ValuedPatient - Healthcare Topics

Is it true that wearing glasses can make your eyesight worse?

Isn’t it great when you put on a new pair of glasses or contact lenses and everything looks so clear and crisp in comparison to how it was before.  You may wonder why your eyes deteriorate and you need to update your prescription yet again.  Could it be your glasses themselves that is causing that deterioration in your eyesight, or making your eyes dependant on them?

The answer:  NO wearing glasses will not weaken your eyes!

What causes poor eyesight?

The most common vision problems requiring correction are short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.  Short-sightedness, having trouble seeing things in the distance, and long-sightedness, having trouble seeing things close-up, are caused by changes in the shape and elongation of the eyeball.  This causes the light coming into the eye to be unable to focus directly on to the retina.  Astigmatism is caused by an imperfection in the cornea that affects part of it focusing light on the retina and may be present on its own, or in conjunction with myopia and hyperopia.  These are called refractive errors.

Even if you have perfect eyesight, as we age our eyeballs elongate and the lens in your eye becomes less flexible, and that is why you will eventually begin to have difficulty reading and doing close-up work, a condition called presbyopia.

How do glasses work?

One of the concerns that people have is that glasses weaken the eye muscles.  Not true.  Nor do they have anything to do with physical problems that affect your vision, such as the shape of your eyeball or cornea.  What glasses simply do is rectify refractive errors by manipulating and bending the light entering your eye, so that it now focuses on the retina instead of behind or in front depending on your vision problem that needs correction.

So why is my eyesight getting worse?

It is normal and natural for your eyesight to get progressively worse, particularly as we age.  You will find that you will need to update your prescription from time to time.  Remember this is caused by changes in the shape of your eyeball.  It may be that the world appears blurrier to you when you take your glasses off because you are now getting used to seeing things so much more clearly!

What if I don’t wear my glasses or my prescription is wrong?

Your eyes will still continue to change whether you wear glasses or not, particularly as you get older.  You won’t cause any actual damage to your eyes, but you may find yourself suffering from eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, not to mention having difficulty with work and day-to-day life.  It is important that you wear your glasses as prescribed by your optometrist and attend regular check-ups to ensure your prescription is up-to-date.

What about vision problems in children?

Whilst not wearing your glasses will not cause any damage to you as an adult, there is an exception to that when you consider children whose eyes are still developing.  Studies have shown that because their eyes are still growing, straining to see things will cause their eyes to compensate for their inability to focus, increasing the rate in which their eyeballs elongate.  It is therefore important that your child wears their glasses every day.

Love them or hate them, your glasses are there to counteract the physical problems with your eye that cause your eyesight to deteriorate.  Your optometrist has a wide range of frames, so maybe a revamp of your look will make all the difference.  Or you could free up your face by investing in a pair of contact lenses.

There is nothing like the joy of being able to see this beautiful world clearly, especially when you have previously had difficulty.  Embrace the opportunity your glasses give you to be able to do this.