7 Sneaky Signs You Need Reading Glasses

The most obvious symptom is blurry vision, but here are other surprising clues you might be overlooking.

You doze off at your computer

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The muscles in your eyes work hardest when you focus on close-up or detailed work, like when you’re reading or working on the computer. If you need glasses, those muscles work even harder to help you see clearly. Because that isn’t a natural position for the eyes, they can get tired, which makes you feel sleepy. If reading glasses alone don’t help, try blinking more often or pushing your computer farther away from you. This will keep your eyes more relaxed. And here are tricks to make your glasses last longer.

You need brighter light to read

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Your normal reading lamp doesn’t seem bright enough, so you turn on another lamp, and then maybe even an overhead light. If you never seem to have enough light, regardless of the room or type of lighting, it could be a sign that you need reading glasses. This becomes more prevalent as you age, but don’t worry—it’s a normal condition. Studies show that the average 60-year-old needs at least three times the amount of light as a 20-year-old.

You get an arm workout while reading

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The way you hold a book can be one of the most telling signs that you need reading glasses. If you are near-sighted—which is when you can’t see far away—you’ll bring a book 12 inches or less toward your face. If you’re far-sighted—which is when you can’t see up close—you might need to hold the book at arm’s length. Remember this rule: If an object held 14 inches from your face is blurry, you may need some sort of corrective lens.

You keep getting headaches

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Eyestrain from working with few breaks can also make you more susceptible to headaches or make recurring headaches worsen. If the headache is right behind your eyes, the cause could be hyperopia (far-sightedness) or astigmatism (when objects look blurry at certain angles due to the cornea’s shape). Both problems can be corrected with glasses. Be sure to take frequent breaks when doing work that can strain your eyes. Doctors around the world recommend the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And try one of these home remedies for headaches.

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You never touch kale (or other leafy green veggies)

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If you think carrots are the only veggie you need for healthy eyes, you could be missing out on the benefits of such leafy greens as kale. These foods contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help keep your eyes’ lenses clear, reducing the risk for cataracts and your odds of needing glasses of any sort. One cup of kale can have as much as 26.5 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin, depending on how it is prepared. One serving of carrots have less than one milligram of both. Here are other amazing health perks of eating kale.

You see halos

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When your eyes cannot properly focus light into your retina, the light can become blurred or scattered. As a result, you may see bright circles appear around lights of various shapes and sizes, from light bulbs or car headlights. Glasses are usually a quick fix for this problem. However, halos are also a common symptom of cataracts, especially along with cloudy vision. If you see halos, talk to your doctor.

You’re older than 40

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Once you hit your forties, you’re almost guaranteed to experience one or more of the previous symptoms, thanks to presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition where the eyes gradually lose their ability to focus on nearby objects (though it’s not the same as farsightedness). Symptoms typically begin to appear in your early to mid-40s and can continue to worsen until your 60s. Luckily, this natural aging process has a simple solution—reading glasses.

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