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Myth: Glasses DON’T Worsen your Eyesight

Young Child Big GlassesIt’s safe to assume that many people have heard of the claim “glasses can worsen your eyesight.” Possibly this concept arose from the fact that someone would place glass lenses in front of their eyes and somehow this could cause strain to your eyes. While glasses aren’t a natural way for your eyes to focus, fortunately, they have only proven to help people read and live with clear vision. Oddly enough, while there’s no evidence behind such a proposition, studies have shown across various countries that this myth is believed by as many as 30% to almost 70% of people.

For those who wear glasses, whether due to nearsightedness or farsightedness, your eye doctor probably shared with you a bit of a background about your eye health. For example, children and young adults start to wear glasses as a part of the aging process. For many, the weakening of their vision is simply due to their family history, where both parents were nearsighted. In such a case, nearsightedness is almost guaranteed at some level regardless of glasses. Perhaps, what’s important to remember is that changes in vision are perfectly normal. This myth about glasses could be a misplaced fear or lack of understanding about our vision, but it’s really just an expected adjustment for many. In truth, glasses or any other form of vision correction ever harm vision, but rather they protect it.

Perhaps, what’s important to remember is that changes in vision are perfectly normal. This myth about glasses could be a misplaced fear or lack of understanding about our vision, but it’s really just an expected adjustment for many. In truth, glasses or any other form of vision correction ever harm vision, but rather they protect it.

If a child with nearsightedness were to never wear glasses with the right prescription, their vision would only worsen over time at a faster rate. This could leave a long-term negative impact and cause a greater risk of ocular disease. A child’s vision is still sensitive and ensuring they receive the proper eyewear is essential for their future. While glasses might not everyone’s style, discuss options with your local optometrist. For some, contact lenses are an amazing alternative that provides comfort & clarity.

Although there was a misconception decades ago that one should deliberately prescribe a child a slightly weaker prescription than they really needed it, this too is debunked. Not only do we need to prescribe children with their exact prescription to ensure that myopia progression does not worsen too drastically, but this was proven over various studies & trials.

For example, a trial was conducted in Malaysia in 2002 of a group of 94 children with myopia. Some children wore glasses with the correct prescription and others wore glasses with a slightly weaker prescription than required. From the age of 9 until 14, their eyesight was measured for myopia progression. At the end of the trial, researchers discovered that those children with the weak prescription we’re gradually getting more myopic as time went on.

While there hasn’t been any absolute proof of glasses preventing myopia progression, there’s enough data to rely on the fact that they clearly don’t hurt vision at all.

It’s common knowledge that children who are nearsighted require glasses. Plus, for many of us at around age 40, we’ll need to consider progressive lenses or multifocal contacts to deal with presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition where one has changes in their farsighted vision, which makes it difficult to see up close and at a distance. So, there are a lot of people who wear glasses, and some people wear them for a very long time. We shouldn’t consider glasses to be a danger to our vision but a support. There’s no real causal relationship between glasses and how your eyes weaken over time. It’s just another part of life.

One thing is certain: the concept that glasses will worsen your eyesight is a myth. There’s no data around that supports it, so glasses are still a great way to correct your vision. Especially when a child is ready to start school, where their vision needs to be its best, glasses should be encouraged in a positive environment.

For more information about eyewear & other options to correct your vision, call our practice today!