Old wives tale #2. (I love this one!)
Wearing glasses makes your eyes worse?
If I had a dollar for every time some one asked me this question, I would have retired 20 years ago and would have lived in every tropical paradise in the world.
But, before I get carried away with the drama and the rhetoric, lets just take a deep breath and establish a few facts first. The key to finding out the truth, is to ask the right questions. Ask the right questions, and you will get to the information to establish some truth(most of the time).
Question 1. (This one to ask yourself) Did my eyes get worse first, or did I wear glasses first?
Answer : 99% of the time, it is yes “my eyes got worse before I got spectacles”, as logic would ordinarily dictate.
Question 2. (This one also for yourself) If I don’t wear my glasses for a week or two, do my eyes get better?
Answer : Mostly, “my eyes do get a little better, but I still have to wear my specs to see clearly.” The reason this happens is that the muscles go back to “straining” to see more clearly, so you do see a bit better, but it is not ideal to be stressing your eyes for any length of time. It is not their natural state.
Question 3. (The real question) Why is it that my eyesight gets worse as I get older?
Answer : Hmmm. A bit complicated. But here it goes.
As we age our muscles deteriorate, including the muscles in our eyes. This means they are less able to cope with correcting any pre-existing (usually minor) focusing errors in the eye, as well as not being able to flex enough to focus our eyes for near vision. For anyone to see clearly up close, the eye muscles have to do some work. So, just as it gets harder to “run” a marathon or lift heavy weights as we get older, so it is also harder to be able to focus up close as we age.
Also, the crystalline lens inside our eye tends to get harder and less flexible as we age, so is less able to “flex up” to focus at a close distance.
Question 4. Will I eventually go blind? Haha. The short answer is …..NO. This is a near focussing issue with the eye muscles and the slight hardening of the crystalline lens, not to do with any major deterioration of the critical parts of the eye.
Here is the clincher that should put any doubts to rest. If, as you think, your specs have made your eyesight worse, then that would mean that it would be possible to change your eyesight with glasses.
Spectacles designed to make your eyesight better?
Clearly, that is just not possible (pun intended).
Ps. I am able to write this blog because I use spectacles to see clearly, in spite of my age.
Pps. The information is true for the vast majority of people, however, all is not known about how the eyes develop and change as we grow and age. Research is ongoing. There are some individual cases and some weird effects that do happen. If anyone has examples, please share in the comments.
Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and not intended to be specific advice for any one individual. As always, if you have a issue with your vision, consult a qualified Optometrist/Optician.