Reading glasses, available in over-the-counter or prescription versions, improve the ability to read something up close, such as a book or a computer screen.
Alabama optometrist Dr. Samuel Pierce, past president of the American Optometric Association, says over-the-counter reading glasses — which can be purchased at drugstores, department stores and other general retailers without a prescription — are designed for short-term wear, and are best suited for people who have the same lens power, or strength, in each eye and don’t have astigmatism, a common condition that causes blurred vision.
The Vision Council, a trade group, says the lens power of over-the-counter reading glasses typically ranges from +1 to +4.
However, for computer work, most people can get by with low-power reading glasses (+1.25 to +1.5), Wang says. For reading things that are closer, stronger glasses might be in order (+2.0 to +2.5). As you age, the power you need likely will increase.