My Dad has always worn glasses, but my Mom had excellent vision until age began to take its toll in her 40s. Like my mother, my sibs and I grew up with better than 20/20 vision.
So when reading the small print in the crossword puzzles started to become a challenge in my late 30s, I discovered that glasses can be a real pain in the butt.
It wasn't much longer before my distance vision also began to falter. My vision has deteriorated slowly, but has progressed to the point that reading street/avenue signs and license plates from a distance has gotten difficult, and the rest of the world looks a little fuzzy.
I've freely used cheaters for reading and find them pretty much as effective as the prescription glasses I own. But until recently, it hadn't occurred to me that I might be able to use very low-powered cheaters to correct for distance. So I bought a pair of low-magnification readers after testing out several strengths at Walgreen's. I can barely tell the difference between those and the prescription driving glasses I just bought. My vision feels ever so slightly sharper with the new prescription glasses, perhaps because of the better lens quality, or because the prescriptions for each eye are slightly different. Overall, though, the cheaters for distance are very serviceable. I can see very well using them..
I know this wouldn't work for everyone because many people have issue that aren't addressed by magnification alone, but it's nice to know that, for now, I can do just fine with a cheap pair of over-the-counter glasses in a pinch.