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henrys202020 | 14:53 Wed 24th Apr 2024 | Body & Soul
18 Answers

im  thinking  of   getting reading  glasses  off the  shelf  rather  than  going  to an  opticion good  or  bad  idea



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At your age an eye test is free. Get the eye test done and see what the results are; you are not obliged to buy glasses from the optician who tests your eyes.

Have you got a prescription from an optician which will tell you what you need i.e. +2, then you can make sure you can make sure you buy the correct lens

take bhg's advice 14:55,  if both eyes have similar defects, use the results to buy off the shelf, but if one eye is different than the other, which is very common (as mine are), you will have to go to an optician for them. 

Agree with the above posts, get tested first, know what strength you need then go to your nearest Pound Shop.  Mr U buys 5 pairs at once and keeps them in different rooms. 

The eye test looks in a lot more depth than just prescribing your lens.  Also you may need a different prescription in each eye, which means you will not be able to get them off the shelf.

Bad. I can't see 🙂 some off shelf pair correcting astigmatism nor spotting other eye problems building up.

Off the shelf glasses are probably ok if you fancy a wee dram though.

It's what I did before my eyes got to the point that even the strongest off the shelf ones were no good for me.

No harm in giving them a go in my opinion if you only need them for reading and they help. I had a pair in every room and every pocket.

Personally I would never buy glasses off the shelf. It is important to have your eyes looked at by a profesional once a year . Even if you have a prescription, the glasses on the supermarket shelves can't be of good quality for that price .

Get your eyes tested and get the prescription then go to an Asda which has an Optician section.  Have a look here at what you can get at the price. 

// We also sell a range of value glasses for adults at our lowest price, £15 single vision or £45 varifocals. Again these come with our complete pricing so you know the price you see is always the price you pay. advanced varifocal lenses (if required, excluding the £15 single vision range) \\

When I needed glasses for reading, I had my eyes tested first. The Optician told me to buy a cheap pair off the shelf! That's what I did. No problems. Still have regular eye tests, but gradually need stronger ones each time over the years.

Some shops have a reading test card next to the reading glasses shelf so you can try different strength lenses & see which suit.

I've bought reading glasses like that. I do get my eyes tested for regular glasses tho'. 

cheaper and crappier, your choice

Your eyes are precious.  Look after them properly.  Both eyes are often not the same.  3 years ago my worst eye was my left, now it is my best.

go to the shelf and try some out, holding a book/phone in front of you to read. Do each eye separately. If one pair suits both eyes, buy it (and a spare). Eye tests are free and worth having, but if your reading and long-distance vision  is okay, don't feel you have to have one.

I do have a couple of off-the-shelf pairs at a £ a pair as emergency, but my prescription glasses cater for slight difference between my eyes and some astigmatic correction.


I thoroughly recommend an annual test, it was such a test 2 years ago that identified  the possibility of a blood clot on my brain and they got me an immediate referral to a TIA clinic at the hosptal. The hospital confirmed the clot and they put me on appropriate medication to prevent a recurrence.

Henry - please see an optician first.
I was very shocked today on seeing an optician (I hadn't had eyes checked for almost 10 years) when she told me I had lost 40% of the vision in my right eye. I hadn't noticed the right one was failing, just that I was having trouble focusing lose up. She said the other one was compensating for the loss.


^ close up.

All my family have started off with off the shelf specs and no one, absolutely no one, has come to any harm using them. They're just magnifiers and help with reading when you first start having difficulty reading due to age.

We all do what we feel is best for ourselves, and make our own decisions. Henry must do what he feels is best for himself.

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