You can determine your reading or bifocal power by yourself or your optometrist or ophthalmologist can measure it for you. Your reading power also may be on your eye prescription. This is also known as your ‘Add’ power:
However, sometimes there is a problem with relying on the ADD power written on your eye prescription. When you are in your mid 40’s, your ADD power can change quite rapidly. When Presbyopia begins, your ability to see small print close up worsens over time. So, if it has been more than a year since you got your eye prescription, we recommend you read on.
If your prescription does not have an ADD power, that means you don’t need bifocals or readers. But ,if you start noticing you are are having difficulty reading menus, (especially in the dark) then your prescription is changing. Again, read on.
How to Figure Out Your Bifocal or Reading Power Yourself
Save yourself a trip to your doctor’s office by using this simple tool to determine your reading power yourself. We researched all the reading power charts online, and we concluded this is the most accurate one for you. Click on the reading power chart below to open a pdf with easy to follow instructions.
You should check your power at least once a year. It’s probably a good idea to use the same reading power chart every time. Once you figure out your reading power, it’s time to start shopping for bifocals, full lens readers and bifocal sunglasses. If a .25 increment is not available in the style you choose, you may need to round up to the next .50 increment. Sunglassmonster.com carries a large variety of styles, and they will ship to you within 24 hours.
Introduction: Difference Between Bifocals, Readers and Progressives
Everyone at some point in their lives will need to wear bifocals or reading glasses. Its a fact of life. This condition is called Presbyopia, which describes the gradual inability to focus on small objects close as people age. Specifically, presbyopia begins to set in the mid to late 40’s. Read this article to learn more about Presbyopia. To counteract the effect of Presbyopia, people wear bifocal glasses or reading glasses, commonly known as “bifocals” or “readers.”
How to Determine your Reading Power
Before we begin, it’s important to know how to determine your reading power. If you have a recent eye prescription, this power will written on your prescription as the ‘Add’ Power. It will be a number between +1.00 and +6.00. Nonetheless, the most common add powers are between +100 and +3.00. If you don’t have a prescription, you can easily determine your reading power on your own. Click on our Reading Glasses Power Chart below for instructions:
Quite a few bifocals only come in .50 increments. For example, +1.00, +1.50, +2.00, +2.50. However, if your reading power is a .25 increment, simply round up. For example, if you are a +1.25, you would purchase a +1.50.
Bifocals refer to glasses with lenses that have two distinct visual zones. These two visual zones are divided by a distinct line. Specifically, the bottom portion of the lens is magnified to help you see smaller print. You will look through this section to read your cell phone, books, magazines or menus. Basically, the lower portion o the bifocals will help you focus on anything that is small. The top part of the lens has zero magnification, which is also known as a ‘plano’ lens. You will look straight ahead through the top part of the lens to see objects at a distance.
Readers, on the other hand, usually refer to glasses which have lenses that are entirely magnified. There is not a dividing line on the lenses. The entire lens is magnified from top to bottom. These glasses are also known as ‘full lens readers.’
In addition, full lens readers can be worn if you are far sighted (inability to see objects close up). This condition is known as hyperopia. This is a condition that occurs when an irregularly-shaped eye prevents light from properly lining up with the retina. People of any age, including babies, can have hyperopia. Specifically, if your eye prescription has a plus “+” Sphere (SPH) power, you can wear reading glasses. Just match the + Sphere power on your prescription to the bifocal power.
Reader frames are available in two shapes, half frame and full frames. Half frame readers sit lower on the nose bridge so wearers can look above the lens to see far. To read, wearers simply look down. On the other hand, full frame lenses are worn like sunglasses. Full frame readers are perfect for reading small print or working with small objects for a longer periods of time. For example, full readers are excellent for reading a book or magazine at the pool. They are also great if you are building a model airplane. In addition, full lens readers are more comfortable to wear because it’s not necessary to look down all the time.
Progressive or Multi Focal Glasses
Progressives or Multi-focal lenses offer multiple power zones without any lines dividing the different zones. There are 3 levels of magnification on progressive or multi-focal lenses:
Near or Reading Power. This is the bottom most zone for reading books, menus, or your cell phone.
Mid or Computer vision power. This is the power in the middle of the lens for seeing your laptop computer.
Finally, Across the Desk power. This is the power on the top half of the lens for viewing items across your desk. You can see computer monitors or someone sitting across from you.
Multi-focal Progressive lenses are excellent for people while working at a desk. This is because they are constantly focusing on objects within a 5 foot zone. They can focus on their laptops, phones and monitors and across their desk.
Specialty Bi-focals & Readers
What if you are playing golf or tennis, and need to read small print? What if you are driving or riding your motorcycle and need to read a map? When you think of bifocals or readers, you visualize casual round and square glasses. These types of bifocals won’t stay on your head when playing sports. In addition, they aren’t tinted to protect you from the sun.
In addition, if you are fishing, you will need polarized glasses. If you are riding a motorcycle, you will need protection from the wind and debris. So, bifocal sunglasses also need to be functional. Following are the different types of bifocals and readers designed for sports.
Golf and Sport Bifocal Sunglasses are now available for more active lifestyles. Gone are the days when bifocals were only available in standard round and square shapes. If you play golf, run, cycle, or play tennis, you can wear bifocals designed specifically for sports. These bifocals feature:
Wrap frames for better peripheral vision
Custom color lenses to increase visual clarity
Non slip rubber nose and ear pieces
Light weight frames
Polarized Bi focals & Reading Glasses
Polarized sunglasses are known to eliminate glare off of shiny surfaces. This includes the hood of a car, windshields, chrome bumpers, mirrors and of course, water. Polarized sunglasses are very popular among fishermen. They can see beneath the surface of the water to locate the hungry fish. If you haven’t worn polarized sunglasses, you will definitely notice the difference in clarity.
Polarized fishing sunglasses are becoming increasingly popular. First of all, fishermen need the polarized glasses to eliminate the glare on the water so they can see. Second, it’s difficult to tie knots and bait hooks without any magnification. Finally, imagine having to physically change from sunglasses to reading glasses with a rod in one hand and hooks and bait in the other!
Ordinary casual bifocals don’t work for riding motorcycles. They don’t block wind, dirt, or debris. They don’t stay on biker’s heads when riding at high speeds or on bumpy roads. Bifocals meant for casual wear are not safe for motorcycle riding.
Bikers can wear sunglasses designed for motorcycle riding. However, what if they need to read their phones, maps or see their gauges? Storage space is pretty limited on a bike, and fumbling around to find reading glasses can be a major pain. So, sunglassmonster.com sells a wide variety of bifocal sunglasses designed for motorcycle riding. These bifocals feature the following:
Wrap frames to block wind and debris from all angles
Foam Cushion gasket to seal out wind and prevent dry eye
Impact resistant Polycarbonate Lenses
Snug fit to prevent wiggle at high speeds
Safety Rated ANSI Z87.1
What if you need to wear bifocals where ANSI Z87.1 safety rated glasses are required? Casual bifocals are not safety rated and dangerous to wear. On the other hand, safety rated bifocals will protect your eyes from projectiles and debris. The lenses are impact resistant polycarbonate. The frames will wrap around your face.
Clear & Yellow Night Vision Bi-focals
You may need clear or yellow night vision bifocals to see better at night. Yellow lenses reduce the halo effect around lights at night. These halos cause blurriness and very distracting. Furthermore, yellow lenses increase contrast so your vision is sharper at night. Finally, yellow readers filter out blue light from computer monitors and electronic devices.
Computer Vision Readers that Block Blue Light
If you are working in front of a computer all day, then you should definitely wear Computer Vision Bifocals or Readers. These special lenses block blue light. The blue light emitted by computer screens and digital devices can be harmful to your eyes. Blue light causes “digital eyestrain” and retina damage. In fact, studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration.
We call them “fashion bifocals” because we all want to look good. Bifocals now come in different colors, shapes and sizes. They have become more of a fashion accessory. Sunglassmonster.com carries aviator style bifocals, jackie-o style, cat eye and way fare styles. Most fashion conscious men and ladies have a collection of bifocals and readers to match their outfits and mood.
Conclusion: You Can Now Look Forward to Wearing Bifocals or Reading Glasses!
If you need to wear bifocals or reading glasses, you can now find a pair for every occasion and every mood you have. Bifocals are not only for sitting at the breakfast table while reading the morning paper. All types of sunglasses now come with bifocals, even motorcycle glasses! Shop sunglassmonster.com for the best selection of bifocals, bifocal sunglasses, reading glasses and reading sunglasses today!
Sport sunglasses are absolutely necessary if you are are jumping, running, focusing on objects far and near, or doing anything at high speeds. Here are some items to look for when purchasing sunglasses for sports or high speed activities.
Base 6 to Base 8 Curved Lens
A base curve refers to the curvature of the lens around your eyes. The higher the base curve, the more curvature of the lens. Curved lenses provide 180 degree protection from UV rays around your eyes. This in turn blocks UV rays from the side of your face. More importantly, curved lens prevents the sun from entering the back of the lens, bouncing off the back of the lens, and into the eyes of the wearer. This glare that bounces off the inside of your lenses can be more intense than direct sunglight.
Curved lenses also wrap around your face and shield your eyes from dirt and debris that may fly at you, especially at high speeds. Wrap sunglasses are often worn by bikers or motorcyclists to prevent exposure from wind. If you are a biker or a cyclist, you understand how wind can dry out your eyes and cause temporary blindness.
Curved lenses also help your peripheral vision. With ordinary flat sunglasses, you can easily see the edges of your frame if you look up, down or to the left and right. You can imagine how this can affect your performance if you are playing tennis or baseball.
Sport Sunglasses with Rubber Nose Pieces
Silicone nose pieces can be slippery if you start to sweat. Rubber nose pieces, on the other hand, help keep your glasses secure on your face. Rubber is also softer than most silicone nose pieces.
Sport Sunglasses with Rubber Ear Pieces
Obviously, frames that wiggle on your face won’t be a good thing while you are running sprints or a marathon. Ear pieces made of rubber will prevent slippage and less friction behind your ears. Sometimes frames are made with flexible ear pieces for a looser or more firm grip.
Snug Fitting Frames Keeps Your Glasses On Your Face
It’s important your sport sunglasses fit snug around your face rather than loose. Generally a higher wrap frame will provide a more snug fit. Keep in mind, however, that if you have ‘flatter’ facial features, than a high wrap frame may not be your best fitting option. High wrap frame with high base curves may touch your sunglasses which can get very annoying.
Polarized Lenses Cuts Glare & Great for Fishing
If you are using your sunglasses for fishing, then polarized glasses are a must have. Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare from shiny surfaces such as chrome bumpers, mirrors, car hoods, windshields and water. So, these anti glare lenses can virtually eliminate glare from water allowing fishermen to see beneath the surface of lakes, ponds and the ocean. Polarized lenses are also excellent for driving or for bikers.
High Definition Lenses Increase Clarity & Viewing Distance
HD Vision Sunglasses filter out blue light in the UV spectrum. The UV spectrum consists of yellow, orange, violet, blue and purple colors. Its the blue light that causes haziness. So, even of a perfectly sunny day, blue light can limit how far you can see. Most HD sunglasses have copper or amber color lenses. Consequently, you will see golfers, tennis players, and target shooter wearing sunglasses with copper lenses.
Light Weight Frames
If you are playing tennis, golf or baseball; or if you are running or cycling, it’s important to wear light weight sunglasses. Sport Sunglasses should feel like you almost have nothing your face at all. It’s less to think about and light weight sunglasses won’t slide down your nose as easily. On the flip side, if you are riding a motorcycle, its better for the glasses to have little bit of weight on them.
You obviously don’t want your sunglass lenses to shatter or crack on impact. Polycarbonate or PC lenses are impact resistant and shatterproof. We have heard countless stories how polycarbonate lenses have saved people’s vision in motorcycle accidents and other high impact sports. Compact discs, helmet visors, and bullet proof glass are made of polycarbonate. In addition, PC lenses naturally provide 100% UV protection without additional coatings.
If you are trying to perform at your best, ordinary casual sunglasses are not recommended for sports. The sports sunglasses sold at sunglassmonster.com are made for sports, both high impact and low impact. And you can take advantage of the BOGO half off deal and try a few pairs without breaking the bank.
What Makes a Sunglass Design Special? An Interview with the Founder of SunglassMonster.com.
You say each sunglass style on SunglassMonster.com is hand selected. What do you mean by that?
Sunglasses are special. They are worn not only to protect your eyes from the harmful long term effects of UV rays, but also as fashion statement. Sunglasses helps to define your personality. In other words, they can complement your personality, or they can really provide a distinctive first impression. So, when our designers help create sunglass designs with our factories, every curve, every color and every unique accent is carefully considered. Every sunglass design is tweaked hundreds, if not thousands of times until the design grabs us and defines a personality.
So, what do you look for in a sunglass design?
A sunglass design has to have personality. Some designs have a a more dominant personality, while some are complimentary. Most of our customers prefer a complimentary style, and some prefer a style that really pops and grabs attention. Its up to the customer to determine how much attention they really want. We design unique styles that are bit different from the styles you find everywhere else. Afterall, we all want to be a little bit different from everyone else.
What about comfort?
Yes, comfort is very important. Comfortable sunglass frames is usually associated with light weight frames. If the frames are light weight, they will weigh less on your nose and not cause too much friction behind your ears. We use a very light weight Zylonite which is a form of cellulose acetate material with all of our sunglass frames. The result is a flexible, durable and light weight material which allows our customers to wear their SGM sunglasses for hours and not even notice they are on. For our sports glasses, we integrate rubber nose pieces on 90% of our styles to prevent slippage if you start to sweat. For many of our casual styles, we use floating silicone nose pieces which self adjust to different nose bridge sizes.
What is your favorite style of Sunglasses?
As a child, I thought Wayfarer sunglasses were the coolest design on the planet. And since I had a low nose bridge, the Wayfarer actually fit my face. The reason is because Wayfarers are fairly flat (have a low base curve) and don’t curve into my eyelashes. Buy wayfarers have been around for decades and almost everyone has a pair. Lately, I have been wearing Aviator inspired sunglasses. Not necessarily the tear dropped aviators, but the square shaped aviators with rounded corners. They fit my face and the floating nose pieces are great for my low nose bridge. They also have a distinctive tough, yet mature style. They are just cool and fit my personality.
What’s your final word of advice on sunglasses?
I would have to say select sunglasses that are YOU. Embrace your taste and your personality and choose sunglasses that complement or enhance your style. Sunglasses are fun. This may sound cheesy, but sunglasses really determine how you see the world. Everything you see can be changed by your sunglasses. Add some variety to your life – purchase 2 or 3 different pairs to reflect the different moods you may be in, or the outfit you are wearing that day. You should be excited to wear a different style tomorrow or the next day. Experiment with different lens colors, mirrored lenses, and don’t forget to try polarized lenses.
Why are polycarbonate lenses better than plastic or acrylic lenses?
Although most sunglass lenses are made of plastic, the use polycarbonate lenses are increasing. However, plastic lenses are still the standard for most inexpensive sunglasses. Polycarbonate also known as poly lenses, are impact and shatterproof. Poly is more common than you think. Items such as helmet visors, music CDs, motorcycle windshields, and even bullet proof glass are made of poly. Compared to plastic, poly lenses are:
More impact resistant
20 – 35% thinner than plastic
20% lighter than plastic lenses
Naturally 100% UV protection
More resistant to scratches
What is Polycarbonate Material?
Believe it or not, polycarbonate starts as small pellets that look and feel like plastic. Polycarbonate is a thermos plastic material that is melted into the shape of the sunglass lens, and then compressed under high pressure. Finally, it is cooled to retain its shape.
Do You Need to Wear Polycarbonate Lenses for Sports?
If you play high impact sports such as baseball, tennis, target sports or basketball, you should probably wear poly lenses. Not only do polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UV protection all the time, poly lenses are shatter proof. So, you don’t have to worry about your lenses shattering from impact. Your eyes will always be protected. We also recommend poly lenses for motorcycle riding and for all high speed sports. We have heard so many stories from customers who tell us that polycarbonate lenses saved their eyes. As a matter of fact, all military personnel and police officers are required to wear safety rated poly sunglasses.
Assuming the lenses are properly coated with quality UV coatings, plastic lenses are still fine to wear for casual use. However, for the best eye protection, we recommend polycarbonate lenses. Fortunately, SunglassMonster.com offers a wide selection of sunglasses with poly lenses at incredible prices. In the past, polycarbonate lenses were only available with expensive sunglasses such as Oakley, Raybans and high end fashion brands. Now, since polycarbonate is so affordable at SunglassMonster.com, there’s not much of a reason to choose plastic lenses.