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Does Family Dollar and Other Discount Stores Sell Reading Glasses? And Are Dollar Store Glasses Safe?

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While Family Dollar sells a huge range of products, including clothing and personal care items, Family Dollar stores don’t currently stock reading glasses. However, there are many other discount stores or drug stores that do sell reading glasses, which could be a cost-effective way of having a few spare pairs to hand.

We’ve all seen cheap pairs of reading glasses in discount and drug stores – and wondered whether they’re worth buying and safe to use. After all, however much of a bargain they are, they’re still a waste of money if they don’t work, right?

The good news is that over-the-counter reading glasses – even those from a dollar or discount store – are safe to use and won’t risk damaging the wearer’s eyesight. These types of full rim specs can help wearers to focus up close. Ophthalmologists recommend that, due to the way our eyesight changes as we get older, reading glasses of a certain strength usually need to be switched up every two years by those in the forty-five to sixty-five age category.

How to Choose Dollar Store or Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses

If you haven’t visited an ophthalmologist- or want to double-check that the reading glasses are right for you – there’s a simple way to check their suitability in-store. Simply grab a greeting card or a magazine from those on sale, hold it at a comfortable distance for reading, and then try on various pairs of glasses until you find the ones that are best.

If you’re having trouble choosing between two powers, it’s usually best to go with the lower power option. Reading glasses that are too strong tend to cause more discomfort than those that may be slightly too weak. Consider, too, how you’ll be using your new reading glasses: for example, computer work usually takes place at a greater distance compared to reading a book.

It’s important to ensure that any glasses you purchase fit correctly to avoid discomfort and potential eye strain. Over-the-counter and dollar-store readers tend to be one-size-fits-all, so make sure you’re happy with the fit before buying them. 

Reading Glasses Strength Required by Age Range

As a very rough guide, here’s an idea of reading glasses strength requirement by age:

  • 40 – 43 – +1.00
  • 44 – 47 – +1.25 – 1.50
  • 48 – 51 – +1.50 – 1.75
  • 52 – 55 – +1.75 – 2.00
  • 56 – 59 – +2.00 – 2.25
  • 60 – 64 – +2.25 – 2.50
  • 65 + – +2.50 – 3.00

What are the Benefits of Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses?

Many people find that a multi-pack of cheap, over-the-counter reading glasses is an invaluable backup to their main pair of glasses, allowing them to keep multiple pairs around the house where they may need them, such as on a bedside table or in the car. Some wearers prefer to take a couple of cheap pairs of reading glasses on vacation with them rather than risk their ‘main’ specs being damaged or getting lost while on their travels.

Are Designer Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses Available

If you’re searching for over-the-counter designer readers, Family Dollar and similar may not be the best place to look. You can expect to pay between about $30 and $100 for a pair of over-the-counter designer reading glasses, but you’ll likely get optical-quality lenses and high-quality acetate frames for the additional expense.

Can I Wear Reading Glasses if I Also Wear Contact Lenses?

Yes, this is often possible. If, for example, you wear contact lenses to correct astigmatism, using a pair of reading glasses for reading without removing your contacts is a useful way to avoid having to switch between two different pairs of spectacles.

How Do I Know if I Need Reading Glasses

There are a few obvious signs to look out for, such as blurry vision and needing to hold things closer to or further from your eyes to be able to see them clearly. Headaches following an extended reading or computer work session can also be a clue that you require corrective lenses.

When Are Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses Not the Best Option?

For some people, over-the-counter reading glasses aren’t appropriate. For example, if you have astigmatism, require a strong prescription, or need a different strength of prescription for each eye, you’ll need to visit an eye doctor to get the eyeglasses you need. Prescription reading glasses – as opposed to an over-the-counter option – are likely to be best for those who’d prefer blue light-blocking lenses or anti-reflective coating, for example. And, of course, remember that the range of reading glasses available in a dollar or drug store will be limited in terms of frame styles.

The Takeaway: Are Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses Right For You?

If reading is becoming a little trickier and you simply require some magnification to be able to read comfortably, inexpensive reading glasses from dollar and drug stores could be a cost-effective way to get what you need. Be sure to try on several pairs in-store to identify the best reading glasses for your needs that fit comfortably. And if in doubt – always consult your eye doctor.

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