Does Wearing Glasses Weaken Your Eyes?
If you’ve ever wondered if your eyeglasses actually cause more harm than good, long-term, you aren’t alone. Many of us grew up with our parents warning us not to sit too close to the TV or that if we crossed our eyes, they would stick that way.
You’ll be happy to know, all of the above are unfounded myths.
That doesn’t mean all of the things we’ve been told about eye health are without merit. Sunglasses and hats do in fact, protect our eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Carrots, and many other fruits and vegetables, contain beta carotene which the body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin and promotes good vision and healthy eyes.
If you are subjecting your eyes to lot of screen time, taking a break every 20 minutes will help reduce eye strain and dry eyes.
How Do Glasses Work?
As far as the common misconception that wearing glasses could weaken your eyes, we must first understand the design of eyeglass lenses and how they correct vision. The truth of the matter is, eye glasses don’t correct “vision” per se. They merely assist in redirecting the light entering the eye so it can reach the retina.
Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are the three main reasons someone would be prescribed corrective eyeglasses. For each of these conditions, an eye care specialist can determine exactly what changes need to be made to correct the reflective error, thus creating better vision.
So now you have a better understanding of how glasses work, but what does that mean for the actual eyeball and the muscles within? Let’s look at a few myths and counter them with the actual facts.
Fiction. Vision seems worse after wearing glasses.
Fact. When you’re wearing your glasses, hopefully your vision is as near 20/20 as possible. Your eyes can relax and just enjoy the scenery. They don’t have to work so hard to focus. When you take them off though, your eyes go back to the straining, thus your vision seems worse. The blurriness is simply more noticeable after removing your glasses.
Fiction. Glasses are the cause for continuous prescription changes.
Fact. Time is the cause for prescription changes. The natural process of aging is the true culprit here. You might make it well into your 40s before you need corrective lenses, but you will eventually, in all likelihood, need them. What’s more, having glasses doesn’t stop the aging process.
Fiction. Glasses make your eye muscles weak so you can’t focus well.
Fact. Your eye muscles don’t have a thing to do with your focus. Eye muscles allow movement of the eyeball and surrounding areas. It’s how you blink, wink, squint and move your eyeball in all directions. The real issue with problems focusing is the lens. Over time the lens becomes less flexible. Again, the natural process of aging seems to be to blame here as well.
Fiction. Wearing glasses will make you dependent upon them.
Fact. Eyeglasses are designed to help you with blurred vision, a reflective error. Glasses don’t change your eyes. They change the angle in which reflected light is received by your eyes. You simply just get more comfortable with seeing clearly and so when you aren’t wearing them the blurriness feels a bit amplified.
The Truth About Eyesight.
Vision isn’t a constant, meaning it’s going to change throughout your lifetime. If you got your first pair of glasses in your 20s or younger, expect several more changes to your prescription throughout the years. If you are lucky enough to have great vision into the 40+ range, get ready! Changes are coming!
The “weakening” many assume is related to their glasses is primarily eye strain. Even if you have glasses to correct your vision, your eye can still be strained and get tired. Staring at screens too long is a huge factor in eye strain. It doesn’t matter if you wear glasses or not, your eyes are subject to being overworked.
When eyesight is corrected with glasses, we tend to rely on them. We rely on them because clear vision is bliss, not because our eyes somehow weakened. You might even find yourself putting your glasses on more frequently than usual, but it’s because you want to see… not because you have ruined your eye muscles.
Sight is a beautiful thing. As always, don’t skip out on annual eye examinations just because you think you see just fine. You might just be used to seeing a fuzzy world and forgot what it’s like to have perfect eyesight!