You wake up one morning to find the
telephone book is being printed in
smaller type. It may not be the
telephone company's fault, however.
You may simply need reading glasses.
And if you do, you have lots of
Marchon Eyewear, distributors in the
optical industry, reports a dramatic
upswing in the number of reading
glasses being sold today.
Their market research offers several
interesting reasons why these glasses
(called "half-eyes" in the trade) are sud-
denly becoming so popular. The most
obvious one has to do with age.
As Dr. Jack Weber, Marchon's Direc-
tor of Education and Research, explains
it, a condition called "presbyopia" oc-
curs as we age and as the lens of the
eye becomes less flexible and less able
to accommodate a clear focus in mid-
Reading glasses are traditionally
prescribed for people over 40 who have
developed varying degrees of
As the number of people in this
country over 40 continues to increase,
the number needing reading glasses
continues to multiply as well. Thus, the
"graying of America" is one obvious
reason for the increased numbers of
reading glasses being sold these days.
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Another interesting reason for the in-
creased sales of reading glasses may be
related to the increased use of
More and more professional men and
women find that they are routinely us-
ing personal computers. Writers,
lawyers, accountants, teachers and
financial managers now sit at computer
terminals to do much of the work they
used to do sitting at their desks with a
pad and pen.
Still another reason is the fashion im-
pact new styles of reading glasses of-
fer to their wearers. Gone is the quaint
image of reading glasses as something
your grandmother wore.
Fashion-forward styling is prompting
many of the purchasing decisions that
favor these smartly styled glasses. It
wasn't always the case.
The first reading glasses date back to
the fourteenth century and the inven-
tion of the printing press. As soon as
scholars and the aristocracy began to
read, many needed optical devices to
help them do so.
Early reading glasses were clumsy af-
fairs, with lens materials made of rock