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No, Glasses Will Not Make Your Eyesight Worse

No, wearing glasses will not worsen your eyesight. 

man rubbing eyes holding eyeglasses

Your eyesight prescription depends on your eyeball and corneal shape. And seeing through glasses won’t change that anatomy. 

Do Glasses Make Your Vision Worse?

Your eyeglasses are not weakening your vision. This is a common misconception since vision tends to deteriorate with age. 

Glasses can correct presbyopia, an age-related eye condition. As people age, their lens stops focusing light correcting on the retina, causing trouble with up-close vision. After age 40, many people need reading glasses as they become farsighted. 

As they continue to age, they often require stronger prescriptions. Some people assume that glasses have made their eyes worse, but it’s simply the aging process that has caused vision to deteriorate further.

Myths About Wearing Glasses

Many myths about glasses exist. Here are just a few of them: 

Myth #1: Wearing glasses all the time destroys your vision

This is untrue. Glasses give you clear vision, but they don’t worsen your vision. You may simply get used to the clear vision you enjoy with glasses, so your vision might seem worse when you remove them. 

Myth #2: You should give your eyes a break to avoid becoming dependent on glasses. 

As we advance in age, our eyesight continues to deteriorate. Hence, your eye doctor will prescribe stronger glasses to improve your eyesight. If you need glasses, you should wear them to avoid eye strain and other eye issues. 

Myth #3: Glasses are only for older adults

This is untrue. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can affect people of all ages. A person may need glasses to enhance their vision regardless of their age. 

Myth #4: Eating carrots improves your eyesight. 

Yes, carrots contain vitamin A, which helps improve eyesight, but fruits and leafy vegetables also contain this vitamin. Vitamin A can help protect your eyes and maintain good vision, but it won’t improve vision.

Myth #4: Eye exercises can prevent you from needing glasses. 

The quality of your vision depends on eye shape, healthy eye tissue, and other factors. While eye exercises can give your eyes rest after focusing for a while on a task, they won’t improve your vision or prevent vision loss. 

Myth #5: Dark lenses prevent eye damage from ultraviolet (UV) sun rays. 

Ordinary dark sunglasses do not protect your eyes against UV light. Lenses need to have a UV protective coating to protect from the sun’s rays.

Myth #6: Eyeglasses reshape your eyes. 

Eyeglasses only help to improve your vision temporarily while you wear them. They do not alter the shape of your eye.

Why Do You Keep Needing a New Eyeglass Prescription?

It’s recommended to have a vision exam every one to two years. You may receive a new prescription at these regular exams.

Sudden changes in vision are not normal and could indicate a serious issue, such as macular degeneration or a retinal tear. But gradual changes in vision can be expected over time, resulting in the need for updated prescriptions.

Here are two of the primary reasons adults need to update their prescriptions regularly:

  • Age: As you get older, your vision changes. Once you get beyond the age of 40, your vision may deteriorate simply due to natural aging. As a result, it’s a good idea to get a new prescription at least every two years. 
  • Eye diseases: Your optometrist may identify the presence of eye disease signs during eye exams, such as glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy. These conditions can worsen your eyesight, resulting in the need for a new glasses prescription.

How Often Do You Need a New Prescription?

Most people only need a new prescription every two to four years, but it’s recommended that you get eye exams more often than that.

  • If you are ages 19 to 64, the American Optometric Association recommends having eye exams at least every two years. 
  • If you are 65 or older, your doctor is likely to recommend annual eye exams. 
  • If you wear contact lenses, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you visit your eye doctor at least annually.  

Why Glasses Are Associated With Worsening Vision

When you wear glasses for the first time, your vision might seem a little worse. This is because your eye muscles are adjusting to see objects through your new glasses. This can cause your eye muscles to strain, leading to headaches and sore or tired eyes, which can affect your vision. After a few days, your eye muscles will get used to the adjusted vision, and headaches and dizziness will fade. 

Additionally, as you get older, your vision changes, and you may need to get a stronger prescription to improve your vision. The glasses aren’t making your eyes worse; it’s simply the aging process.

What Happens When You Wear the Wrong Glasses? 

Wearing glasses with the wrong prescription can strain your eyes and cause discomfort.  

Again, if you are wearing new glasses, it can take a few days or weeks for your eyes to adjust. If you’re still having trouble seeing well with your glasses after several weeks, your prescription may be excessively strong or weak. This can cause the following: 

  • Lack of proper vision
  • Eye strain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue 
  • Soreness

If these symptoms persist, schedule a follow-up to see if you need a corrected prescription.

The wrong prescription won’t have a long-term effect on your eyes. However, they can affect the eyes of a child by impairing their vision because children’s vision develops progressively.  

Can Glasses Improve Your Eyesight?

Yes, wearing glasses can improve vision, but they cannot reshape your eyes or fix medical issues. So, glasses improve your eyesight while you wear them.

To improve your vision without glasses, you’ll need to fix the cause of your vision problem through LASIK or another treatment. 

Do Reading Glasses Weaken Your Eyes?

Reading glasses don’t damage your eyes, and they improve how well you see up close. 

Because presbyopia progresses with age, it’s likely that you may need a stronger glasses prescription as you age. If you don’t get corrective lenses, your presbyopia will still worsen, whether you wear reading glasses or not.

Do Blue Light or Computer Glasses Weaken Your Eyes?

No, blue light or computer glasses don’t damage your eyes. Instead, they may protect your eyes from blue light effects from your digital screens. Some versions have an anti-reflective coating that filters out blue light, increasing your on-screen contrast. This helps you see easily and interpret images on screens without straining. 

Computer glasses also have a magnifying lens to help you read without straining your eyes. 

Glasses FAQs

Can glasses make your eyesight worse? 

No, glasses do not make your eyesight worse. Instead, they help you see better. 

Your eyesight only worsens because of progression of presbyopia, nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Your eyesight may also worsen because you have signs and symptoms of underlying eye diseases. For instance, symptoms like blurry vision, double vision, distorted vision, night blindness, and seeing halos around light can relate to cataracts.

But these issues are what is causing worsening vision, not your glasses.

Why is my eyesight bad with glasses?

Your eyesight may be bad with glasses because you’re still in the familiarization stage. This stage can last for two weeks once you start wearing your new glasses. 

During this period, your brain processes between corrected and uncorrected vision. Your vision may get blurry or doubled, and your eyes may feel tired, but this is normal and lasts only for a few days or weeks. 

If you continue to experience these symptoms, schedule a follow-up visit to check the prescription. 

References

  1. 20 Eye and Vision Myths. (November 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

  2. Comprehensive Eye Exams. American Optometric Association (AOA).

  3. Computer Vision Syndrome. American Optometric Association (AOA).

  4. Computers, Digital Devices and Eye Strain. (March 2020). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

  5. Diet and Nutrition. (November 2020). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

  6. Eye Strain: How to Prevent Tired Eyes. (February 2020). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

  7. Eyestrain.(August 2020). Mayo Clinic.

  8. Is This Normal? Vision Changes That Could Indicate a Serious Condition. (July 2018). UVA Health.  

  9. Presbyopia. (September 2020). National Eye Institute (NEI).

  10. Refractive Errors. (August 2020). National Eye Institute (NEI).

  11. Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses. (June 2021). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

  12. Vision Training Not Proven to Make Vision Sharper. (July 2017). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). 

  13. What Are Cataracts? (August 2019). National Eye Institute (NEI).

  14. Preface: The Aging Eye: Normal Changes, Age-Related Diseases, and Sight-Saving Approaches. (December 2013). Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

  15. How Your Eyes Change With Age. (January 2019). AARP.

  16. Myopia-Correcting Lenses Decrease Eye Fatigue in a Visual Search Task for Both Adolescents and Adults. (October 2021). PLOS ONE.

  17. To Correct or Not Correct? Actual Evidence, Controversy and the Questions That Remain Open. (June 2020). Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Last Updated March 4, 2022

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