Wearing glasses doesn’t make your eyesight worse. We repeat: Glasses don’t make your eyes worse. Glasses, contacts, and all corrective lenses will only make your eyesight better—when you’re wearing them as prescribed, of course. 

Eyeglasses weakening eyesight is a common myth that’s never been scientifically proven. In this article, we’ll debunk this claim and explain why wearing glasses won’t hurt your eyesight.

Does Wearing Glasses Weaken Your Eyes?

Wearing glasses doesn’t weaken your eyes in any way. While some people believe wearing glasses can make your eyes reliant on the glasses and cause your eye muscles to atrophy, that myth can’t be further from the truth. 

If Glasses Don’t Weaken Your Eyesight, Why Do People Need Stronger Vision Prescriptions Over Time?

One possible source of this myth might be that eyeglass prescriptions often get stronger over time. But that’s due to age, genetics, behavior, and possibly other factors—not the glasses. The lenses in your eyes can change shape and lose their flexibility as the years go by, which prevents light from reaching the retina as easily as it could in your younger days. 

Myopia, or nearsightedness, tends to increase slightly with age. Presbyopia is likewise age-related and often occurs in those 40 and older. (That’s why you see so many adults wearing those distinguished reading glasses.)  

So, wearing your glasses is a surefire way to correct the vision issues that naturally arise from aging or other causes. It’s not wearing your prescription eyewear that can cause unnecessary problems. If your eyesight goes uncorrected, you may experience eye strain, headaches, fatigue, and squinting. Always schedule an appointment with an optometrist if these symptoms are occurring. 

In more serious cases, especially with children, not wearing prescribed glasses for conditions like strabismus (crossed eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye) can make the condition worse—or even permanent. 

Why Does It Seem Like Your Eyesight Is Getting Worse After Wearing Glasses?

Your eyesight isn’t actually getting worse after wearing the glasses—it just seems like it is. 

When you take off your prescription glasses, the world around you might seem blurrier than you remember pre-glasses. But nothing has changed, aside from your perspective. Your eyes and your brain are becoming accustomed to seeing the world a lot clearer, so the effects of uncorrected vision are more noticeable.

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Is Wearing the Wrong Glasses Bad for Your Eyes?

Yes, wearing the wrong glasses for your vision needs can be bad for your eyes. However, they will not permanently make your eyesight worse—they’ll impair your vision while you’re wearing them and potentially cause some of the same problems mentioned above, such as eye strain. 

If you’re experiencing bothersome symptoms after giving yourself about two weeks to adjust to your new glasses, then your prescription might be a little too strong or too weak. 

Check in with your optometrist right away so you can get your prescription corrected. And, of course, only wear corrective lenses as prescribed by your eye doctor. Don’t try to self-prescribe based on vision issues! 

Does Wearing Glasses Improve Eyesight?

Wearing glasses does improve your eyesight, as prescription eyeglasses are intended to do—as long as you’re wearing the right ones. While your frames are on your face, you should be able to see everything clearly and comfortably. (If not, speak with your eye doctor as soon as possible.) 

It’s important to point out that glasses don’t reshape your eyes or permanently fix your vision. Only eye surgery can do that. In most cases, eyesight stays about the same or gets a bit worse over time. To be clear, that isn’t because of glasses—it’s just a consequence of getting older. 

That said, there are cases where glasses or corrective lenses can help eyesight get better over time, especially with children. The recent arrival of contact lenses that help to slow the progression of myopia can decrease the amount of change that might otherwise occur. There are also spectacle lenses being tested for the same purpose. If a child requires vision therapy or glasses to help their eyes mature or correct an eye condition, such as amblyopia, then glasses will indeed help to improve their eyesight over time. In many cases, once the eye condition is corrected, the child will no longer need glasses. 

Get Your Eyes Checked So Glasses Can Help Your Vision

Whether you’re due for a new eyeglasses prescription or heading to the eye doctor for the first time, comprehensive eye exams are a key step to achieving clearer vision. Your optometrist can determine your prescription and point you in the direction of some awesome new frames, whether they’re in-store or online. Either way, the right pair of glasses will only help—never hurt—your eyesight.

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