Custom Reading Glasses




Introduction: Custom Reading Glasses

About: Lazy Old Geek

So this Lazy Old Geek walked into the Dollar store to try on some reading glasses. I tried a 1.0 power and I could read pretty good with my left eye. I tried a 3.0 power and I could read pretty good with my right eye.

Strange but I actually know why. Many years ago when I was working I had Lasik surgery. My eye doc and I agreed I should get Monovision. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it means one eye is better for distance and one eye is better for up close. It sounds pretty strange like just using one eye at a time but it actually works pretty good and you maintain a lot of your depth perception.

Anyway, as you get older and older, presbyopia still sets in. That means your eyes can’t focus as well for close up work and reading. Well, I did get a set of bifocal glasses but just hate them for reading.

Now I doubt that there are many out there with Monovision and presbyopia but there may be some who can use different powered reading glasses for each eye. This may help.

By the way, have others noticed how most stores charge $19.95 for reading glasses but you can buy them at dollar stores for a buck?

Monovision: I have found one downside to monovision. That is 3-D movies and TVs.  Those 3-D glasses are pretty much designed for good distance vision in both eyes. I don't know if you can get prescription 3-D glasses.

Step 1: Buying the Reading Glasses

The first step is to see what power you need in each eye. I settled on 1.0 and 3.0.
Next I went to the dollar stores and started looking for two pairs of identical reading glasses but with the different powers. For me, I had to try a couple of different stores and a couple of different times but I finally found and bought them. Now the frames were a different color but the lens shape seemed to be identical. By the way, another thing to look for is if the lens were symmetrical, i.e. the left and right lens could be swapped. This pair doesn’t look that way but I could actually swap them.

Step 2: Modifying the Glasses

Now you take the pair with the power you want for your left eye and remove the right lens.

I thought the lens was held in by the little screw but closer examination showed it wasn’t. Well, shucks, that was a waste of $2.15. But then I decided to just try pushing the lens out and it popped right out. As you probably know reading glasses for a buck have cheap plastic lens so do this carefully.

So I remove the right lens from the other pair and put it into the first one. I did have a little more trouble putting the lens in.

Done, sort of.

Well, since my lenses looked pretty symmetrical, I decided to remove the left lens from the second pair and place it on the right side, then put the first lens into the left side. It was a little harder but it worked. I carefully used a pair of plier to get some of the lens all the way in.

Wow, two pair of custom reading glasses for $2.15.

Be the First to Share


    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge
    • Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge

      Digital Fabrication Student Design Challenge
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge



    7 years ago on Step 2

    I have this exact problem, although my monovision came about naturally as I got older. Thanks very much. I think I'll buy a couple of 3-packs from Costco and hopefully I will end up with 6 custom readers.


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

    Hope it works for you.


    How I wish I had seen this back when you posted it! I can handle most challenges that come with aging, but the vision situation stinks!! I come by my monovision naturally with vision at 25/225 or thereabouts. Without glasses I could always read books with my left eye and distant signs with my right, but small print and road signs are beyond me now. Going without glasses causes nausea and headaches, and it took me years to adjust to progressive lenses. At one point there were separate glasses for driving, work (computer distance), reading, and progressives crammed into my purse. I think I put my optometrist's kid through college, so the idea of using inexpensive drugstore reading glasses is mighty appealing. Thanks for the great information.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, hope it helps. Now I've noticed most of the reading glasses in my Dollar store are plastic frames so maybe harder to swap lens.

    I have similar problems as I just got some progressives but didn't like them at all for reading or computer work. So don't wear them. Fortunately, don't need them for driving.

    A partial solution I'm using now is to adjust text size on my computer monitor. (Tip: Usually if you hold down the 'Ctrl' key and rotate your mouse wheel, you can adjust the text size.

    Another thing, I try to do is to get all my books in epub format so that I can read them on my tablet and again adjust the text size.

    I don't know if that would work for you, tho.

    I have several 'reading glasses' in various places as I don't like to carry them around.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea ... I buy the dollar store glasses as well, I like the ones that look like frameless santa glasses, they would probably work for u as well. The cheap screws tend to loosen, so the first thing I do is a dab of epoxy on each. The next time you try the full frames try placing them in simmering water for a couple of seconds and then quickly pop in the lense. One thing Ive learned is you can never have enough reading glasses, by the computer, the phone, in the car/s etc. Nicely done "ible"


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the tip about simmering water. I'm thinking that might also work for bending the ear pieces on sunglassess?

    Your right about having reading glasses all over. I'm to the point that I'm starting to use them in stores to read label.

    Lazy Old Geek