Do You Need Prescription Eyeglasses?

by Kelly

Prescription glasses have come a long way since they were first invented in Italy sometime in the 13th century. Today, modern eyeglasses not only correct your vision, but they are also a fashion ally. In fact, some people like them so much, they even wear non-corrective lenses in a fashion frame. However, this article will discuss actual prescription glasses.

sunglasses woman

Do you need glasses? Here are some indications that you might:

  • Nausea, fatigue and frequent headaches
  • Squinting at objects to bring them into focus
  • Eyestrain
  • Sitting close to the television in order to see it
  • Not able to see things that others easily can
  • Tripping over objects and bumping into them
  • You are unable to see things that are close up or far away
  • Your visual field looks fuzzy and out of focus


As people approach their mid-forties or so, even those with normal vision will likely notice that their close-up vision is faulty. Text in books and computer screens looks fuzzy and is hard to read. This condition, correctable by eyeglasses, is known as presbyopia. It’s a normal part of aging.

Glasses are Comfortable and Fashionable

There are many different levels of visual acuity. Some people need only slight correction; others need higher levels. Those who have trouble seeing up close are called far-sighted. People who can see well up close but not far away are near-sighted, or myopic. Prescription lenses are measured in units called diopters.

Gone are the days of Coke-bottom bottle eyeglass lenses. Today, even those with very high levels of myopia can have lenses that are pretty thin. This is due to the availability of new types of lenses, such as those composed of high-index, aspheric and polycarbonate materials. Progressive lenses allow several different points of focus all seamlessly blended into a single lens. There is no need for standard bifocals or trifocals. Coatings that reduce glare, protect the lens surface and darken in the sun are also available.

How to Purchase Glasses

You have a number of choices when deciding where to purchase your prescription glasses:

Ophthalmologists: these are medical doctors. They can examine your eyes, diagnose and treat disease, perform surgery and prescribe eyeglasses. Many have in-house opticians and eyeglass frame boutiques. Quality, selection and price will vary, but this is probably the most expensive option.

Optometrists: these are eyecare professional doctors, but they don’t have a medical degree. They are highly qualified to examine your eyes, detect eye disease and prescribe eyeglasses. Most have in-house eyeglass frame shops for your convenience. Mostly, this is a great option and will be less expensive than an ophthalmologist.

Some optometrists operate alone. Most feature a frame boutique and employ an optician to staff it. Others work for big companies such as Wal-Mart and Costco. These two latter offer comprehensive services at good prices. You can get your eye exam and prescription eyeglasses all in one place. Both Wal-Mart and Costco also have opticians on staff.

Opticians cannot examine your eyes or prescribe eyeglasses. They make glasses according to your prescription, which your eye examiner will furnish to you. Opticians typically have the widest range of frame selections, ranging from lower-cost generic frames to high-end designer ones. Opticians are experts at recommending the best type of frame for you. They are masters when it comes to a perfect fit, too.

If you think you may need glasses, don’t hesitate to act. The right pair of glasses will allow you to see normally, greatly improving your quality of life. Use the information you learned here today to guide you to the perfect pair of prescription glasses for you.