ZocdocAnswersIs it bad for my eyes to only wear my glasses when I really need them?

Question

Is it bad for my eyes to only wear my glasses when I really need them?

I'm nearsighted and have glasses, but only wear them when I really need them, like in class to see the professor's notes or when I'm driving. Otherwise, I just don't wear them. Is this bad for my eyes?

Answer

Wearing corrective glasses can help your vision. There is a common belief or "old wives tale" that straining to use your eyes or squinting hurts your long term vision. There is no data to suggest this is true, however, it is not clear what effects this actually does have on your vision. Therefore, to answer your question -- NO-- there is no evidence that not wearing your vision corrective lenses hurts your long term vision. Glasses do not make your eyes better, only improve your vision while wearing them. Therefore, wearing or not wearing your glasses is really just for improving your vision at that time. If you feel your vision is worsening or are having trouble while wearing your glasses, see your ophthalmologist. Your eye works by having a lens that refracts light onto a specific point in the back of the eye. This point in the back of the eye is known as the retina. If the lens is either too long or too short -- then it doesn't refract the light to the proper point on the retina and therefore your vision is blurry. This too long or too short nature of the lens gives rise to near sightedness and far sightedness. However the body also has small muscles to stretch the lens -- which is what squinting does. There is no evidence these squinting muscles wear out. Please see your optometrist for more information. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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