Change can be hard.
We get used to a pair of glasses. After all, they’re part of our daily routine.
But, it’s important to make sure you’re seeing your best because vision is our dominant sense and something precious to preserve.
Is it time to turn in your old glasses for a new pair?
Check our list below and see if your specs qualify.
1. Is The Protective Coating Wearing Off?
Years of cleaning can gradually erode the surface coatings that are added to the lens.
Many types of coatings enhance lenses in different ways—not just to protect from scratches, but also to cut glare, prevent fogging, and reduce UV exposure.
You could be putting your eyes at increased risk for UV exposure without knowing it if the glasses are old enough that any of these coatings is gone.
On the flip side, there are new technologies that have been developed in recent years.
Technological advances are always being made, even in eyeglasses, including things like protective coatings and better materials.
New glasses might give you an edge in vision, which after all, is a key part of performance across a huge swath of daily living activities, hobbies, job tasks, entertainment, and social settings.
2. Do You Experience Headaches That Can’t Be Explained?
An old prescription might be the cause.
Headaches and refractive error are correlated, according to research, and when your refractive error is not fully corrected (e.g., outdated prescriptions in old glasses), headaches can result from the extra duty your eyes are doing.
Because so much of our brains are devoted to visual processing, that means regions in your brain are having to adapt to sensory input that’s just not quite right.
Over time, this can produce headaches.
For some people, this extra burden can even be a trigger for migraines.
Muscle tension can also cause headaches. Shoulder and neck muscles can be strained from hunching over or leaning forward in order to read something at a closer distance.
A new pair of specks could help your vision AND that nagging backache.
3. Do You Experience Eye Strain?
Long hours at the same task, especially detailed close work, reading, or working on the computer, can cause fatigue in the muscles surrounding the eyes.
Most of these tasks, however, should cause only temporary symptoms.
If you find yourself experiencing eye fatigue that last more than a day or two, it might be a sign that your eyes are working to hard, trying to compensate for a prescription that could be outdated.
The American Optometric Association lists some possible signs of eye strain:
- Sensitivity to light
- Dry or watery eyes
- Itching or burning sensations in the eyes
- Difficulty focusing
- Soreness and tiredness in the eyes
4. Do You Find Yourself Squinting?
Squinting is nature’s way of enhancing focus by “decreasing the amount of light entering the eye as well as by slightly flattening the eye's cornea,” according to Squintasaurus creator.
Although squinting does change the shape of the lens somewhat, the main way it boosts vision is by reducing the amount of light entering the eye from peripheral sources.
This reduction in light is like “narrowing the aperture on your camera, which is what photographers do to give themselves super tight focus,” according to a Wired Magazine article that explains why we squint.
If you find yourself squinting a lot, do your eyes a favor and get your eyes checked out because most likely your glasses are not keeping up with the current state of refractive error your eyes have. There are other reasons for squinting, such as photosensitivity from cataracts or other conditions.
Any of these issues are also good reasons to see your eye care professional.
5. Is The Style Of Your Frames Out Of Date?
The first thing people do when you meet is make eye contact.
Your eyes make an immediate impression, and so does your eyewear.
Treat your eyewear as you would any other expression of style.
Today’s options for frames include designers and brands you might be a fan of already.
Come in to Bard Optical and we’ll help you find specs that make you look your best!
When you get new frames, don’t throw away your old pair.
Instead, donate them to needy people who can’t afford a prescriptions.
Info on donation options can be found at this link.