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Eye Glasses

Make Your Own Glasses
Using commonly available "Readers"
by Vaughn Aubuchon

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I have been making my own glasses for over 15 years. It is easy. I use standard "reading glasses" available from Amazon, eBay, and almost every drug store. If your eyes have different strengths, you can easily customize glasses to EACH of your eyes, by switching out the lens on the pair you want to modify.

Here are the steps.
1. Determine the focal distance that you want to achieve - close up or distant.

2. Determine the strength required for each of your eyes, by experimentation with multiple strengths. You can do this in the drug store.

3. Buy TWO pairs of glasses - one with the required strength for your left eye, and one pair for the required strength for your right eye.

4. Some lenses can be popped in and out with slight pressure. Some cannot. Plastic frames are easier to deal with. I use a tiny, handheld saw to cut the frame below the center of the lens. On each pair, cut the frame on the side that you want to switch lenses.

5. Remove the lenses from the cut side of each pair, and switch the lenses between the pairs. I use super glue to bond the EDGE of the lenses to the frames. Just a drop will do, hold it firmly for 10 seconds or so. DO NOT get the glue on the viewing area of the lens, or you can kiss it good-bye.

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360 - 450

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Make Your Own Glasses GIF

Notes to Chart Above

1. The glasses shown near the bottom, are from 2001. You can see how my vision has declined in 16 years.

YOUR eyes will be different. Perhaps your right eye needs stronger lenses, and not the left, as in my case.

Here are some possible combinations to experiment with.
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COMPUTER VIEWING
(look at in-store chart - about 18 inches focus)

Left Eye Weaker
Right Eye Weaker
Diff.
Opt. 1
4.00*
3.00*
3.00
4.00

1.0

Opt. 2
4.00
3.25
3.25
4.00

0.75

Opt. 3
3.50
3.00
3.00
3.50

0.5

Opt. 4
3.00
2.50
2.50
3.00

0.5

DRIVING
(look at distant tree leaves - 100 foot focus or greater)

Left Eye Weaker
Right Eye Weaker
Diff.
Opt. 5
2.00*
1.00*
1.00
2.00

1.0

Opt. 6
2.00
1.25
1.25
2.00

0.75

Opt. 7
1.50
1.25
1.25
1.50

0.25

Opt. 8
1.25
1.00
1.00
1.25

0.25

Note: * = My choices, as shown in the GIF above

This takes SOME diligence. You must experiment with the different powers available, in the drug store. After all, that is what the optometrists do: try this, try that, etc. until you find the strengths appropriate for you.

There are many combinations. Spend a little time to determine the best one for you.

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My Personal Glasses
I make 1 pair for each purpose,
by buying 6 pairs of glasses.

Diopter
Strength
Distance

Purpose

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Left
Eye
Right
Eye
2.0
1.0
40 feet +

Driving

3.0
2.0
10 feet

Watching TV

4.0*
3.0
18 inches

Computer

My left eye is weaker, and requires a stronger diopter.
* = Limited availability, Costco doesn't carry

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60

80

200 - 450

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Issues

Same Style, Same Brand
Make sure you buy the same style of glasses in each strength (diopter), so that you can be assured that the lenses will be interchangable.

Costco provides 3-packs of Design Optics readers for $18.99. These 3-packs are sold with 6 diopter strengths - 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00, 2.50 and 3.00.
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Vanishing Availability - Weird
The most popular reading glasses manufacturers, such as Dr. Dean Edell, Design Optics, Foster Grant, Magnavision, etc. have STOPPED making many of the strengths required, such as 4.0, 3.75, 3.50, 3.25 AND 1.00. This is very unfortunate for my purposes.

I have not been able to determine why these particular sizes have been cancelled. It is as if a secret law was passed making them illegal. It must have something to do with "stealing business" from optometrists (who needs eye doctors when you can cheaply buy whatever you need in the drug store?).
Maximum diopters that may be sold OTC is limited by some states.
3.25 is the max legal in Minnesota.
2.75 is the max legal in New York state.
2.50 is the max legal in Rhode Island.
(Arbitrary, and a PITA.)
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Avoid Chinese brands. They are made so cheaply, they fall right off your face. There is not enough weight to keep them on your nose. So flimsy, don't even bother. Also, every time I buy China glassses from Amazon, I never get what I ordered. The language barrier is a HUGE issue. I don't bother trying to fix the order, because the glasses are so cheap, its not worth it. The Chinese sellers KNOW THIS, and have no problem profiting from it.
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Buying Reading Glasses




Disclaimer
The author is not a doctor.
NO MEDICAL ADVICE IS OFFERED OR IMPLIED.

I hope that you have found this "Make your own glasses" information page helpful.
Thank you very much for your time.
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This Vaughns Make Your Own Glasses
page was last updated on 2018-02-13.