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Does Wearing Glasses Make Your Eyesight Worse? Myths and Facts

Does Wearing Glasses Make Your Eyesight Worse? Myths and Facts

Today, we’re going to examine and debunk the myth that wearing eyeglasses alone gives you vision problems or makes your eyesight worse. We’ll explore where that misunderstanding originated, why eyesight does worsen over time and what to do to keep your eyes as healthy as possible throughout the course of your life.

Naturally Worsening Eyesight in Childhood

Worsening eyesight is most common for children who have been diagnosed with nearsightedness. Nearsightedness is caused, in large part, by the shape of your eyes. An eyeball that is longer than normal, or which has a steeply curved cornea, can lead to nearsightedness. Over time, as your child grows and their body changes, the progression of nearsightedness may make vision worse. 

When children do need new glasses for a condition like nearsightedness, the right frame shape and material can make the eyewear last longer and feel more comfortable. 


Naturally Worsening Eyesight in Adults

In adults, experiencing worsening eyesight over time is even more common. Presbyopia is a vision condition where you lose your ability to focus on nearby objects. It usually begins affecting people when they’re in mid-late adulthood. In fact, the word presbyopia comes from a Greek word that literally translates to “old eye.” 

Presbyopia is age-related, so the vision changes occur due to the way your eyes naturally change over time. Even people with healthy vision develop age-related refractive errors like presbyopia. If you live long enough, it will affect everyone eventually. 

What happens with your vision when you get presbyopia? The clear lens of your eyeball that sits behind your iris is meant to change shape based on whether you’re looking at something close up or far away. Think of it like a lens on a camera, which has to shift and refocus depending on lighting and other factors. When you’re young, the lens in your eye is super flexible, and moving from one position to another takes your eyes minimal effort. But as you age, that lens slowly becomes more rigid. 

Just as your joints stiffen over time, making it harder to stretch or crouch down on the floor, so, too, do the other parts of your body. Your lens struggles to get into the position it needs to be in to let you see at certain distances and, as a result, it can become harder and harder to do up-close tasks like reading a menu or threading a needle. 

The older you get, the more the lens behind your retina stiffens. This is why you may notice vision changes as you age and may find yourself needing stronger and stronger reading glasses over time. Age is the biggest factor in determining the progression of presbyopia.

Why Do Some People Think That Eyeglasses Affect Their Sight Over Time? 

Now that we understand what actually causes your eyesight to worsen over time, let’s re-examine the myth that eyeglasses are the cause of bad eyesight and determine how this curious myth came to be. 

A person who has never before worn eyeglasses and starts wearing a low but correct prescription might determine, when their vision continues to deteriorate, that the new glasses were the cause of the deterioration. Although the timeline between starting to wear new glasses and worsening eyesight often coincides, it’s important to remember that you would not have needed corrective lenses in the first place if you weren’t experiencing eye strain or your vision wasn’t already beginning to deteriorate.

Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent Presbyopia?

Some people ask their eye doctor if there is anything they can do to avoid presbyopia. Unfortunately, presbyopia and age-related nearsightedness are a natural part of the aging process, and there’s nothing that can be done to prevent it. The majority of people over age 40 have some level of presbyopia, with a person’s likelihood of experiencing vision changes increasing the older they get. 

In addition to causing blurred vision, presbyopia can lead to other issues, including tension headaches and eye strain. 

Although presbyopia can’t be prevented, it can be treated. Reading glasses, prescription glasses and contacts are all ways to treat presbyopia, improve blurry vision and keep it from impacting your quality of life. Keeping regular appointments with your eye doctor can help you stay on top of your vision health. 

The Best Way to Take Care of Your Eyes Is to Wear Your Corrective Lenses Regularly

Far from causing vision changes or problems with eye health, reading glasses are a trusted treatment for worsening eyesight. Wearing your corrective lenses as prescribed by an optometrist is the number one way to minimize symptoms of eye strain, avoid tension headaches and improve your vision. 

Seeing a professional for guidance will also help you avoid wearing the wrong prescription! Eye exams will check for common eye conditions like astigmatism and glaucoma. While you benefit from comprehensive eye exams, you can also check you have the correct prescription. Keeping your lens prescription up to date is one of many reasons the World Health Organization recommends annual eye exams for adults

Luckily, reading glasses, blue light glasses and prescription eyeglasses of all types have come a long way in recent years. Today, wearing eyeglasses is such a fashion-forward trend that many people without vision impairment choose to wear non-corrective lenses to look more stylish and accessorize their outfits. Whether you’re experiencing tension headaches or are starting to notice signs of presbyopia, your eyewear can help with vision changes and elevate your entire look, no matter what you love to wear. Here at Peepers, we pride ourselves on using trend forecasting to produce the most of-the-moment frame styles and colors so that you can feel confident and chic no matter where your eyes are in the aging process!