The Side Effects of Wearing Glasses and Contacts

Updated: Aug 27, 2019


Glasses or contact lenses have long term bad effects on eyesight and it may make eyesight worse than before.


Whenever you wear new pairs of eyeglasses you would feel a slight discomfort adjusting to it. You may feel dizziness and problems with depth perception and this may take up to 2 weeks before your eyes adjust properly to the new grade lenses.


While wearing eyeglasses can improve eyesight instantly, it's not the best solution that address the root cause of the vision problem. Most people experienced degrading quality of vision over time while wearing eyeglasses.


As years went by, you would need a stronger prescription to "improve" your eyesight. Most nearsighted people go through myopic progression as time goes by.


One reason why this happens is because the eye muscles are so used to contract with the eyeglasses that it changes shape drastically which in turn worsens vision because the eyeball focus has changed drastically. Vision is not stationary. It constantly changes shape and focus.


Using your glasses for nearsightedness would be bad for reading up close. The focus required by the eyes to look at a far distance is different from the focus from a 30 cm distance.


The eyes will have more strain while reading because the focus of eyeglass lenses is too much and should be used for distances beyond 6 meters only.


Wearing glasses also affects the size of our eyes. There are lot of research done on the effects of glasses on changing the shape of the eyeball. It makes the eyeball longer and this muscle may have a hard time going back to normal size if it's in constant strain.


Similarly, wearing contact lenses puts you at risk of several serious conditions including eye infections and corneal ulcers. These conditions can develop very quickly and can be very serious. In rare cases, these conditions can cause blindness. There are several ways wearing contact lenses can go wrong, but one of the most harmful — and common — is wearing them for longer than you should.

Here are some of the most common side effects of wearing your contacts for extended periods:


Eye pain. Wearing your contact lenses overnight or taking a nap with them can cause corneal abrasions or scratches on your cornea. As you can imagine, the condition is painful. This happens because the contact lenses deny the corneas hydration and oxygen.


Blurred vision. Another offshoot of contact lens overuse is blurred vision. Instead of helping you see better, your contacts can impair your vision if you use it longer than you should. This is caused by damage to your corneas and is often accompanied by sensitivity to bright lights.


Red eyes. This is one of the clearest indication of damage to the eyes. Factors like crying, irritation, light infections (such as conjunctivitis), and lack of sleep naturally lead to reddish eyes, but the condition is temporary and heals between minutes and days. Red-eyes caused by contact lens overuse indicate a much more severe condition and should not be taken lightly.


Overgrowth of surrounding blood vessels. When your eyes lack oxygen because of contact lens overuse, the blood vessels surrounding the corneas try to adapt. This causes an overgrowth of blood vessels, which leads to blurred vision or in severe instances, the loss of sight. The condition does not have a symptom and can only be diagnosed by regular visits to an eye doctor.


Eye ulcers. These open sores appear as white or grayish specks on the cornea. They occur when your eyes get infected because you used your contacts for too long or without cleaning them. They are painful and can cause blurred vision and blindness.


This post originally appeared on Arizona Retinal Specialists.