Scooby-Doo and The Case of the Over-The-Counter Reading Glasses

Posted on June 11, 2012 · Posted in Eyeglasses

Remember Scooby-Doo?  Whether a fan of the cartoon or the Freddie Prinze, Jr./Matthew Lillard reenactment, the idea was the same:  those guys and gals could solve any caper. Especially when the first person they talked to always ended up being the guilty party.

Undoubtedly, Scoob and the rest of the Mystery Machine crew would have an easy time making sense of the over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses world. How hard can it be, right? Go to the local drug store, find the display of “readers”, try a few on, and see what works best. The problem with this thinking is that it ignores a few truths:

  1. OTC reading glasses are not made to the same tolerances as prescription reading glasses. Materials and optical quality are often inferior to what you’d get from a provider and this can create additional eye strain.
  2. OTC reading glasses are made with the average person’s anatomy in mind. The distance between the center of each pupil is always measured with a prescription pair of glasses for a reason: the wearer needs to be looking through the optical center of each lens for best comfort and clarity. Without this measurement, the chances of the wearer looking through the ideal spot in the lens, and achieving their optimal vision, is slim.
  3. Buying OTC reading glasses is not a substitute for a regular, comprehensive eye examination. Just because someone can see clearly doesn’t mean their eyes are healthy. Regular care is critical to maintaining healthy eyes.
  4. Read #3 again.
  5. Read #3 one more time.

Zoinks!  You almost bought those OTC readers without seeing an eye doctor.  And you might have done it…if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.