Wearing prescription eyeglasses helps correct eyesight problems related to enjoying clear vision, up close or at a distance. For many eyeglass wearers, this leads to a higher quality day-to-day life.
The physical nature of your eye is directly related to the type of vision problems you'll face and helps identify the proper type of glasses to improve your vision. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are the most common vision impairment issues people face.
Nearsightedness refers to someone who can see things close up well, but who suffers from fuzzy vision at a distance. In this scenario, the physical length of the eye is too long, which causes distortion.
Farsightedness results from an eyeball that is too short, making it difficult to read and see things close up.
Wearing prescription glasses significantly improves each of these conditions. Glasses can be useful during specific activities, like reading, writing, or driving, or maybe worn all the time.
Yes, wearing glasses can improve your vision, but your eyeglasses give your vision only a temporary boost. Eyeglass lenses cannot "fix" any medical issues or make significant changes to the structure of your eye. Glasses clarify and enhance what you can see by counteracting physical anomalies in the shape of your eye that affect your ability to process light properly—but the better vision that comes from wearing glasses is thanks to a change in your perspective and not the result of any actual changes to your eye or eyesight. So while eyeglasses are a helpful tool to bridge that gap, they don’t actually make your eyesight better.
No. Glasses can correct vision—but, just as they can't strengthen or improve your physical eye to fix your eyesight, nor will they weaken your eyes if you wear them. Prescription eyeglasses are optical aids that change the way your eye receives light rays to improve visual clarity. This results in a better overall visual experience. Also, because your vision deteriorates with age, it will continue to decline after you get prescription eyewear. This timing may make it seem like your eyewear is the cause. But the change in vision is likely age-related and has 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 the reason you wear them in the first place—follow your eye doctor's recommendations. 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 all the time.
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 don’t wear your glasses as prescribed, you may experience eye strain and spend your day squinting to see clearly.
A pair of nonprescription drug store 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’re using them more throughout the day, it’s 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 can provide you the appropriate vision correction for full-time wear. Consider progressive or bifocal lenses to correct both near and distance vision.
If glasses help you see better while watching TV, driving, working, or for another activity, wear them. If you’re comfortable in them, there is no reason you shouldn't wear your glasses all the time—with a few exceptions. There are times when it may be better to go without or to choose eyewear specific to your activity. Choosing the appropriate eyewear in all circumstances will keep your eyes safe.
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 to avoid falling asleep in your glasses. When bedtime comes around, put them in a case to prevent breaking or bending them.
Wearing Glasses While Playing Sports
Glasses and sports don't always mix. Prescription sunglasses may be better suited to some outdoor sports, and you should always wear 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 the glaring sun or under bright lights. Instead, wear protective eyewear, goggles, or rugged eyeglasses made for sports for activities like football, basketball, skiing, running, and biking.
Nor are glasses the best choice for swimming. Water splashing onto 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 swim goggles. Avoid wearing contact lenses when swimming—water trapped behind the lens could cause a bacterial infection.
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 woodshop, 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 you also need clear vision. If you typically wear prescription eyeglasses instead of contacts, choose prescription safety glasses, goggles, or safety glasses made to fit over your eyeglasses to best protect your eyes.
Non-prescription glasses will not damage your eyesight or change the structure of your eyes. Glasses lenses work by bending light to help your eyes focus. An incorrect lens strength may cause symptoms of eye strain, including dry or watery eyes, sore eyes, headaches, or a sore neck and back. The good news is that the symptoms go away after you remove the offending lens.
‘Non-prescription glasses’ may refer to reading glasses or frames that use plano lenses, or lenses without magnification.
Changes in the eye due to presbyopia make it harder for eyes to focus, and it happens to all of us beginning around the age of 40. If you can't see your crossword puzzle as clearly as you once did, a little magnification may be all you need. Inexpensive reading glasses may be tempting, but how do you know what strength to choose without a prescription from your optometrist?
Reading glasses offer magnification in lens powers from +1.00 to +3.00. Non-prescription reading glasses are useful for focusing on close-up work such as reading, computer or smartphone use, or even outdoor hobbies. Each lens comes in the same strength, and they don’t provide correction for astigmatism or other vision conditions. These lenses only magnify, making it easier to focus on text or other details. While over-the-counter readers are available without a visit to the eye doctor, bifocals or progressive lenses may be a better option if you already wear prescription glasses.
Consider the activity for which you will wear the non-prescription glasses when choosing your readers' lens strength. You might need a different strength for reading than for using your computer or for gardening. You may want a pair of readers in one power for your morning newspaper, and a pair for the golf course in another.
The racks of reading glasses at discount stores can help determine your correct power. Try on some drug store readers and look at a magazine; the glasses are too strong if you find yourself holding it unnaturally close. You can also use your age to get a ballpark number. If you’re in your 40s, start with a +1.00 to +1.25, and then add half a unit for every decade older you get.
While cheap reading glasses will give you an idea of what lens strength you may need, the power may not be consistent from pair to pair. The glasses at the drug store are inexpensive, which means you sacrifice quality. The designer reading glasses at FramesDirect.com are made to look better and last longer, and you can include add-ons like digital light protection or Transitions® photochromic lens coating.
While one of the diopters, or strengths, found in reading glasses will work for most people, many people have one eye that is stronger than the other, or may require additional vision correction for conditions such as astigmatism. You may also find the optics in the ready-made readers are not centered for your pupil measurement (PD).
Even if reading glasses work for occasional use, visiting your eye doctor for a regular check-up is still recommended. If you find you're wearing your reading glasses more and more throughout the day, an optometrist can provide an option that best suits your needs.
If you don't need glasses but choose to wear them anyway, reading glasses—even weak ones—may cause eye strain and discomfort.
Though you won't damage your eyes by wearing someone else's glasses or correction you don’t need, the wrong prescription—or even a new prescription in your own glasses—may cause headaches, eye strain, blurry vision, watery eyes, and dizziness. What causes these symptoms? Your eyes and brain ‘speak' to each other, and wearing a pair of glasses made for someone else confuses the message sent to your brain. Your retina sees an image that is out of focus, blurry, and distorted, as the correction isn't appropriate for your eyes. Both your eyes and brain have to work harder, which causes eye strain and discomfort. The discomfort caused by wearing an incorrect prescription will ease soon after you remove the glasses.
Gone are the days of hiding your eyewear; glasses have made the jump from a bothersome requirement to chic fashion accessory. If you want glasses solely for the style factor, request plano lenses, or lenses without correction. While you may not need glasses to see better, there are benefits to wearing ‘fake' glasses. Non-prescription lenses can include an anti-reflective (AR) coating that reduces symptoms of eye strain and deflects harmful blue light, and an anti-UV coating can protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.
For strong prescriptions, we recommend high index lenses. Plastic and polycarbonate aren’t ideal for prescriptions stronger than +/- 3, while high index 1.67 lenses work well for prescriptions between +/- 2 and 6, especially if you prefer tinted or progressive lenses. For prescriptions above +/- 6, 1.74 high index lenses are the best option. High index lenses are a bit more expensive, but they’re the better option for stronger prescriptions.
The higher the number in your prescription, the stronger your lenses. The plus and minus signs designate far- or nearsightedness rather than prescription strength.
The 1.74 are the thinnest optical lenses developed—50% thinner than plastic and 5% thinner than 1.67 high index lenses. They aren't available with tinting or as progressive lenses, so the 1.67 high index lenses may be a better choice if these factors are important to you.
Learn more about all the lens types we offer at FramesDirect.com.