Is it OK to wear glasses all the time? The internet is awash with claims that wearing eyeglasses will ruin your eyesight. Does this myth sound familiar? While many seem to believe that wearing corrective lenses will hurt your vision, it is just not true. The reality is that because you are used to seeing clearly with your glasses, it takes longer to adjust when you remove them. Also, because your vision deteriorates with age, your vision will continue to decline after you get prescription eyewear. This timing may make it seem like your eyewear is the cause. However, the vision problems are likely age-related and have nothing to do with how often you wear your glasses. You will not damage your vision by wearing eyeglasses, and your eyesight will not improve if you stop wearing them.
Should you remove your glasses throughout the day, or wear them all day long? That depends on why you wear them in the first place—you should follow your eye doctor's recommendations on the matter. Since wearing glasses will not cause your vision to deteriorate, there is no reason to deal with blurry vision throughout the day. If you are more comfortable wearing your glasses all day, then do it. If you need them only for reading or driving, there may be no reason to wear them otherwise.
Wearing prescription glasses when you need them will prevent eye strain, headaches, blurry vision, and other discomfort, and anti-reflective and UV coatings will protect your eyes from the sun and glare. If you choose not to wear your glasses, you may experience eyestrain and spend your day squinting to see clearly.
A pair of nonprescription drugstore glasses may be helpful when you need to see for activities such as reading, sewing, gardening, and using your computer or phone, but if you notice you are using them more throughout the day it is time to visit an optometrist. Reading glasses are intended for occasional use, and while wearing reading glasses won't permanently damage your eyes, an eye doctor will be able to provide you the appropriate vision correction for full-time use. Consider progressive or bifocal lenses to correct both up-close and distance vision.
If glasses help you see better while watching TV, driving, working, or for another activity, wear them. If you are comfortable, there is no reason you shouldn't wear your glasses all the time—with a few exceptions.
Wearing Glasses While Sleeping
Of course you don't need your glasses while sleeping since you're closing your eyes. Still, here's a friendly reminder that you should avoid falling asleep in your glasses. When bedtime comes around, put them in a case to prevent breaking or bending them.
Wearing Glasses Playing Sports
Glasses and sports don't always mix. Prescription sunglasses may be better suited to some outdoor sports, and you should always use UV protective lenses while you're out in the sun. Wearing regular prescription glasses while playing contact sports can be hazardous. You could bend or break your glasses or shatter your lenses, which could hurt your eyes. Glasses may slip or fog up, and may not perform well in glaring sun or lights. Protective eyewear, goggles, or rugged eyeglasses made for sports should be worn for activities like football, basketball, skiing, running, and biking.
Nor are glasses the best choice for swimming. Water splashing on the lenses is a hassle, losing your eyewear at the bottom of a lake is no good, and chlorine from pools can damage your glasses. If you can see to swim without them, your optometrist will thank you. If not, consider prescription goggles. Avoid wearing contact lenses when swimming—water trapped behind the lens could cause a bacterial infection.
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Wearing Glasses at Work
When you face eye hazards at work—such as flying wood, metal, dust, or other particles, the presence of chemicals, or exposure to bodily fluids—absolutely wear protective eyewear. This practice should extend to the home as well; wear safety glasses while working in your home wood shop, doing yard work, and engaging in activities where a foreign body or injury to the eye may occur.
Prescription eyeglasses usually don't meet workplace standards for protective eyewear. Safety glasses have impact-resistant lenses and offer additional coverage. Wearing your safety glasses is imperative to prevent eye injury on the job, but clear vision is also necessary. If you need prescription eyeglasses and don't wear contacts, choose prescription safety glasses, goggles, or safety glasses made to fit over your eyeglasses to best protect yourself.
Your glasses give you clearer vision and you can wear them all day without detriment, but there are times when it may be better to go without or to choose eyewear specific to your activity. While avoiding glasses on these occasions has nothing to do with prescription glasses ruining your vision, eye health and safety are definitely at stake. Choosing the appropriate eyewear in all circumstances will keep your eyes safe.