Maturing Eyes: Lenses & Glasses for Adults 50+

  • BY margaret winkler

It’s usually around the 50 year mark that people begin to notice that their ability to read smaller print has started to change. It almost feels like one day you wake up and the font on that box of cereal shrunk overnight.  Welcome to presbyopia – the normal aging process that causes our eyes to lose the ability to focus on near objects. Yes it can be frustrating, but it’s also manageable!

If you’ve been putting off buying a pair of “cheaters” (aka readers) or upgrading to multifocals, do your eyes a favor and read on for tips on how to shop for comfortable and affordable glasses for your *ahem* maturing eyes.

Step 1: Get Your Eyes Examined 

It’s important to schedule an exam as soon as you start to notice a change in your vision. Your eye doctor will be able to determine if the change is due to cataracts, the need for glasses, or another eye problem. If it’s a simple need for glasses, you’ll get a new prescription with your ADD power ADD that allows you to focus at near. 

Make sure they also write down your pupillary distance (PD), which is the exact spacing between your pupils. This is what let’s the person making  your lenses know where to place the optical center, so you can see well with your new glasses. If your doctor didn’t provide the PD measurement you can do it yourself by checking out these steps.

Step 2: Know Your Lens Options

Your eye care provider can provide you with recommendations on the type of lenses that will best suit your daily activities. For example, if you’re a musician than you may need a greater area in your lenses to read sheet music. Or if you’re a seamstress, you may need enough power to focus on threading a needle. 

At Zenni, we offer standard bifocal and progressive lenses that allow for viewing at both distance and near.  If you need specialized lenses that allow for more comfort at closer viewing distances, try our workspace progressives. They’re great for working in front of the computer or any situation where you’re focusing between near and intermediate distances. 

Step 3 – Pick the Right Size Frames

For a pair of single vision reading or computer glasses, any size frames will do. If you need a pair of bifocals or progressives to help with reading, then you’ll need frames that give you the required space. Typically larger lenses with a height of 30mm+ allow enough room to accommodate for distance, intermediate, and near viewing areas. Zenni’s curated list of glasses that are best for progressive lenses is a great place to shop.

Below are a few of the features to look for in a great pair for bifocal or progressive frames: 

  • Lightweight Construction – Rimless metal or plastic reading glasses are great lightweight options.
  • Adjustable Nose Pads – These help prevent your glasses from slipping down your nose.
  • Durability – Since you will be taking your glasses on and off a lot, look for features such spring hinge closures and sturdy acetate plastic.
  • Right Fit – Take the time to select the correct frame size for your face. You can use Zenni’s virtual try-on tool to see how they will look before ordering.

Step 4 – Show Off Your Style

Reading glasses don’t need to be boring. In fact, since you will probably want multiple pairs for around the house and at work, you can curate an eyewear wardrobe with a few different styles.  Any pair of Zenni frames can be turned into reading glasses. And don’t forget to add Blokz lenses. It’s always good to have extra protection for your eyes from blue and UV light, especially when spending a lot of time in front of devices.