Can Glasses Actually Make Your Vision Worse?

It’s something we’ve all heard: the more you wear your glasses, the weaker your eyes become. Wear your glasses too much and you just might end up needing an even stronger prescription. Plenty of people swear that their vision is substantially worse when they take their glasses off than it was before they put them on. 

The theory is that your eyes become weak and your brain lazy while you wear glasses. Taking the glasses away exposes this deterioration and results in worsened eyesight. But is this really the case?

Is there any truth to this theory?

The answer is no. Wearing glasses does not actually weaken your eyesight or cause any permanent changes to your vision or eyes. While there are some prescription glasses, mostly visual aids given to children with amblyopia and similar conditions that can encourage permanent vision improvement, there are no prescription glasses that will change your eyesight.

Where does this myth come from?

If there’s no actual evidence to back it up, why are so many people so convinced that their spectacles are worsening their eyesight? It’s likely just a mental trick or a misattribution. There are two main reasons why your vision may seem worse after donning a pair of glasses.

  1. You’ve become used to clear vision

Your brain may be tricking you. After years of blurry vision, many people become accustomed to their poor eyesight and may even get good at compensating for it. After some time wearing contact lenses or glasses, it can be a bit of a shock to take those vision aids away. Suddenly the blurry vision you were so used to seems ten times worse because your brain had been enjoying the clear eyesight provided by your prescribed vision correction.

People with low vision may get so used to squinting (an act that can provide minor improvements in vision clarity) that they don’t even realize they’re doing it. With glasses, however, squinting is no longer necessary. Thus, when the glasses come off, your eyes will spend some time with “blurrier” vision before the squinting starts back up again.

  • Your eyes are changing for unrelated reasons

Many people misattribute worsening eyesight to their glasses when the changes may be completely unrelated. Vision is likely to fluctuate during certain periods of our lives. Children and young adults will usually have vision changes as a result of natural eye and brain development. Those of us approaching middle age may also experience a completely natural decline in up-close vision that has nothing to do with wearing eyeglasses.

What about wearing the wrong glasses?

Another prevailing myth is that wearing your old, outdated glasses will also harm your vision. This is also false. There is no evidence to suggest that wearing a weaker prescription permanently affects your eyesight in any way. The worst-case scenario is temporary eye strain from trying to focus too hard.

So don’t incinerate that old pair of spectacles. Go ahead and keep them around for travel, emergencies, or any other situation where a spare set of glasses might prove helpful.

While wearing a weak prescription won’t hurt you, it will mean you aren’t getting the most out of your glasses. To avoid the hassle of buying glasses through your doctor, you can instead opt for cheap online glasses from 39DollarGlasses.com. All the prescription lenses are UV-resistant and available in an assortment of high-quality frames.

Children and myopia

There is no evidence to suggest that adults have anything to fear from wearing or not wearing their glasses other than the blurry vision that goes with skipping out on prescription lenses. Children, however, may be another story.

Like adults, children are at no risk of worsened eyesight from wearing the correct lenses. Yet wearing the incorrect prescription (or no glasses at all) may be harmful. There is evidence to suggest that under-correcting myopic children leads to further myopic progression than full correction. This revelation ended the long-running practice of deliberately giving myopic children weakened prescriptions (something that was previously thought to slow the progression of myopia).

Wear your glasses without worry

The bottom line? Don’t ditch your prescription glasses over unsubstantiated myths. In fact, the best advice is to wear your lenses and enjoy the clear vision they give you.

Vision correction is one of the greatest medical advancements in history, helping many people to finally see clearly. And the options nowadays are endless. Contact lenses are a great option for people who dislike frames. Prescription sunglasses can give you stellar vision on those sunnier days while also protecting your overall eye health. Find the lenses that fit your lifestyle and wear them boldly.   

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