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Buying “Readers” from a Grocery Store

POSTED ON July 24, 2009

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I was at the local grocery store today, picking up something from the pharmacy when I noticed a stand that was stocked with readers. As you can see from the picture, there are several items of concern here.  First, there is a “self test” on the right side where people can try on various pairs of eyeglasses and see if they work.  Not exactly rocket science and more importantly, not exactly accurate.  On the ...

I was at the local grocery store today, picking up something from the pharmacy when I noticed a stand that was stocked with readers.

As you can see from the picture, there are several items of concern here.  First, there is a “self test” on the right side where people can try on various pairs of eyeglasses and see if they work.  Not exactly rocket science and more importantly, not exactly accurate.  On the left hand side, there is a diopter strength scale that is more than generic.  Ultimately, this is not the best way to buy eyeglasses and it is not a good way to treat your eyes (you only get one set of these, by the way).

The problem with buying readers in this manner is that readers that you buy from the local store have the same prescription in both eyes.  Very few people actually have the same prescription in both of their eyes, so it is critical that you buy eyeglasses and readers from an optometrist who can put you in lenses that fit your exact prescription for BOTH eyes.  Having the wrong prescription for an eye causes eye strain, which can lead to headaches.

So the next time you consider buying readers at a grocery store, please think again.  Buy your milk and bread there, then go to an Indiana vision center (preferably Dr. Tavel!), get an eye examination from one of our eye care doctors, and treat your eyes to a great pair of glasses with your exact prescription.

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