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Should I Buy Ready Readers?

Women wearing glasses and reading a book

Ready readers; they’re everywhere. In the local supermarket or high street store, at some “too good to be true” prices too. But just what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying an off the shelf pair of reading glasses, as opposed to a pair prescribed by your local optician?

Ok, yes; they may save you money in the short term, but cheap reading glasses could actually end up costing your eyesight.

The so-called ‘ready readers’, which sell for as little as £1 in high street shops, may leave wearers with eye strain, headaches or even blurred or double vision.

Millions have bought them, however, research suggest they could be putting their eyesight and health at risk.

By the age of 50, most adults have problems reading a book or newspaper without spectacles.

So, the arrival of the cheap, readily available glasses in supermarkets, high street stores and market stalls less than ten years ago has been seen by many as a quick fix, with some people buying several cheap versions to stash around the house so that they can always find a pair.

A researcher at consumer champion Which? checked 14 pairs from seven high street chains.

He found problems with half of them, with those carrying a higher prescription (+3.50 to +4.00 ) considered to cause the most concern.

‘Off-the-peg glasses could cause eye strain, blurred vision, headaches or double vision,’ the Which? researcher said.

‘For people with higher prescriptions, they’re not suitable for walking or other mobile activities.’

They could even ‘cause a nasty accident’, he warned.

The biggest problem is that the centre point (optical centres) of the two lenses might not be aligned. This means the sight in one eye might be clear while the other is blurred.

This was the case in a pair from one high street store (which also had a prescription strength that differed from the +3.5 on the pack!) and a £16 pair from fashion eyewear store Sight Station.

‘This could cause eye problems or a head tilt,’ the researcher said.

A £4 pair from another retail outlet were ‘unwearable’ because the centre point of the lenses did not match, while a £2 pair from Primark had ‘a very large difference’.

A £15 pair from Marks & Spencer were so ‘poorly made’ that the lenses were likely to drop out.

All opticians will confirm that full eye examinations are essential before buying glasses. As well as ensuring the correct prescription is used, they can detect serious health issues, such as cataracts and brain tumours.

We have appointments available Monday to Saturday, where we will carry out a full eye examination, determine your exact prescription and optical centres (for the lens central point) and supply you with a quality tailored product from as little as £40 (or completely covered with a valid NHS optical voucher).

We will then fit the glasses to you to ensure maximum comfort and fit, and provide you with a stylish case and microfiber lens cleaning cloth to keep your prescription lenses clean and clear (you won’t get that from a market stall!!).


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