How to Tell if You Need Glasses

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    You're probably familiar with the common signs that indicate a need for glasses, such as difficulty reading the chalkboard or experiencing blurry vision when looking at distant objects. However, there are other symptoms, like headaches or watery eyes, that we may not typically associate with vision problems.

    It's important to remember that your eyesight can change over time, even if you currently don't require glasses. Therefore, there may come a point when glasses become necessary. If you're unsure whether you need glasses, we can provide guidance on what signs to look out for that indicate a need.

    Many of us have questioned ourselves at some point about our vision. The onset of vision loss often occurs gradually. While some of us may notice these changes, we may hesitate to visit an eye doctor due to inconvenience or a reluctance to confront the issue.

    By being aware of the indications that suggest a need for glasses or other vision treatments, you can recognize when to schedule an extra appointment with your eye doctor.

    If you experience any of the symptoms we've mentioned or have noticed an unexpected change in your vision, it is advisable to make an appointment with a local optician for a comprehensive eye examination.

    Signs You Need Eyeglasses

    The signs indicating a need for glasses can catch some people off guard. One evening, while driving home, you suddenly realize that you're unable to see the road signs clearly. When looking at your computer screen, the text appears blurry, and you squint to read it. It takes your eyes a lot of time to adjust when you turn on the lights.

    Although vision loss can occur rapidly, it typically doesn't happen simultaneously. However, it can progress so gradually that you don't notice until you have an "Aha!" moment, realising that your vision isn't as sharp as it used to be. You might think, "But I've always had 20/20 vision; why would I need glasses now?" Even individuals who were born with perfect vision may experience a decline in their visual abilities as they age. However, not all vision problems require corrective glasses right away; sometimes you just need a rest for your eyes.

    How can you distinguish between eye fatigue and the need for a visit to an eye doctor or optometrist? Fortunately, there are several common signs that indicate a need for glasses, and many of them are easily recognisable.

    Night Blindness

    Night blindness, also known as nyctalopia, is a condition characterised by difficulty seeing in low-light or dark environments. Individuals experiencing night blindness may find it challenging to navigate from their bedroom to the restroom during the night or to maintain visibility while driving at night. If you are encountering such difficulties, it is advisable to seek medical attention from an eye doctor promptly.

    While night blindness does not imply complete blindness in low-light conditions, it does result in an inability to perceive objects that were previously visible or that individuals with normal vision can see effortlessly. It is important to note that night blindness may worsen over time, highlighting the urgency of consulting an eye doctor as soon as possible. By seeking professional guidance, individuals affected by night blindness can receive appropriate diagnosis and potential treatment options to alleviate their symptoms and enhance their visual capabilities in dimly lit environments.

    Different things can cause night blindness, but some of them are:

    • Retinitis Pigmintosa is when dark pigment builds up in your retinas and makes it hard to see clearly.
    • Cataracts are when the lenses of your eyes get cloudy and make it hard for you to see.
    • Nearsightedness means that your vision is getting worse, making it hard to see things that are far away.
    • Usher Syndrome is a genetic condition that makes people lose hearing and sight.
    • Vitamin A Deficiency: Vitamin A deficiency is rare, but it can cause night blindness by worsening your eyesight.
    • One of the most important signs you need glasses is that you can't see well at night. If this is happening to you, make time to see your eye doctor so they can help figure out why.

    In some cases, correcting nearsightedness with glasses can help people who are night blind see better at night. There are also lenses with coatings that are anti-reflective or wavefront technology for diagnosis that can help to see better at night.

    Squinting to See Clear

    If you're having trouble seeing something clearly, squinting helps a little. If you often have to squint to see better, it's time to make an appointment for an eye exam.

    When we try to see something more clearly, our eyes naturally squint. It reduces the light in your eyes while letting you focus on what you want to see. But if you squint a lot, it means that your eyes have trouble focusing all the time. This could be caused by either eye strain or a problem with your eyesight.

    Find out if you are:

    • Reading or keeping your mind on something for a long time?
    • Using a monitor with bad contrast and backlighting?
    • Do you spend a lot of time staring at your computer, cell phone, or other digital device?

    Long periods of staring at a display or text can be hard on your eyes, so try to give them a break at first. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off the screen for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away. 

    Remember to blink, too! If you squint for a long time, you may blink less, hurting your eyes and making it hard to see. If being aware of how much time you spend looking at a screen and giving your vision a break helps your eyesight, you may only need to limit or split up the time you spend looking at a screen.

    Rubbing Your Eyes

    If you find yourself rubbing your eyes all day, it could be because your eyes are tired. This could mean you're having trouble seeing and might need glasses.

    Watery Eyes

    Having watery eyes can be a sign of trouble seeing. But it can also be a sign of other problems, like dry eyes or allergies.

    If your watery eyes worry you, make an appointment to see your doctor.

    Blurry Vision

    If you have trouble focusing on blurry things, whether they are far away or close up, you may need glasses. If it's hard for you to read street signs or book text while driving or reading, you might need glasses or contacts.

    But if your vision doesn't get better and things close up and far away are still blurry and out of focus, you should get an eye exam.

    Having blurry vision all the time can be caused by:

    • Farsightedness
    • Astigmatism
    • Nearsightedness

    Astigmatism is a common condition caused by how the lens or cornea in your eye is shaped.

    The sole way to find out why your vision is blurry is to make an appointment for a test. Your eye doctor will figure out what's wrong based on what the tests show.

    Double Vision

    Seeing double may be a sign of a serious issue with your eyes or a symptom of another health problem. Different things can cause double vision, but the sign is always something to consider. If you have double vision, visit your eye doctor or medical professional as soon as possible.

    Your eyes are a complicated organ, so many things could cause you to see double. There are many parts that help turn what you're able to see into a clear, well-organized picture. If only one goes wrong, it can make you see double or other strange things.


    Halos around lights are a common sign that your eyesight isn't working right. In the dark, you might see them when you look at lightbulbs or headlights. They could mean you have astigmatism, glaucoma or another problem with your night vision.

    Common Eye Problems That Require Glasses

    If you have any of the above signs, you might need glasses. A trip to the eye doctor will tell you for sure. But what exactly do these signs mean? Why do people even need glasses to begin with? 

    Most people who have trouble seeing have refractive errors. A refractive error happens when your eye's shape or the structures inside it keep light from focusing on your retina. Examples of refractive errors are: 

    • Nearsightedness
    • Farsightedness
    • Presbyopia 
    • Astigmatism

    If you have any of these common eye problems, it could be because of your symptoms. 


    Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is when an individual can see things close to them clearly but can't see things far away. Someone may have trouble seeing people clearly on a TV screen. A child in school might find it hard to read the chalkboard.


    Astigmatism happens when a cornea (the clear layer in the front of the eye) or the lens (a clear, curved disc inside your eye) is not normally shaped. As light enters your eye, the problem makes the light bend, which is a refractive error. 


    With hyperopia or farsightedness, distant things are mostly clear, but close things are blurry. This can happen if the eyeball is too short or if the cornea has an odd shape.


    Presbyopia is a normal part of getting older and happens most often in middle-aged and older people. As you get older, your lens gets less pliable and can't focus light as well on your retina.

    Do Not Ignore Signs You Need Glasses

    If you notice any of these things, you should get glasses right away. Even though the causes are different for each person, it is better to be proactive than reactive about your health. The best way to respond to the question "Do I need glasses?" is to talk to an eye doctor. Most likely, they will do a full eye exam. These exams are good, and they use a series of tests to look for and rule out several common issues with vision.

    Some of these tests may have you look through a series of lenses or use light to check how well you see and react quickly. But even if you don't have any vision problems, it's still a good idea to see your ophthalmologist regularly, just like you do for your annual checkups. This can help you care for any vision problems, diseases, or other issues as soon as they start instead of waiting until they become serious.

    How often you see an eye doctor varies depending on how old you are:

    • Adults ages 40–54 should go every four to five years.
    • Adults over 65 should go at least once every year or two.
    • Adults age 55 to 64 should go every one to three years.
    • Adults in their 20s and 30s should go every five to ten years.


    Some people may need to wear glasses when their vision declines over time. Having trouble reading chalkboards or hazy vision are further signs that you might need glasses. Knowing the warning symptoms of gradual vision loss will help you get in to see an eye specialist sooner rather than later.

    Signs of needing glasses include a deterioration in visual ability with age and trouble seeing traffic signs or computer screens. However, not all vision disorders necessitate corrective lenses, and even excellent vision might deteriorate with time.

    Having trouble seeing in dim light or complete darkness is a symptom of night blindness, sometimes called nyctalopia. It can make nighttime travel and visibility more challenging. Night blindness can increase with time, so it's important to see an eye doctor if you notice any symptoms. Seeking expert help is the best way for people with night blindness to get an accurate diagnosis and begin therapy that will improve their symptoms and allow them to see better in low light. The accumulation of retinal pigment, cataracts, nearsightedness, Usher syndrome, and a shortage of vitamin A are all potential causes of night blindness.

    If you want better night vision, it's important to check with your eye doctor to see if you need glasses. Night blindness can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the need to squint or wipe the eyes to see clearly, moist eyes, blurred vision, double vision, and halos surrounding lights.

    When you need to concentrate but there's too much light, squinting can help. You may be experiencing eye strain or have a vision problem if you find yourself constantly squinting. Signs of other issues, such as dry eyes or allergies, might manifest as watery eyes. An eye test is required if your eyesight does not improve and objects remain out of focus and fuzzy.

    Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia are all potential causes of double vision. There are a number of factors that can contribute to double vision, and problems with even one of them can lead to visual anomalies. The presence of haloes surrounding lights may potentially be an indication of vision problems.

    Refractive errors, in which the eye's shape or structures cause light to focus improperly on the retina, are a common cause of vision impairment that calls for corrective lenses. Common vision issues include myopia, hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia. You should acquire glasses right away if you have any of these symptoms. Adults in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, and those in their 20s and 30s should all get annual eye exams at the very least. If you have visual difficulties, illnesses, or other disorders, getting regular eye exams can help treat them before they worsen.

    Content Summary

    • Recognise the signs that indicate a need for glasses.
    • Symptoms like headaches or watery eyes can be associated with vision problems.
    • Your eyesight can change over time, even if you don't currently wear glasses.
    • Don't hesitate to visit an eye doctor if you're unsure about needing glasses.
    • Vision loss often occurs gradually, so it's important to be aware of changes.
    • Over time, even individuals with perfect vision may experience a decline in visual abilities.
    • Night blindness can make it difficult to see in low-light or dark environments.
    • Night blindness may worsen over time, requiring prompt medical attention.
    • Retinitis Pigmentosa, cataracts, nearsightedness, Usher Syndrome, and vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness.
    • Difficulty seeing well at night is a significant sign that you may need glasses.
    • Squinting to see clearly may indicate a problem with eyesight or eye strain.
    • Spending prolonged periods looking at screens can strain your eyes.
    • Taking breaks and looking at something 20 feet away can alleviate eye strain.
    • Rubbing your eyes throughout the day may be a sign of tired eyes and possible vision problems.
    • Watery eyes can be a sign of trouble seeing or other underlying issues.
    • Blurry vision, whether close up or far away, may indicate a need for glasses.
    • Farsightedness, astigmatism, and nearsightedness can cause constant blurry vision.
    • Double vision can be a serious issue and should be examined by an eye doctor.
    • Halos around lights can suggest problems with eyesight or night vision.
    • Refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism can cause vision problems.
    • Nearsightedness affects the ability to see things far away.
    • Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens.
    • Farsightedness results in clear distance vision but blurry close-up vision.
    • Presbyopia is a common age-related condition affecting the lens's ability to focus.
    • Ignoring signs that indicate a need for glasses can lead to worsening vision problems.
    • Proactive action is better than reactive when it comes to eye health.
    • Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good vision health.
    • Eye exams involve a series of tests to identify common vision issues.
    • Regular eye exams can detect and address vision problems early.
    • Seeing an ophthalmologist regularly is important for overall eye care.
    • The frequency of eye exams varies depending on age.
    • Adults aged 40-54 should have eye exams every four to five years.
    • Adults over 65 should have eye exams at least once every year or two.
    • Adults aged 55-64 should have eye exams every one to three years.
    • Adults in their 20s and 30s should have eye exams every five to ten years.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If your nearsightedness is only 0.25 degrees, you can do everyday things without glasses. People with myopia will see a bit blurrier with nearsightedness of 0.50, but many people can still see well without glasses at this level.

    If you have headaches often, seeing an eye doctor to see if something is wrong with your vision won't hurt. If you get headaches and have blurry vision, double vision, or trouble seeing at night, you need glasses.


    If your vision is blurry, the things you see won't be clear and sharp. Depending on what's making it happen, you may have blurry vision in both eyes or just one. Sometimes everything you look at will be blurry, and sometimes it will only be part of what you can see.


    During the first few days, most people will have headaches and eyes that hurt or feel tired. But as your eye muscles get accustomed to relaxing instead of doing so hard to understand what you see, migraines and soreness will go away.


    When you haven't slept enough, your eyes might twitch or spasm. Your eyes might be more sensitive to light or have trouble seeing clearly. Over time, not getting enough sleep could cause eye problems like glaucoma.

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