridays, Not Necessarily the News), born in Alexandria, Virginia
1980 – Francelino Matuzalem, Brazilian footballer

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1247 – Rodrigo Jimenez de Rada, archbishop Toledo/advisor Alfonso VIII, dies
1680 – Johan Göransson Gyllenstierna, Swedish statesman (b. 1635)
1902 – Jacint Verdaguer, Catalan poet (b. 1845)
1973 – William M. Inge, American playwright (Come Back Little Sheba), dies at 60
2004 – Graeme Kelling, British pop guitarist (Deacon Blue), dies at 47
2013 – Barbara Vucanovich, American politician, dies at 91

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How to Steam Milk Without a Steamer

Steamed milk is a great addition to hot drinks and adds a delicious foamy texture. Each of these methods takes less than 5 minutes and only require basic kitchen utensils. Add the warm, foamy milk to your favourite hot drink or enjoy it by itself.

EditSteaming Milk in the Microwave with a Jar
Pour your milk into a glass jar. Any kind of milk works for this technique; however, skim milk works best, as it froths easily. Pour the milk into a glass jar and screw the lid on tightly.[1]
A regular espresso or flat white requires about of milk.

Fill the jar no more than halfway so that the milk has room to froth.

Shake the milk until it is frothy. Shake the jar of milk up and down until it has doubled in volume. This normally takes about 30 to 60 seconds. If you have used full-fat milk, it may take an extra 30 seconds to achieve the same level of frothiness.[2]Double-check that the lid is on tightly before you shake it to prevent milk spilling on the floor.

Microwave the milk uncovered for 30 seconds. Take the lid off and place the jar of milk into the microwave. Adjust the microwave to the highest setting and then set it to heat for 30 seconds. The heat warms the milk and causes the foam to rise to the top of the jar.[3]

Pour the milk and froth into your mug. Hold the foam in the jar with a spoon and allow the milk to run into your mug. Then, spoon the foam on top of your mug to provide a fluffy top layer.[4]This steamed milk has a very similar consistency to that made with a steamer.

EditUsing the Stove and a French Press
Warm up your milk to on the stovetop. Pour your milk into a small saucepan and set the stovetop to medium heat. Place the tip of a cooking thermometer in the milk to measure the temperature. Once it reaches , remove the saucepan from the heat.[5]
If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, heat the milk until it’s warm but not too hot to touch.

Turn down the heat if the milk starts to boil.

Pour the milk into your French press. Before you tip in the milk, ensure that the French press is clean; otherwise, your milk will taste like coffee. Take the plunger lid off your French press and carefully tip the warm milk into the bowl.[6]If you have a pump frother, use this instead.

Pump the plunger handle up and down until the milk is foamy. Use 1 hand to hold down the plunger lid and use your other hand to move the plunger stick up and down. Pump the stick vigorously for about 60 seconds or until the milk reaches your desired level of fluffiness.[7]If you don’t have a French press, foam the milk with a whisk or blend it for 30 seconds in a blender.

Pour the warm frothy milk into a mug. Fill your mug with cocoa or coffee and then pour in the warm frothy milk. Alternatively, enjoy the frothy milk by itself as a creamy, calcium-rich treat.[8]
EditUsing the Microwave and a Whisk
Warm up your milk for 30 seconds in the microwave. Pour your milk into a microwave-safe jar or dish. Then, place it in the microwave on the highest setting for 30 seconds. This technique works with any type of milk; however, it is slightly quicker if you use low-fat milk.[9]
Glass and ceramic are good microwave-safe materials.

Whisk the milk until is foamy and bubbly. Use a hand whisk or an electric whisk to foam the milk for about 30 seconds or until it doubles in volume. If you use an electric whisk, set it to the lowest speed to avoid the milk spilling over the edges of your bowl.[10]If you don’t have a whisk, place the milk in a blender for 30 seconds instead.

Pour the milk into your hot drink or enjoy it by itself. Carefully pour the milk into your hot drink and stir it gently with a spoon. Alternatively, pour it into a glass and enjoy its warm, creamy taste.[11]
EditThings You’ll Need
EditSteaming Milk in the Microwave with a Jar
Glass jar with lid




EditUsing the Stove and a French Press

French press


Cooking thermometer

EditUsing the Microwave and a Whisk
Microwave-safe bowl or jar

Whisk (hand-held or electric)


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