The Difference between Reading and Prescription Glasses - Spektrum Glasses

The Difference between Reading and Prescription Glasses

If you have any kind of eye-related condition, eyeglasses are extremely important for the quality of your life. Buying a pair of eyeglasses can be really difficult, and the idea of wearing glasses can be uncomfortable for some people. Therefore, you start to ignore vision changes, and invent excuses and other reasons not to wear them. You feel as if you don't need glasses, but you start to struggle to see up close or far. You may have headaches or feel a lot of eyestrain. When choosing the right eyeglasses, you get confused, and you don't know whether you should wear them all the time or only when you have vision problems. Therefore, we're bringing you the most important information related to them.

What are reading glasses?

Reading glasses are non-prescription glasses with a certain magnification strength1 . As you get older, your eyes start to weaken and need a little extra energy to do the same job they did previously. This weakening is called presbyopia and starts to affect most people around the age of 40. Elderly farsightedness or presbyopia2 occurs because the eyes lose the ability to focus on close objects. Common symptoms are eye fatigue or headaches when working close-up. Presbyopia of the eyes is associated with aging, and at a certain age wearing glasses becomes inevitable.

The most common symptoms of presbyopia are:

  • blurred vision;
  • headaches;
  • tired eyes;
  • watery eyes;
  • eye irritation.

Many people who experience problems caused by presbyopia after the age of 40 delay wearing reading glasses through fear of their worsening eyesight or becoming reliant on glasses. Instead of wearing glasses, they keep text away from their eyes and strain to see more clearly. For a while, it really works. But presbyopia is a progressive condition, and using reading glasses eventually becomes necessary.

Also, you may be wondering what the numbers relating to reading glasses mean. These numbers are called diopters and act as a measure of the magnification factor of the lenses. A smaller number means less magnification, and, as you go up, the magnification gets larger and larger. You will usually see glasses that start with a diopter of around +1.00 and go up to +4.00. Generally, the older you get, the more magnification you will need. If you are still not sure, there are many benefits to wearing reading glasses other than just improving your eyesight. Over the years, if you continue to put additional pressure on your eyes, your eyesight will deteriorate. In contrast, wearing reading glasses early can reduce the chances of worsening your eyesight. Because you are able to reduce eye strain, your eyes can stay healthy longer.

Some of our best reading glasses are our ArtistPro, and Arctic lines. They are very comfortable, as well as stylish and modern. The frame material is TR90, the lens material, polycarbonate. This means they are high-quality eyeglasses that are impact resistant, durable, and easy to bend, so they can fit anyone's face. They are also UV protection glasses that will result in less effort and maximum comfort.

What are prescription glasses?

Prescription glasses are a very important if you have vision difficulties throughout the day. Their main aim is to provide sharp, clear vision. Prescription glasses are an optical aid that enables people who have eye problems to see things at all distances, close, medium, and far.

A diopter is defined as a measure of the refractive power of a ray of light, or refraction. Although diopters are not an internationally recognized measure, they are used daily in ophthalmology and ophthalmic optics for convenience. The need for diopters3 might first be indicated by eye discomfort or blurred vision. Blurred vision causes a person to squint and frown, pressuring their eyes to sharpen the image, but this can lead to headaches. If we try to focus excessively, there is a possibility that the eye surface will dry, and you may experience fatigue, itching, foreign body sensations, or redness. But there is not just one diopter. We can distinguish several types of diopters: nearsightedness (myopia), negative diopters, farsightedness (hyperopia), or positive diopters and astigmatism.

When you visit your eye doctor, you will have an eye examination. If you have different vision changes in each eye, they will customize the diopter specifically to your problem. Different tasks require different types of eyeglasses. According to your needs, you will be prescribed single-vision lenses, progressive lenses, bifocal lenses, or trifocal lenses.

Spektrum glasses offers prescription glasses. Some of our best prescription glasses are the Pro, Peak, and Wayfarer lines, and there are many others. Our glasses provide maximum comfort and durability, and are stylish at the same time. According to your particular condition, the diopter of these glasses can range from −20 and up. Also, cylinder correction is available.

The difference between reading glasses and prescription glasses

The main difference between these two types of spectacles is that reading glasses are NOT prescription glasses, whereas you need a prescription from your eye doctor to get prescription glasses. Reading glasses are convenient for people who have never worn glasses before. If you over 40, you probably can’t read a newspaper or the text on your phone, so reading glasses are a quick fix for this. You should remember that reading glasses don’t have additional corrections for certain vision problems, meaning they don't have astigmatism or cylinder correction. You can’t wear reading glasses every day, because they are intended to be used only when you have trouble seeing things close-up. Reading glasses will probably have the same corrective power in both lenses.

Getting prescription glasses means you have correction glasses specifically designed for your particular eye problem. With these glasses, your vision will be much sharper and clearer. An additional benefit of wearing prescription glasses is that you can get multifocal ones, which are a great option for those who have more than one correction problem. It’s a two-in-one solution. In addition, you can wear them every day when you go out for a walk or do the shopping. Having a prescription will give you both corrected distance and near vision all in one set of lenses. Prescription glasses are also more accurate and standardized for your eyes, because sometimes you don’t need the same correction for both eyes. That’s why these glasses can be prescribed specifically for your eyes.


The choice is yours. However, you should consider the things mentioned above so you have a clearer understanding of which glasses are better for you. Always visit your eye doctor if you are not sure which pair is right for you. Not only that, but sometimes each eye needs different correction, as said before, so it’s better to have an eye exam before buying eyeglasses. This would be easier, because in the meantime you won’t waste your money, and you will invest in something worthwhile – better vision, better life, right?

1. Krause HK. Fallstricke bei der Bestimmung von Nahbrillen [Pitfalls in the prescription of reading glasses]. Ophthalmologe. 2011 Apr;108(4):324-30. German. doi: 10.1007/s00347-011-2343-8. PMID: 21505967.
2. Singh P, Tripathy K. Presbyopia. [Updated 2022 Feb 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
3. Najjar, Dany. "Clinical optics and refraction". Eyeweb. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-03-25.