Experiencing some trouble when reading is a commonly occurring problem if you're close to middle age. Here's why: As time passes, the lens of your eye becomes increasingly inflexible, decreasing your ability to focus on close objects. The clinical term for this is presbyopia.
Often, to prevent having to strain their eyes, people with undiagnosed presbyopia tend to hold books, magazines, newspapers, and menus at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, like crafts or handwriting, could also result in eyestrain and discomfort in those with presbyopia. When handling presbyopia, you have several options available, regardless of whether you are a glasses or contact lens wearer.
A common solution is reading glasses, though these are mostly efficient for contact lens wearers or for those who don't need to wear glasses for correcting distance vision. You can get these glasses at lots of shops, but you shouldn't get a pair until you have seen the results of a full visual examination. This is because reading glasses may help for brief periods of reading but they can result in fatigue with prolonged use.
If you already have glasses for myopia, consider bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or PALs (progressive addition lenses), which a lot of people find very beneficial. Essentially, these are eyeglasses that have separate points of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription to give you the ability to focus at close range. Contact lens wearers should speak to their eye care specialist to discuss multifocal contact lenses. There's also a treatment approach known as monovision. Monovision is when one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.
It's important to note that you may have to routinely check and possibly adjust the strength of your lenses, because your eyes and vision slowly change with age. Presbyopia is seen in people even after refractive surgery, so it is important to understand all the options before making decisions about your vision care.
Ask your eye doctor for an unbiased perspective. Vision does not stay the same as you age and we want to keep you informed so you deal with your vision in the best way possible.