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Does Wearing Glasses Make Eyes Worse?

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a woman stands holding glasses towards the camera. the image is blurred except the glasses

When it comes to our health, there are many myths and misconceptions regarding what’s good for us and what isn’t. Some people believe that wearing glasses will actually make their eyes worse.

One of the most likely reasons for the rise of this opinion is that there are times when someone quickly needs a new prescription. For example, say you got your scheduled comprehensive eye exam, and the doctor gives you a new prescription.

Then only a year later, you notice your vision is worse, and you get another eye exam because you are concerned. Sure enough, your prescription has changed, and you need new lenses for your glasses. It’s not a big jump to think that the glasses were the culprit because that’s the only thing that changed, right?

Does Wearing Glasses Make Eyes Worse?

In short, wearing glasses will not make your eyes worse. However, the wrong prescription may impact your comfort and overall eye health. When you get a new prescription, it’s normal to need time for your eyes to adjust—sometimes even a week or two.

If this time passes and you’re still uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to book an examination with your eye doctor for a follow-up. The optometrist can do two things. First, they can confirm your prescription is correct. Plus, they can inspect your lenses to ensure there was no mistake when the manufacturer made them.

Here are several things that can happen if you continue using glasses with the incorrect prescription:

What About Not Wearing Glasses?

Some people believe that not wearing glasses to correct a refractive error will cause your ocular muscles to work harder. And that this reduces the risk of the error worsening. However, this is not the case. Not wearing glasses when you need them can actually cause more problems.

If you don’t correct your vision with glasses or contact lenses, the resulting eye strain and fatigue can lead to other problems. You may experience issues like lowered work productivity or safety risks regarding dangerous hobbies or jobs.

Reasons for Declining Vision

Just because glasses aren’t the cause doesn’t mean that our vision can’t decline over time. Outside of developing potentially dangerous eye disease that must be managed, even something as simple as a refractive error causing near or farsightedness can worsen.

Here are a few of the common reasons for a decline in vision:

  • Age: None of us can avoid getting older and the potential health problems that come with it. All we can do is take the best possible care of our bodies—including our eyes—and hope for the best.
  • Eye trauma or surgeries: This is why wearing the right eye protection is crucial if you’re doing something that can harm your eyes. And if you get eye surgery, ensure you follow all the eye doctor’s aftercare recommendations.
  • Ultraviolet radiation: Harmful UV rays from the sun can damage our skin and eyes. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, ensure you wear sunglasses that block all or some of these rays.
  • Eye disease: Several eye diseases or conditions can cause worsening vision over time. Diabetes, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are all examples.

a woman rubs her eyes while holding her glasses because of blurred vision

Taking Care of Your Eyes

We’re only born with two eyes; typically, when vision is gone, it’s gone for good. This is why taking care of our eyes throughout our lives is essential.

One of the best defenses against changes in your vision is to get regular eye exams. Many conditions and diseases begin with little to no symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best way to prevent future vision loss.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists has produced an evidence-based schedule. However, your optometrist may suggest an alternative schedule based on your particular situation.  

Here are a few additional things you can do to protect your eyesight:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and get lots of exercise
  • Always wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear
  • Avoid smoking
  • Pay attention to changes in your vision

Booking Your Next Eye Exam

It’s important for your eye health to wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them. And it’s also important that you have the correct prescription. In addition to getting your regularly scheduled eye examinations, it’s a good idea to visit the eye doctor if you notice drastic changes in your vision between appointments.

If you need to book an examination, give our office a shout today. The helpful staff at Brantford Eye Care Optometrists is happy to book you in at a convenient time.

Written by Dr. Cynthia Markarian Bahoshy

How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

One or two.

Clear, comfortable vision is such an integral and important part of our lives. I enjoy interacting with our patients, learning about them and their visual needs and I get great satisfaction when I can improve their quality of life by providing them with optimal eyesight at the same time as screening for and treating potentially sight-threatening conditions.

I have been an optometrist at Brantford Eye Care (previously known as Dr. Robert Schumacher and associates) since 2002. I became the new owner of Brantford Eye Care in October 2012.

I attended the University of Ottawa where I studied Biochemistry as part of my undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree. I completed my Doctor of optometry (OD) degree at the University of Waterloo in 2002.

My externship was completed at the Houston Eye Associates in Texas. During that time, I gained extensive experience in all aspects of ocular health diagnosis and management. This included exposure to various retinal conditions, glaucoma, cataracts, children’s vision, binocular vision, and other aspects of ocular disease.

I worked as a student researcher at the Centre of Contact Lens Research at the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo where I gained extensive experience in all aspects of contact lenses. I also worked as a student researcher at the Ottawa General hospital in the Department of Ophthalmology during my university years.

I am an active member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, The Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Ontario College of Optometrists, and the Hamilton and District Area Society of Optometrists. I am certified in the Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases.

My main interests are in dry eyes, contact lenses, and in children’s vision. I have experience working as an optometrist at a Toronto LASIK centre and I am able to answer any questions you may have regarding LASIK and other refractive surgeries. We are affiliated with the various LASIK centres and can refer you for a complimentary LASIK consultation as well as perform your pre and post-op examinations at our office.

I enjoy many activities such as swimming, yoga, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I enjoy solving visual issues and challenges and meeting new people.

I’ve been very fortunate to have met so many wonderful patients and families at our office. I enjoy being a part of Brantford’s health care team and look forward to seeing you at the office!

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