There are 5 main types of reading glasses, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Full frames provide uniform magnification over the entire lens. These are generally the most popular style of reading glasses. The nice thing about these for many is that they look like regular glasses, and not the old “granny glasses” of the past. Hey, who really needs to know that they are readers?
Half frames are very functional allowing you to easily glance over the top of the frame for distance vision. These generally have no rim on the top of the frame, allowing one to easily peer over. These are great for people that constantly need to read something and see at a distance at the same time. Think of your History teacher in high school looking at written notes and then at the class.
The upper portion of the lens is clear. Lowering your eyes to the bifocal section provides magnification for reading. This allows you to wear your reading glasses like regular eyewear, without having to take them on and off or peer over the top to see at a distance.
Think about this dilemma – you just arrived at a resort for your beach vacation, you get out in the sun and pull out that book you have been waiting to read. Immediately you realize that you can’t read with just your sunglasses. Then, you swap to your reading glasses and realize that it is too bright. You then consider putting your sunglasses over your reading glasses and your family gets embarrassed. The solution – reading sunglasses of course! These are tinted to provide safe reading in the sunshine. They provide full UV protection and are available in either full vision or bifocal lens options. Hint – the bifocals are great because at some point you are going to want to take your eyes off the book at look at the beautiful scenery!
Compact readers are able to be easily carried in a pocket or purse with ease. For many, this solves the problem of having to pack around your glasses. Note to guys - this can help you avoid the “man purse”.