Scheduled to have cataract surgery?
You may wonder why you'll probably need reading glasses following cataract surgery, even though your distance vision has improved. The answer lies in the artificial lens implanted by your doctor to replace the natural lens during surgery.
This lens is typically "single-focus," meaning it can only focus on one distance. So, if the lenses are set for distance vision, you'll need reading glasses to see up close.
Is there a perfect strength?
The perfect power for reading glasses after cataract surgery depends on the individual and their activities. Many ophthalmologists say +1.25 diopters for computer use and +2.25 to 2.50 diopters for reading near is a good starting point for most people. Some, though, may need a higher or lower power. A simple calculation based on the "diopter unit" of measurement can determine the exact power needed for reading glasses. The power varies person-to-person, and you'll find a good "self test" later in this article.
"Close-up" means different things to different tasks
The higher the "diopter strength," the more close up the reading glasses will help you focus. However, it's important to consider your intermediate working distance as well. Not all work happens within arm's reach, and with the rise of computers and the internet, more and more activities fall into the intermediate category. If you correct your vision to be very strong for up-close work, your computer vision may remain blurry, and you may require a separate pair of computer glasses.
(As a side note, most eye care professionals tell us we place reading matter about 14 inches from our eyes (requiring readers provide an additional +2.00 diopters, on average) and when we work with our computers screens about 28 inches from our eyes (requiring an extra +1.00 diopter, on average, with reading glasses). That means pairs of reading glasses, with different lens magnifications, are good to have.)
How to determine the strength you'll need
If you want to be more exact, you can measure the ideal diopter strength you'll need after cataract surgery by downloading the handy self-eye-test at this link.
So, the optimal power of reading glasses after cataract surgery depends on you and your activities. While a +2.00 pair of reading glasses will work for most people in most situations, some may need a higher or lower power.
Consider your intermediate working distance as well as where you like to hold things when you read, and take our self test at 14 and 28 inches if you want to be more exact. With the right reading glasses, you can enjoy clear vision both up close and at a distance after cataract surgery.
The best part of all of this? Your decisions will become a matter of style.
The material provided on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your eye care professional. Have your eyes examined regularly and always follow your eye care professional's instructions. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or visual distortion, consult your eye care professional immediately.