Many of us have chosen not to wear our glasses on one occasion or another for several reasons. These issues range from comfort, style, or even the fear that wearing glasses will worsen our vision. As we grow older, our eyesight begins to deteriorate, but it has little to do with wearing glasses, and more to do with the effects of aging.
In SciShow’s video, “Do Glasses Ruin Your Eyesight?” host Hank Green explains the idea that glasses hurt our vision is a myth. There are two distinct reasons why people wear glasses — if we’re nearsighted, or myopic, and if we’re farsighted. Myopic individuals will have an eyeball that is too long, where light is focused in front of the retina, allowing them to see up close, but they struggle with things in the distance. Those who are farsighted will have an eyeball that is too short, and light is focused behind the retina, which only allows them to read a sign halfway down the street, but not directly in front of them
Glasses work . doing what properly shaped eyeballs do, which is make it possible to focus the light that’s coming into the eye directly onto the retina to see crisp images. They help reduce excessive strain on our eye muscles. A common misconception about bad eyesight is that it’s due to weak eye muscles, but in reality, our eye muscles bend the lens more or less to try and focus light onto the right place. These muscles can only contrast or relax so much to accommodate eyes.
Decades ago, optometrists would prescribe glasses for nearsighted kids that were undercorrected, or would only partially correct their vision to prevent their eyesight from getting worse. This is because in children, the eye is still growing and usually gets longer as it grows in the skull. In kids who are nearsighted, doctors feared this could make myopia worse.
In 2002, a clinical trial found kids who were given undercorrected lenses ended up with worse vision. The results were so striking the researchers had to stop the study early due to ethical reasons. Therefore, there is no evidence undercorrection helps, and optometrists have stopped this practice.
We may need stronger prescriptions as we age, since the lenses of our eyes get stiffer, which makes it harder for them to change focus.
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