Skip to comments.The Claim: Wearing Glasses Can Weaken Your Eyes
Posted on 01/25/2005 10:13:22 PM PST by neverdem
THE FACTS Glasses can bring a blurry world into focus, but some people suspect that by doing all the heavy lifting the glasses may speed the natural decline of vision. But ophthalmologists say this is an illusion.
How well a person can see is largely determined by the size of the eyeball, something a pair of glasses cannot change. The average eye is about an inch from the cornea, in the front, to the retina, in the back. When the eyes are either too large (shortsightedness) or too small (farsightedness), the cornea cannot properly focus images on the retina, and glasses can help compensate.
Dr. Robert Cykiert, an ophthalmologist at New York University Hospitals Center, said the contrast between poor and normal vision becomes more obvious when people wear glasses for a while and then take them off. But glasses have no lasting effect on eyesight.
Reading in the dark won't damage your eyes either, Dr. Cykiert said, though you may get a headache from all the squinting and straining.
THE BOTTOM LINE Glasses will not make your vision deteriorate more quickly.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Is this just stating the obvious or what? LOL!
Reads like one of those coffee good or bad? articles.
The contrast between a dark house and a sunny day becomes more obvious when people go outside for a while and then go back inside.
The contrast between a good food and bad food becomes more obvious when one eats a lot of good food for a while, and then eats some more bad food.
One could go on forever!
Size connotes the idea of area or volume. The issue at hand is shape. Of course, this is the NYT so who cares about facts or correct scientific information.
So does this mean I shouldn't waste my money on the "See Clearly" method?
A friend and co-worker believes this and stopped wearing his glasses 3 years ago. He says his sight has actually improved without glasses.
LOL I hear that commercial and wonder. My mom used to say I should wear an eye patch *lol*
It could be a new look, anyway. Eye patch, parrot and puffy shirt.
Long hours on the computer...well you know some women would trade in a few years on their lifespan for a smaller bumbum. I rather wear glasses and be able to freep for hours on end sitting on my end.
"A friend and co-worker believes this and stopped wearing his glasses 3 years ago. He says his sight has actually improved without glasses."
I'd hate to get in a car with him.
I agree, I went from perfect vision to 20/50 20/70 sixteen years ago. I got both contact lenses and glasses and my prescription hasn't changed at all.
I do wonder how I went from perfect vision as a kid to the 20/50 20/70 stuff when nothing has since changed?
I wonder why it changed to begin with?
Thank you for sharing your deep scientific observations. :) I will carry your knowledge with me (being sarcastic obviously, thanks for the chuckle).
But glasses have no lasting effect on eyesight.
That's true for adults, but children NEED to wear their glasses if the power is significant, and especially if one eye is worse than the other. The nerve network of the retina needs stimulus during the important years for the eye (up to about age 10) or it will not develop the intricate nerve network necessary for sharp vision. I see a lot of teenagers and adults with one permanently weak eye (anisometropic amblyopia or refractive amblyopia) because they weren't corrected at an early enough age. Be sure and get your children checked by at least by age 5 or 6 to make sure they are using both eyes equally. If you notice an eye turning in or out have them checked even earlier.
This is not true. I've worn glasses for several years now and if I take them off, my vision is much worse than it was before I started wearing glasses, not just in contrast; I now see nothing but blurs. I don't believe the glasses are "weakening" my eyes either; it's just that my eyes have gotten used to seeing with them rather than straining to see without them. It's certainly more than just the contrast though; there is a definite change in my non-corrected vision.
Here's what I don't understand. The army will refuse you for certain MOs (possibly for any) if you have laser-corrected surgery, but once you enlist, they will perform the surgery themselves.
Thanks for your comments. The reason I posted this was for the take home point. Glasses don't make your eyes worse.
I was gonna believe this - but it's in the Times, so now I have to be skeptical...
IIRC, the lens in your eye loses its ability to focus as folks age.
Reagan is King, are you available for a consult?
Is it possible for eye muscles to adjust the shape of the eye (or, more notably, the lens-retina distance) in any significant or useful fashion? If so, I could see potential usefulness for that.
From young I played competitive sports, then all at once as a young adult I found I was having some trouble seeing at night and then things got slightly less than clear in the day.
The day before I went in and found I needed glasses I won an Open tennis tournament with a doubles partner where I was returning serves well over 110MPH.
I had 20/50 20/70.
I can only think that at that time I was working with an early computer with a 5 inch monochrome screen and I had to punch in lots of numbers for reports a couple of hours a day. I was playing tennis at that time 2-3 hours a day during the week as well, so my eyes got plenty of exercise.
They have not altered now for 16 years and it beats the heck out of me as to why I ever went from great, to off, and then no more changes.
Now that's a classic turn of phrase!
Then how does this explain my being blurred at all distances? I was not always blurred at all distances, it stated with the 'age' related need for a pair of reading glasses. I'm 56 and see blurred at all distances. Had a cataract removed from my left eye about 8 years ago. The one in the right is on a scale from 1-100 a 15, a long way from removal. I wear tri-focals which need changing every year as my reader needs strengthening by a quarter power.
If you point a diverged laser beam at a wall and look at it, what do you see? As you move your head, how does what you see change?
Reagan is King sounded like an eye doc. I was hoping for a more informative explanation. I'm just a family practice doc.
"It could be a new look, anyway. Eye patch, parrot and puffy shirt."
It's all the rage if you want to be a dodgeball star.
Ah, I know lots of your types here in California and they are the ones best surviving in practice.
I'm sure you do great work and thanks for trying to get an answer from Reagan is King for me.
I wear those blended lenses now as the traditional tri-focal didn't work well for me. I've also noticed I'm severely night blind, I quit driving at night about 3 years ago. I quilt, and have problems with seeing dark thread on medium to dark fabric. Ditto for reading certain color schemes people use for web sites.
The only med I take is Synthroid for hypothyroid.
Light constricts the pupils which makes it easier to focus on reading material. It's a good idea to have adequate light if reading for more than a brief time.
Yes, glasses do weaken your eyes, but they also strengthen your nose and your ears.
Beer Goggles Ping !
LOL.....Mom was a proctologist, Dad was an ophthalmologist....thus my sh*tty outlook on life.......
Hey guys, is there anyone out there qualified to explain to me, what the vision number measurements(like 20/20, 20/50), mean, and how are they determined?
BTW-- I DO wear glasses... Have for about 13 years now, and should've years before that.
it seems for me that the more I use my reading glasses, the more I NEED to use them, even for things such as cutting up veggies...its just easier with the readers.....
also, I have a theory that perhaps our eyes lose their "accomodation" ability the more our society wears sunglasses year round....seems that we might be weakening our ability of our eyes to adjust to differant light settings.......can that be possible?
I don't know what happened to her vision after that, since we went to different colleges, and the topic of her eyesight didn't come up when we spent time together after college graduation.
I've wondered if frequent-sunglass-wearing, (especially among, say, pre-teens) has led to an increase in depression. (I'm not saying sunglass-wearing doesn't have positive effects.)
Thanks for explaining this.
My 89-year-old mother, who has always loved to read, has found she can read better at some times during the day, than others. Allowing sunlight (coming through her window) to shine on the page, is helpful. (I've been checking into getting one of those Ott-lite lamps for her.)
But, aside from lighting, she finds she can see print better at some times than others. I wonder if her medications are affecting her pupils.
OK, I'll try........
20/20 vision is "normal". That means a person with "normal vision" can read the bottom line on the standard eye chart at a distance of 20 feet. So if you have 20/50 eyesight that mean that you have to be 20 feet away while those with "normal eyesight" can see it at 50 feet.
BTW, as a teen 'we' had a friend with 20/200 vision (almost legally blind). As such, he had to get a letter from his eye doctor so he could get a DL. He wasn't supposed to drive at night, which he did - that made for some 'fun rides'.
Has anyone done a controlled experiment (maybe on animals, if PETA would allow it) to see whether long-term use of corrective lenses weakens vision?
Two things happen as you grow up.
First the shape of your eyeball changes as you grow. Most little kids are a bit farsighted. If your eye lengthens too much you end up nearsighted, not enough farsighted.
Also the lens in your eye bends to help focus the light on to the back of your retina. It also absorbs the UV light that would harm your retina but with time UV light changes your lens making it less flexible and decreases it's focusing abilities necessitating longer arms or reading glasses.
It's been studied and proven decades ago that glasses, which only bend light so that images seen are directly on the retina, do not effect the final outcome of either of the changes an eyeball goes through. No exercises can change this outcome.
Theses changes can be seen when people are in their last thirties, early forties.
"My 89-year-old mother, who has always loved to read, has found she can read better at some times during the day, than others. Allowing sunlight (coming through her window) to shine on the page, is helpful. (I've been checking into getting one of those Ott-lite lamps for her.)"
Get her a daylite lamp, and you should see a lot of improvement. Also, besure that her vitamin includes at least 250 mcg of Leutin per day.
"But, aside from lighting, she finds she can see print better at some times than others. I wonder if her medications are affecting her pupils."
I'm 66 and about 6 years ago, I went from quite near sighted to 20/10 in my left eye (my dominant eye) and 20/40 in my right eye. Also, I didn't need reading glasses any more.
A couple of years later, from November until Daylight savings came back, I needed to use my fly tying magnifiers to do the cross word puzzles and to read some books after dinner. During the daytime in our house and outside, I had no problem reading small print.
A friend who is an eye md said that it was the lack of sunlight and probably a shortage of Lutein do America's phobia not to eat eggs. He recommended a daylight bulb in my reading lamp and to go on Centrum Silver. The results were incredible in a week or so. Then, the next winter my wife bought a generic Centrum, and my inability to read in the winter after dark returned. I actually got a contact for evening wear for my right eye, and it worked. It was just a pain. Then I decided to go back to regular Centrum, and I haven't needed the contacts the last two winters.
In closing I think that many of us who are over 60 can read better in daylight with good sunlight. The use of the natural lights in the winter time can help in the evening or on cloudy days. Leutin is very important for healthy eyes and a must for most of us over 60.
Had the one in the left eye removed 8 years ago as it sat in the center of my field of vision. The other is not any where near removal stage.
There have been several theories that I'm aware of that have tried to explain the loss of near and distance focusing ability at around the age of 40-45. The oldest theory is probably that the muscles weaken, which has generally been shown to not be a major factor. The other is that the crystalline lens gets stiffer with age due to the absorption of UV light over our lifetime (resulting eventually in a cataract if we live long enough). This is almost certainly one of the factors. However, the most recent research indicates that because the crystalline lens adds layers each year that eventually it runs out of space and cannot flex far enough to focus in for the amount needed for reading or close work.
There are currently several companies trying different ways to either safely shave off some of the edges of the crystalline lens to provide more room, or to remove some of the surrounding (non-vital) tissue around the lens to make room for lens flexure. I haven't read anything on the results recently, but that was the "latest" theory. There's a lot of money at stake because the baby boomer market is huge and they certainly don't like wearing bifocals!
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