/ Health, Home & Energy

Ready-made glasses can be a real headache

Glasses on news papers

It might not just be the small print that’s giving you a headache – it could be your ready-made reading glasses. Should it be so easy to buy something that could give you headaches and make you see double?

Like me, you might have thought that cheap off-the-peg glasses were a useful boost for a short read.

But now that we’ve investigated these glasses I’m much more concerned about relying on a more powerful ready-made pair.

Our expert said higher prescription ‘ready-readers’ aren’t suitable to wear when moving about, so buying them to save getting paint splashes on expensive eye-wear might not be money so well spent. Well, they are reading glasses after all.

Off-the-peg glasses are inexpensive and a tempting way to save cash. I can understand why spending less than a fiver is far more appealing than the cost of an eye test and a trip to the optician, especially when you only need glasses at odd times of the day.

After seeing the Which? expert’s findings, I’m still happy to use lower prescription ready-readers now and then. But the results on some of the higher prescription glasses (+3.50 or +4.00) made me worry that I might strain my eyes if I started to use them.

I’d hate to think of people getting into the habit of using powerful ready-made reading glasses all the time – half the 14 pairs we bought had problems.

These glasses are easy to pick up on the high street while you’re out doing your day-to-day shopping, so any of us could take home a headache with our new cheap ready-readers. But I don’t think you should risk picking up eye strain, blurred vision, or double vision along with your shampoo or socks.

Comments
Member

I’ve used cheap reading glasses for 30 years and my eyesight has always been better than average as I am slightly colour blind. But after 80 years my focus mechanism is somewhat limited so I now have to use five different strengths for different jobs. I found Varifocals are awful, but I manage very well, thank you, on poundand glasses.
Perhaps the Which verdict on poundland: “Center of glasses wrong vertically; wrong prescription; big gap between lenses”. was very misleading, unfair, and gave the completely wrong impression. Surely Which should have said that they are fine for some people, even up to +3.5. They do not necessarily damage your sight, nor give you headaches.

Member

I’ve used cheap reading glasses for 30 years and my eyesight has always been better than average as I am slightly colour blind. But after 80 years my focus mechanism is somewhat limited so I now have to use five different strengths for different jobs. I found Varifocals are awful, but I manage very well, thank you, on poundand glasses.
Perhaps the Which verdict on poundland: “Center of glasses wrong vertically; wrong prescription; big gap between lenses”. was very misleading, unfair, and gave the completely wrong impression. Surely Which should have said that they are fine for some people, even up to +3.5. They do not necessarily damage your sight, nor give you headaches.

Member
Irene75359 says:
18 November 2010

Please don’t ban ready-made reading glasses! I find them absolutely invaluable (2.5 works well for both reading and long distance for me) whereas my prescription reading glasses are so strong I can’t walk around safely, and my distance glasses – used for example when driving – means I can’t read the dashboard display. I have just had varifocals made and am getting to grips with them, but unfortunately I lose glasses all the time, and have ready readers in strategic places all around the house. If they didn’t work I wouldn’t buy them – it is that simple.

Member
JENN says:
5 July 2011

I just want to know who do which reccomend for an eye test…..I found a link but it only said what they found out about different places but not who they thought was best

Member

Take a look at our investigation on Opticians coming up in September’s Which?, Jenn. Although we can’t rate every optician in the country, our research will pull out differences between chains and local independents we visited. Have you tried looking on Which? Local to look for opticians in your area that other Which? readers have recommended?

Member

Hello everyone, we’ve just published a new Conversation on this – an investigation into buying glasses online.

In recent years, many have turned to purchasing glasses online to save money. For £10 who wouldn’t be tempted? But is this move short-sighted when it comes to our eye health?

Come and join in: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/buying-cheap-glasses-online-problems/