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HomeBlog Lenses & CoatingsReading glasses: prescription numbers explained

Reading glasses: prescription numbers explained

Reading glasses: prescription numbers explained

Most of us will eventually need a little help reading smaller text. As we progress through our lives, the surface of our eyes becomes less flexible, making it difficult for us to focus on small or nearby objects and words. Reading glasses and reading sunglasses are designed to improve near vision, and you can buy them with a range of different prescription powers.

Your optometrist will give you a prescription with all the information you’ll need to buy the correct reading glasses. All these numbers and letters might be a little confusing, so let’s break down exactly what they mean.


Unpacking the numbers

A reading glasses prescription looks pretty much identical to a standard eyeglasses prescription, but with a few small differences in the numbers themselves. A reading glasses prescription will usually have a number featuring a plus symbol (+). This indicates that the lenses will improve your eyes’ focusing power for up-close objects.

Eyebuydirect reading glasses prescriptions range from +0.25 to +12.00. The strength that will work for you depends on how much correction you need. Here’s an explanation of common reading glasses prescription powers:

0.75 reading glasses

This strength, or lower, is ideal if very small text gets slightly blurry for you. It’s firmly in the low-power reading glasses category.

1.00 reading glasses

This is one of the most commonly-bought reading glasses strengths. It’s the prescription to pick if you only have slight problems reading small letters.

1.25 reading glasses

Reading glasses in the 1.25 range are for low to moderately-farsighted wearers. If strengths below 1.00 aren’t adequate, lenses in the 1.00-2.00 range should do the job.

2.25 reading glasses

2.25 is a relatively high prescription for reading glasses. Many of us will find this strength appropriate once we reach around fifty years old.

4.0 reading glasses

This is a high-power prescription appropriate for people with medical issues like macular degeneration. Your vision expert will recommend this power for your reading glasses if needed.


These ranges are useful for a general idea of what reading glasses prescription will fit you, but the only way to know precisely what strength you need is to get an updated prescription from an eye-care professional. They will tell you the exact prescription numbers you require, as well as other details like your pupillary distance, which is just as crucial as the sphere number of your prescription.

Understanding what these numbers mean makes it much easier to order eyeglasses with the right type of lenses, so why not take a look at some Eyebuydirect reading glasses?


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