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Does your mother have any known history of diabetes?
Yes, she has been diabetes patent for seven years.
So all these years ( that is after the age of 40 years) she was able to see clearly for distance and near with the same pair of glasses?
Quite unlikely as one would need either bifocals or two different pair of glasses for distance and near. But now that she is able to read without glasses, it looks like there could be induced short sightedness ( induced myopia) due to either hyperglycemia ( raised blood sugar due to diabetes) or due to nuclear cataract ( age related senile cataract).
She got long distance prescription glasses at the age of 17. Until age about 45 she was able to see both long distance and read books etc. Now for past 15 years she needs to remove glasses to read.
Ok. 15 years is a long time then. Looks like she has been myopic from a young age. That is why she needs to take off her glasses to see clearly for near.
What is myopic?
Myopic means a person cannot see clearly for distance but has good near vision. In that case she can try getting her vision tested by an optician and see if there is improvement of vision for both distance and near with the given correction. If she can see clearly with that then she can decide whether she wants to opt for bifocals or progressive glasses.
If she gets bifocal with plain glasses in the bottom then it would help her. Correct?
It would depend on what her distance prescription is .
If her distance prescription is somewhere around-3.00 then she would need plain glass for near.