Can Wearing Glasses Make your Eyes Get Worse?

Can wearing glasses make my eyes lazy?


Okay, so today I'm going to do a little bit of myth-busting. One of the common things that we get asked, is, “If I get glasses, will they make my eyes worse?” The answer to that is no. So thanks for watching the video or reading the article. All right, I'll explain! If you've watched any of the other videos, or read any of our other articles, you'll know that the reason for needing glasses is down to the anatomy of your eyeball, rather than anything else. The muscles that move your lens to do the focusing don't wear out, they're absolutely fine. So the need for glasses is down to your anatomy. If the eyeball is too long, too short, too curved, too flat, it's not getting the light focused on the back of the eye.

Now, all a spectacle lens does is literally focus light to one point. To see clearly we need light focused perfectly onto the back of our eyes, we need a lens of a specific power for your eye to focus the light, just to that one point on the back of your eye. Now, it's your eye that then does the work, your eye does everything else. Any focusing at different distances is done by your eye and when your glasses are on the light hits the back of the eye beautifully, and gives you a nice and sharp image. But, it's you that focuses. It's your eye, that does that work. So if anything, with your glasses on, your eye gets a bit of a better workout as it were, it can actually work properly and smoothly. Without glasses on your eye can’t focus smoothly as it’s trying so hard to get the light focused onto the back of your eye and the whole focus mechanism can get stuck, leading to eyestrain, blur and over focusing.

Now it's very easy to understand why people think that their eyes get worse if they get glasses. There's a psychological effect to having the glasses. You perceive things as worse and more blurred when you've seen them clearer.

So if you've never had glasses and you come in for an eye test thinking that things aren't quite sharp enough in the distance, and then you get glasses, which really sharpens your vision up. Then what happens is people put their glasses on, wear them for a few days, take them off and go, "Oh, that looks blurred now. These must have made my eyes worse. Everything looks blurred now without my glasses." Now, when you actually measure their eyesight without glasses again, it is exactly the same as it was before they got their glasses. But their perception is that it's more blurred, because they're now seeing things clearly. If you've never seen things clearly, you don't know how blurred something is.

The other reason why people think that glasses might make their eyes worse is, if you've never had a pair of glasses before, and then you start to need reading glasses, you then find after a couple of years, you'll need stronger ones. So you get your first pair of reading glasses. And it’s wonderful, you can read again. After a couple of years, you need stronger ones. And then after another couple of years, you need stronger ones and then you need stronger and so on. People always want to blame something. We're very good as humans to find a reason why to blame something. No one ever says, "Oh, I need stronger reading glasses because I'm older." Which is essentially what it is. It's literally down to the natural loss of focus as we age. I've said this before, I'll say it again. Opticians can look at your date of birth and will basically know what power reading glasses you need, because it is literally that strongly linked to age, and nothing to do with wearing glasses.

So you get your first reading glasses because you're having a little bit of bother with reading. In a couple of years, you're going to need stronger ones, even if you don't get the glasses, if you have another eye test in a few years you’ll need a stronger power than you did the few years earlier. Because your eyes are going to get worse. You'll have more bother with reading, another couple of years down the line if you don't wear the glasses. For example, you could have twins, identical in every way, identical power glasses needed for reading. One gets the glasses, one doesn't. One uses the glasses to read, the other just can't read very well. Two years later, they'll both need stronger glasses, because it's literally a function of their age. So it's really understandable to see why people think that getting glasses does make your eyes, or could make your eyes get worse. But really it can't make your eyes get worse. It's there to give you help. Like I say, all they do is focus the light to one point. And it's you that does all the rest of the focusing.

The reason for needing reading glasses is all down to changes in the lens in your eye. Have a look at our section about why we need reading glasses to find out more detail. But people do worry that  wearing glasses might make their eyes go lazy. Have a think about this - If you're sat watching the TV and someone in the street walked past the window, you can literally look at them and you can focus on them so quickly. Now that is your eye muscles doing that. The little muscles in your eyes, can do that whether you're 20 or whether you're 50. So your eye muscles can change that focus like that. So your eye muscles don't wear out. They don't, there's not a problem there. And so wearing glasses, wouldn't make your eyes go lazy because your eye muscles don't go lazy. They're absolutely fine. They're going to be fine.

The reason why people struggle with this close stuff, is not because of the muscles wearing out or getting tired out, it's actually because of changes in the lens in your eye. But I hope that helps. As I say, the short answer to the question, will wearing glasses make my eyes go lazy? Will wearing glasses make my eyes get worse? The short answer is no. The long answer is, as I said, glasses, it's like an inanimate object, it can't do anything to your eyes. All it does is focus the light to one point. And it's you that does the focusing. Your eyes are amazing, but sometimes they need a little help


Don’t just take our word for it

Our number of 5 star reviews is always growing. Here is what some of our current clients have to say

View all Google Reviews