If you are one of the many people who have faulty vision and need to wear glasses, have you considered whether you actually need to wear them as much as you do? While glasses do correct your vision and enable you to see clearly without fuzziness or blurring, there is a school of thought that you might be better off without glasses altogether.
Are glasses necessary?
Most people routinely wear glasses because they are either shortsighted or longsighted, or a combination of both. Few people can function correctly without having good eyesight, and in fact are actually prevented from performing some tasks, such as driving a car, without being able to see clearly, so it follows that glasses are a necessity. But could they be doing more long-term harm than good?
While it is accepted that glasses do not make eyes stronger – merely help them to see more clearly – recent studies have revealed that many people believe wearing glasses actually weakens eyes. This is thought to be because over time the eyes become dependent upon the spectacles – in effect, become lazy and do not bother to work for themselves – thereby making it even more necessary for the wearer to wear their glasses, which become ever stronger until they become a regular fixture upon their face. It is believed that eyes, like other parts of the body, need to be exercised regularly to keep them working.
So, there may be good health reasons why an adult should try to be less dependent on their specs, but are there other reasons why wearing glasses is not a great idea? Not everyone likes to wear glasses for various reasons, such as not liking the way glasses make them look, and sometimes wearing glasses can be an actual hazard, for example, if you are a sportsperson who is involved in a contact sport. These factors often lead people to choose other types of vision correction, such as contact lenses. But not everyone can wear lenses and they too have their disadvantages, causing eye infections and needing a good hygiene regime. A better, long-term alternative to corrective lenses is laser eye surgery, a quick and painless operation that gives the patient freedom from glasses after a short recovery time.
The argument is slightly different for children than adults, however. If a child develops a vision problem, not wearing glasses to correct it can have a long-term effect. A child’s eyes need to “learn” how to see objects before them, which means that if they have a vision problem that is not corrected through glasses, the eyes will never develop this ability and the problem of amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs. Glasses with the correct prescription lenses, it seems, will actually improve the eyesight of young children.
There is no definitive proof that glasses weaken adult eyes, but the fact that such a belief exists suggests that exercising eyes to be less dependent on spectacles is good practice, whether it delivers an actual benefit or not.