Over a quarter of the world’s population, will need reading glasses by the end of 2020

In the modern era it is calculated that two billion people, over a quarter of the world’s population, will need reading glasses by the end of 2020, not taking into account the millions more who need other prescription glasses. In a world where ever more of us require glasses, we should not only feel comfortable as we wear them, but poised as we express our personalities through them. One of the most striking colours anybody can choose to wear, or course, is red. Red glasses frames can symbolise a lot of different things, but are generally excellent because they also complement a great range of colours, outfits and seasons.

When you first find out you need glasses, especially reading glasses, it can feel like a blow to self-esteem, but this is perfectly normal. The eyes can suffer from a natural condition called presbyopia, in which, as we age, the proteins within the eye start to harden and our eye movement slows. In many people, this results in difficulties reading, usually from the mid-forties onwards. However, this is becoming more common in younger people, in part due to long periods of time in front of screens.

In these cases, it is possible to buy cheap, non-prescription glasses off the shelf, which will allow you to continue reading without needing glasses cut to match your specific optical needs. As these glasses can be cheaper than regular prescription glasses, it is often worth owning multiple pairs, and it can be fun to experiment with different colours and frames for different occasions. Red glasses can be especially good in autumn, when they fit the colours of the falling leaves, and in winter when they can add a little Christmas cheer during the coldest season of the year. Red is one of the most versatile colours in glasses frames, but it is worth testing a combination of colours, to find those which feel authentically “you”.

Should I worry about my reading glasses?

Getting reading glasses can feel stressful and strange when it is your first experience of having glasses, but having your eyes tested on a regular basis will assuage any anxiety you have with your ocular health. Over time, you might find the strength of the reading glasses you need rises with age, but this is very normal.

You may also find that your glasses are uncomfortable to wear, at first, and it can feel as if your eyes are deteriorating further. However, this is likely to only be you and your eyes adjusting. If you find after a few weeks that one eye is comfortable, but the other is still struggling to read, it is likely that one of your eyes is stronger than the other, and you will need to see an optometrist about getting a pair of prescription glasses.

Many people who have never worn glasses at all, before needing reading glasses, become accustomed to wearing them at all times, and are happy to use them for all activities, but this is not encouraged. While there is no danger to your eyes from wearing reading glasses full-time, they do offer a distorted view of where everything is. You can adjust to seeing the world through your reading glasses, and then be thrown when you have to operate without them.

The main activity you must not do with reading glasses is driving: the effect of magnifying nearby objects means that your reading glasses can distort your sense of where other road users are. Or, if you become accustomed to driving with the reading glasses on, there becomes a risk attached to driving without them, so it is important to never wear them while driving. Reading glasses are okay to wear at the computer, although it is better practice to simply find out how the zoom functions work on your device and read the text in a larger font instead, to give your eyes more of a rest.

How should I choose glasses that fit my face? 

Different glasses can give your face very different looks – the caveat being that sometimes glasses can hide your best features, or draw attention where you don’t want it. In almost all cases, however, this can be avoided by picking the right shape of frame for your face. Red oval frames, for example, might bring out a square face and even it out to accentuate your symmetry. More muted and wider frames can transform a heart-shaped face; softening harsh cheek-lines, all the way down to the small, rounded chin, highlighting these rare features in a completely new way.

For more triangular faces, with clear foreheads running down to sharp chins, a variety of glasses shapes will look great. Rimless glasses and frames, which are narrow at the top, create a pleasing, composed appearance. For these face shapes it is often better to have pale shades at the top of the rim – not always easy when it comes to red glasses, but certainly possible.

Some of the best faces for red glasses are undoubtedly oval faces, which can benefit from multiple frame options. Recommended, however, are wider frames, which will highlight fuller cheeks – and red is a great colour to enhance this effect further.

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