Have you recently been told that you need glasses? Maybe you went to the eye doctor and they checked your vision and gave you a prescription for lenses. They told you that you can either buy glasses or contacts.
You should know that these options will not improve your vision or even benefit your eyes in the long-run. There is another way however you can improve your eyesight. But, forcing your eyes to adjust to lenses is not one of them. Here’s how wearing glasses and/or contacts negatively affects your eyes and your vision.
The Problem with Glasses
If you have trouble seeing, getting glasses can feel like a lifesaver. Finally, you can see what everyone else sees! Right? Not exactly.
First, the time of day the optometrist checked your eyes affects the prescription you were given. If you rushed to the eye doctor after work around sunset, your eyes were likely adjusting to the low-level lighting. This means that your prescription will only be perfect for your eyes when they are in that adjusting state. If your prescription is a tad off, your eyes can “break-in” your new glasses within a couple of days.
That brings us to the second point. The breaking-in period your eyes go through causes tenseness and discomfort that shouldn’t be happening in the first place. Your eyes should not be forced to go through an uncomfortable period to fit the prescription.
Third, glasses are designed to be effective when the retina is focused on the center of vision only. Therefore, people who wear glasses become dependent on moving their neck and head to see things outside of the optic center. Normally, you could shift your eyes to see side to side, but glasses don’t allow that. Your peripheral vision is not improved. Not to mention the fact that many glasses’ frames are so thick they interfere with any vision outside the center.
Another huge concern is people wearing prescription glasses in situations that don’t require them. For example, if you are given prescription glasses for myopia (nearsightedness) and then continue to wear them when reading a book. Or, looking at a computer screen up close. You can damage your vision by wearing prescription glasses when you don’t need to.
If you’ve ever forgotten to take your glasses off and then focused on something up close, you’ve likely felt the twinge of strain in your eyes. Your eyes already work hard to focus on up-close objects. Adding a layer of prescriptive lenses forces them to focus 10 times harder which strains the muscles.
The Problem with Contact Lenses
Although contacts do eliminate the issues from your glasses’ frame interfering with your vision, they come with their own issues.
First, to place the contacts onto your eyeballs, you are required to touch your eyes directly with your fingers. This can introduce various germs and bacteria into your eyes that can lead to problems. Infections, styes, and corneal ulcers can develop due to the unsanitary placement of contacts. We know that we should be washing our hands before we touch our eyes in any circumstance. But most people don’t consistently follow that rule.
The inserting and removal of contacts can also cause corneal abrasions from your fingers trying to grasp the lenses. When done slowly and carefully, you can safely remove your contacts without damaging your eyes. However, when you’re in a rush or trying to move contacts on the go, that’s when potential damage can occur.
Another serious concern when it comes to wearing contacts is the potential to develop corneal neovascularization. Your corneas (the clear frontal surface of your eyeball) require oxygen to survive. It’s the only part of the body that doesn’t rely on blood flow to deliver oxygen because it gets it directly from the air. When you wear your contacts, you risk depriving your corneas of oxygen. You may not know you’ve become a victim of this condition until it’s too late and your vision is impaired.
Alternatives to Glasses/Contacts
It’s understandable why you considered buying glasses or contacts in the first place – you want to be able to see! However, there's a better way you can improve your vision.
LASIK has become the most popular vision correction procedure with one of the highest satisfaction rates of any elective procedure. Now that people have this vision correction alternative, many people are achieving their vision goals at a faster rate than ever before.
Unlike other forms of vision correction, laser eye surgery is a long-term investment. This is why LASIK eye surgery cost must be considered against the micro expenses that one must pay for glasses and contacts. When comparing the expenses, many patients find that LASIK is actually the more cost-effective option. It is a one-time payment for a lifetime of benefits.
On the other hand, maintaining corrective eyewear can really add up over the years as well as provide a certain inconvenience to people.
This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.