How Wearing Glasses and Contacts Can Deteriorate Your Eyesight

How Wearing Glasses & Contacts Can Deteriorate Your Eyesight

Have you recently been told that you need glasses? Maybe you went to the eye doctor and they checked your vision and gave you a prescription for lenses. They told you that you can either buy glasses or contacts or even consider laser eye surgery.

How Wearing Glasses and Contacts Can Deteriorate Your Eyesight

You should know that these options will not improve your vision or even benefit your eyes in the long run. There are lots of natural and holistic ways you can improve your eyesight. But, forcing your eyes to adjust to lenses is not one of them. Here’s how wearing glasses and/or contacts negatively affects your eyes and your vision.

The Problem with Glasses

If you have trouble seeing, getting glasses can feel like a lifesaver. Finally, you can see what everyone else sees! Right? Not exactly.

First, the time of day the optometrist checked your eyes affects the prescription you were given. If you rushed to the eye doctor after work around sunset, your eyes were likely adjusting to the low-level lighting. This means that your prescription will only be perfect for your eyes when they are in that adjusting state. If your prescription is a tad off, your eyes can “break in” your new glasses within a couple of days.

That brings us to the second point. The breaking-in period your eyes go through causes tenseness and discomfort that shouldn’t be happening in the first place. Your eyes should not be forced to go through an uncomfortable period to fit the prescription.

Third, glasses are designed to be effective when the retina is focused on the center of vision only. Therefore, people who wear glasses become dependent on moving their necks and head to see things outside of the optic center. Normally, you could shift your eyes to see side to side, but glasses don’t allow that. Your peripheral vision is not improved. Not to mention the fact that many glasses’ frames are so thick they interfere with any vision outside the center.

Another huge concern is people wearing prescription glasses in situations that don’t require them. For example, if you are given prescription glasses for myopia (nearsightedness) and then continue to wear them when reading a book. Or, looking at a computer screen up close. You can damage your vision by wearing prescription glasses when you don’t need to.

If you’ve ever forgotten to take your glasses off and then focused on something up close, you’ve likely felt the twinge of strain in your eyes. Your eyes already work hard to focus on up-close objects. Adding a layer of prescriptive lenses forces them to focus 10 times harder which strains the muscles.

The Problem with Contact Lenses

Although contacts do eliminate the issues from your glasses’ frame interfering with your vision, they come with their own issues.

First, to place the contacts onto your eyeballs, you are required to touch your eyes directly with your fingers. This can introduce various germs and bacteria into your eyes that can lead to problems. Infections, styes, and corneal ulcers can develop due to the unsanitary placement of contacts. We know that we should be washing our hands before we touch our eyes in any circumstance. But most people don’t consistently follow that rule.

The inserting and removal of contacts can also cause corneal abrasions from your fingers trying to grasp the lenses. When done slowly and carefully, you can safely remove your contacts without damaging your eyes. However, when you’re in a rush or trying to move contacts on the go, that’s when potential damage can occur.

Another serious concern when it comes to wearing contacts is the potential to develop corneal neovascularization. Your corneas (the clear frontal surface of your eyeball) require oxygen to survive. It’s the only part of the body that doesn’t rely on blood flow to deliver oxygen because it gets it directly from the air. When you wear your contacts for more than the recommended length of time (usually eight hours), then you risk depriving your corneas of oxygen. You may not know you’ve become a victim of this condition until it’s too late and your vision is impaired.

Alternatives to Glasses/Contacts

It’s understandable why you considered buying glasses or contacts in the first place – you want to be able to see! However, there are other ways you can improve your vision without risking damaging them.

1. Lasik Surgery

Depending on the reason for your poor vision, eye surgeons can perform various surgeries to physically correct them. While it may be tempting to choose surgery and fix your vision once and for all, it isn’t perfect. Lasik surgery may resolve one issue in your eyes right now, but it doesn’t prevent new vision impairments. Changes can develop in your eyes as you age or your lifestyle changes; it’s not permanent. There are also multiple health risks and medical mishaps that can occur from eye surgery.

2. Lifestyle Changes

You may not be able to return your eyesight to how it was as a child, but you can certainly prevent it from getting worse. Start by ensuring you “exercise” your eyes for up-close and distance vision multiple times a day. Don’t rely on glasses (if you already have them). Allow your eye muscles to build strength. Do eye exercises to retain your eyes’ mobility, flexibility, and shape.

3. Diet Changes

There are lots of different nutrients your eyes need for good vision. For example, omega-3 fatty acids ensure your eyes can drain intraocular fluid thus relieving pressure on the eyes. Antioxidants protect your eyes’ cells from oxidation and prevent disease. When you improve your diet and ensure your eyes are getting the nutrients they require, your vision becomes healthier.

Interested in Learning More?

Eye health is often overlooked when people choose to improve their overall health and wellness. Glasses and contact lenses are recommended by doctors even though they only provide a “band-aid” for vision issues. And, they can even make your vision worse. There are natural and safe ways to improve your vision. Instead of resorting to prescription lenses or risky surgery, find out more about natural alternatives like our eye-healthy vitamin supplements.

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Alina Howell says:

    Not relying on my glasses is going to help me? I don’t think so. I have severe myopia and as such feel that this was really unhelpful with the suggestions and comments such as about not taking glasses off to read books. I vision is so bad that the closeness the book would have to be would negate the purpose in reading it as I would have to read with only a single word in sight of vision, and even then still get a headache due to being too close! Most of the article seemed only to apply to those with moderately fair vision.

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen k says:

    Hi 45 year old lady, and recently I got my reading glasses with the power of 1. hope my ..can my vision improve.

  3. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Lils says:

    I agree with the main points in this article and try not to wear my glasses too often. I’m a bit farsighted. But, the optometrist have recommended vision therapy to combat my vision getting worse instead of better. I’ve had my glasses changed and tested yearly. Will these vision exercises, changes in diet, and lifestyle really help?

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


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