Time for the truth – Even though I have been in this industry for 17 years now, even my mum still argues this point with me:
“Wearing glasses will make your vision worse“
It’s a very common thought amongst people that need or get glasses for the first time, and I actually completely understand where this thought comes from, but it’s time for me to explain it properly.
Lets use first time glasses wearers as an example, as this is when this thought most commonly pops up.
BEFORE you get glasses, and mostly before you even know you need glasses, your eyes are straining to get the clear vision you know you should be getting. Visual deterioration is gradual which is why most of us don’t notice until someone points out that we are holding the menu across the other side of the table to see it clearly, or you find yourself squinting to see details on the TV at night.
It’s usually when you start to notice this on a daily basis, or you start to get headaches for trying to focus that you will see your Optometrist for an eye examination.
Long story short, you are told you need your first pair of glasses!
This rule, actually applies to all types of prescriptions, but is more noticeable for people who need glasses for long distance.
Cut through the fun part of selecting your frames and eagerly awaiting their arrival, and the day comes when you get to pick them up!
You put them on, and while everything feels a little strange at first, there is definitely a difference in the clarity of your vision.
The headaches aren’t there.
Things are clearer.
Until you take your glasses off again.
Things feel more blurry than they did without glasses before, and it takes a while for your eyes to re-focus.
WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?
In short: your new glasses are doing the straining for you.
Remember how I pointed out earlier that before you get your glasses your eyes strain to get the clarity you know you should have?
When you put your glasses on, your prescribed lenses are actually doing the ‘straining’ for you, so when you’re wearing them, your eyes relax.
Relaxed eyes = healthy eyes.
So, it does make sense that you might think wearing glasses would make your vision ‘worse’ , because when you take them off you are instantly not seeing as clearly as you know you should.
Which is correct.
And why the Optometrist prescribed glasses for you.
So what happens if you are prescribed glasses, but don’t wear them? Your eyes will not ‘get used to straining’. They will, in most cases, deteriorate quicker due to them straining for longer without help, and cause a lot more unnecessary tension and headaches.
In summary, wearing your correct prescription DOES NOT and WILL NOT make your vision worse. What it will do is all the work to get the best clarity possible for you, so that your eyes can relax and be healthier.