Q: When it comes to reading eyeglasses, is it better to get a pair of prescription glasses specifically tailored to my eyes, or would a cheap pair from the drugstore be just as effective?
A: Hi Laura,
I can tell you from the beginning that nothing is better than a pair of glasses specifically tailored to your eyes. Why?
In order for a pair of eyeglasses to be perfect for you, the optometrist or ophthalmologist must measure a few things truly vital for your eyes, and I name them now even if they are particularly technical terms:
-Left-right eye asymmetry
It takes all this for tailoring the eyeglasses to your eyes and only for your eyes!
If any of these characteristics is wrong, you will not have a clear vision. Using such wrong reading eyeglasses, these mean headaches, blurry vision or tearing if you use them for a longer time, even half hour.
The worst part is that your eyes will get tired more quickly than with prescription eyeglasses. So your diopters will grow faster in time.
If you don't have the same diopters at both eyes, I don't advice you to try them at all as such eyeglasses sold in drugstores, have only the same diopters at both lenses.
They are emergency glasses. If you broke yours, you can have a pair until you fix the prescription glasses, so the drugstore glasses are only suitable for a few days, not forever.
The materials they use to do this glasses are usually cheap plastic or metal for frame and cheap plastic for the lenses. This means they will not last for long, and there is no possibility of repairing them because they are weak.
The lenses usually don't have good quality coatings, so they are easy to scratch or break. If the lenses are made of glass, they are dangerous if they break, so be careful what you buy.
At ending, the prescription glasses are more expensive of course because the eyeglass frame and lenses are high quality materials, with efficient coatings and durable in time.
Conclusion: The prescription is mandatory for reading eyeglasses and for any eyeglasses to be sure that they are the best for your health. So any other option it is unsafe for your eyes health, even it is cheaper.
A lot of people do not realize that endanger their eyes health, and from here they take glasses from various non specialized shops or borrow from someone else the glasses.
Related topics to read:
Choosing Your Eyeglass Lenses
Hope this helps,