Difference between Over the Counter and Prescription Readers

Sep 6, 2022

2 min read

Difference between Over the Counter and Prescription Readers

As eye care professionals serving patients in University Place, Tacoma, and Lakewood, we often see patients who are struggling with presbyopia, or difficulty seeing at close range due to the normal process of aging. And while it might be tempting to head to your local drug store to pick up a pair, we recommend you come in for a comprehensive eye exam. We can help you find a pair of readers that will fit your needs.

Here are three reasons why prescription readers are the way to go.


As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Reading glasses found at your local drug store are usually much less expensive than a prescription pair of glasses, but this comes at a cost. Over-the-counter readers often have small imperfections in the lenses, which might not be something you realize you notice, but your eyes sure do. These imperfections make your eyes work harder than they need to, and in some cases can make your vision worse.

Prescription readers are made of high-quality lenses that are made just for you.

Tailored to your needs

Did you know most people have one eye that is stronger than the other? Despite this, over-the-counter reading glasses offer the same prescription in both lenses. That’s another reason prescription reading glasses are a good idea. The lenses are tailored to your exact needs.

If you are nearsighted or have astigmatism, a prescription from your eye care professional can provide you with a corrective lens that solves all your problems. Rather than just one.

In addition to lenses that fit your needs, prescription glasses are custom fit to ensure you are looking through the lenses properly. With over-the-counter glasses, the lenses might sit too close together or too far apart causing some to experience eyestrain or headache.

We also see that many of our patients buy lenses that are too strong, hoping that it will help them see more clearly. But this, too, can harm your eyes or induce headaches.

An Eye Exam is a Good Idea!

Getting prescription glasses means you will need to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist. And it’s not a bad idea. Your eye care professional will provide you with a comprehensive eye exam to rule out other vision problems like cataracts or glaucoma. Both can cause your vision to decline, so it’s good to rule them out.

If readers are all you need, we can specify the prescription that is right for you. If you need glasses for nearsightedness, your optometrist or ophthalmologist can provide you with a prescription that solves both problems.

At Suburban Opticians, we are ready to help! If you find yourself struggling to read a dinner menu, or your favorite book, contact us today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam. We look forward to helping you see the world as it should be seen.

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