Ready-made glasses

Ready-made glasses

Ready-made glasses are inexpensive eyewear that are sold without prescription in pharmacies, markets and other retail outlets. They contain lenses with an equal power for each eye in the range +1.00 to +4.00 dioptres and are generally used for reading. Although ready-mades are sold as magnifying spectacles they are primarily used for the correction of presbyopia, a condition that affects most people over the age of 45 years. Here are some facts on ready-mades:

  • Ready-mades are an inferior form of optical correction for most people. They have the same prescription in each eye, yet 3 out of 4 people requiring a vision correction need lenses with different powers in each eye.

  • Ready-mades do not include a correction for astigmatism yet 6 out of 10 people need a correction for astigmatism.

  • The distance between people’s eyes varies, which is known as the pupillary distance, and prescription eyewear provided by your optometrist allows for this. Ready-mades do not take this into account and because of this any mismatch between the lens centres and your eyes can cause eyestrain, headaches and blurred or double vision.

  • There are some cases where ready-mades are appropriate. Where appropriate, optometrists can advise their patients which power is most appropriate, This advice should only be offered after a full eye examination has been performed.

  • Although ready-made spectacles are unlikely to cause damage, their unrestricted sale poses a risk to the community through its potential to divert people with serious eye conditions from seeking eye health care.

  • Purchase of ‘ready-made’ spectacles may lead to a false sense of security, since the spectacles may fix one vision problem whilst other problems have not been detected.

  • Although presbyopia is the most common condition causing difficulty in reading in adults, there are many serious and potentially blinding eye conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataract, and diabetic eye disease which can also cause difficulty when reading.

More information on ready-mades