Do I Need to Wear Prescription Glasses?

Do I Need to Wear Prescription Glasses?

Not everybody who wears glasses actually has a prescription. In fact, many people choose to wear glasses as a fashion accessory, even if their vision is perfectly fine. Whether they are echoing hip-hop fashions from the 80's and 90's, the 1950's world of Mad Men, or styles of the present, glasses are a vital addition to outfits for many individuals.

Some people like to wear their non-prescription glasses as part of work outfits. Thick framed square or rectangular designs can look great when dressing more formal. An elegant designer glasses can be paired nicely with a more laid back look.

Many women also choose to wear non-prescription glasses with long sweaters or chunky cardigans to create an indie or bohemian look that sets them apart from the crowd. Still others seek to imitate the styles of celebrities.

For example, you could go for the rimless look popularized by Steve Jobs, or retro styles inspired by Buddy Holly. Why not buy a pair to accessorize with your weekend wardrobe or to create your own style? With non-prescription glasses, our designer frames can add an extra touch to any smart casual or evening look.

Choose a Pair of Non-prescription Glasses to Suit Your Face and Style

For other people, wearing prescription glasses enhances their natural assets. The right pair of frames can complement your facial features, accentuating your eyes, hair, cheeks, and mouth. Some might feel that their natural features are framed best by prescription glasses and putting on a pair gives them that touch of extra confidence.

There are also plenty of people who wear non-prescription glasses for computer with an anti-reflective coating or tints, making it easier and more comfortable to use their screens for long periods of time.

Whatever your reasons, you can choose a pair of nonprescription glasses from the diverse collection we have at We can provide you with high-quality designer prescription glasses and apply a blue light lens to them if you just want to wear them at work. So feel free to experiment and see what you can come up with by adding prescription glasses to your regular fashion rotation.

How Do I Know If I Need Prescription Glasses?

It's not always easy to know when you need prescription glasses. Vision changes can be sneaky. They rarely just show up one day as blurry sight, problems reading the fine print or street signs, or difficulty with night vision.

Instead, you’ll likely experience a very gradual decline in your visual acuity that you may not notice at first. Or, you might start squinting or experiencing eye strain, headaches or another discomfort that you didn't have before.

“The classic symptoms of needing prescription glasses include headaches, eye aches, frowning and squinting,” says Agustin Gonzalez, OD, FAAO, an optometrist in private practice in Richardson, Texas. “Flashes and floaters, sudden loss of vision or eye pain are things that should be looked at immediately.”

Other signs and symptoms that may indicate you need prescription glasses include needing brighter light to see or read clearly, seeing halos around light sources (like car headlights and light bulbs), losing your place while reading, and distorted or double vision.

Signs You May Need Prescription Glasses

The most common vision problems and eye conditions that will make you feel you need prescription glasses (or a change to your current eyeglass prescription)

Include Nearsightedness (myopia), which makes it difficult to see distant objects clearly. Myopics usually are able to see well for close-up

Tasks. Farsightedness (hyperopia), a condition where focusing on up-close objects or tasks is challenging, but distance vision is normal. Presbyopia, defined as the normal loss of near focusing ability that happens to just about everyone sometime after age 40.

Cataracts, or a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40. Cataracts are treated with surgery and the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome from excessive use of electronic devices with visual displays — including smartphones, computers, and tablets — also can be a clue that you need prescription glasses.

Eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision, red eyes, burning, light sensitivity, headaches and pain in the shoulders, neck, and back are all symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Anyone who spends a good part of their day staring at LED screens is at risk for developing this condition, including children. Treatment for computer vision syndrome is available, including prescription computer prescription glasses.

Do You Need Prescription Glasses?

The best way to know for sure if you need prescription glasses is to find an eye doctor near you and schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Seeing an eye doctor is especially important if you’re experiencing any of the vision problems described above.

An eye doctor is the only person who knows for sure if you need prescription glasses (and possibly other treatments to resolve your symptoms). During your eye exam, Gonzalez advises that your pupils be dilated, providing the optimal “open window" for your eye doctor to look directly into your eyes to evaluate your ocular health.

“Even though there’s a lot of great technology that allows for imaging of the hidden areas of the internal eye, dilation improves the quality of the image,” he says. Good vision is essential for virtually all aspects of a normal life. Staying ahead of any eye problems that may develop is the best way to maintain healthy eyesight.

“Oftentimes we seek advice when things go wrong, but the big payoff is keeping things from going wrong, and having an annual eye exam is one way to do that,” Gonzalez says.


Prescription glasses can help people see better, but you might not realize you need them. Your eyes can change over time, so even if you had perfect vision before, that’s not necessarily a given later on.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that more than 150 million Americans use corrective eyewear. It’s not always clear if you need prescription glasses or not, so it’s always a good idea to see your eye doctor for a thorough exam.

What symptoms might you develop if you need prescription glasses?

Your vision changes over time as you age. Not every change in vision is abnormal. Things like needing more light to see clearly or trouble differentiating black and blue, for instance, are normal and don’t require prescription glasses. But there are times when changes in vision aren’t normal, and prescription glasses may be warranted.

Some people who need prescription glasses don’t have any symptoms, while others have very clear symptoms. Symptoms of needing prescription glasses can vary based on the kind of eye issue you’re having.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Fuzziness, as in objects don’t have defined, clear lines and things seem a bit hazy
  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • Objects have “auras” or “halos” around them in bright light
  • Eyestrain, or eyes that feel tired or irritated
  • Distorted vision
  • Trouble seeing and driving at night

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list. If you notice any changes in what’s normal for you, call your eye doctor. They can do an eye exam to see what might be going on and how it can be helped.

Types of Vision Problems

The National Eye Institute (NEI) states that the most common kinds of vision problems are refractive errors. This term includes:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Presbyopia

Refraction is when the cornea and lens of the eye bend incoming light so that it’s concentrated on the retina, which is in the back of the eye. This allows you to see. A refractive error occurs when the light isn’t able to be focused on the retina, because of the shape of the eye. This can happen because of aging or changes in the shape of the eye or cornea.

Other vision problems include things like age-related macular

Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Cataracts.

Unfortunately, these can’t be treated with prescription glasses.


Nearsightedness, also called myopia, is when a person can see nearby objects clearly, but when objects are far away, they get blurry. Someone might have trouble clearly making out people on a television screen. A child might have difficulty reading the chalkboard in school.

This condition occurs if the eyeball is too long, or if the cornea is too curved. The American Optometric Association estimates that nearsightedness affects approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population.


With farsightedness or hyperopia, objects that are far away are mostly clear, while objects close by are blurry. This happens when the eyeball is too short, or the cornea is abnormally shaped. According to the NEI, farsightedness affects approximately 5 to 10 percent of the U.S. population.


In astigmatism, light doesn’t get evenly distributed onto the retina, so images can appear blurry or stretched out. However, not everyone with astigmatism has distorted vision.

This condition can happen at any age. While most people have some kind of mild astigmatism, those with more significant astigmatism might need prescription glasses to correct it.


Presbyopia was abnormally shaped. According to the NEI, farsightedness affects approximately 5 to 10 percent of the U.S. occurs in nearly everyone. It’s a typical symptom of aging. According to Penn Medicine, individuals usually start displaying symptoms of presbyopia between the ages of 38 and 42.

As we age, the eye isn’t as flexible as it used to be. When it’s not able to flex as well as it did before, focus on nearby objects becomes impaired. This is why many people need bifocals or reading prescription glasses as they grow older.

The Bottom Line

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Even if you’re not having any symptoms, it’s a good idea to get regular eye exams with dilation to ensure that you’re seeing clearly and to keep tabs on your eye health.

Only an eye doctor will be able to do a comprehensive eye exam to see if you’d benefit from wearing prescription glasses. If the results indicate that you need prescription glasses, your doctor can speak with you about the kind of lenses that would be best for your condition, as well as any other treatment.

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Published Mar 29 2019