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How to know if I need glasses

women hold on glasses

Aside from the obvious inability to see things clearly, how do you know if you need glasses? A large percentage of the adult population needs glasses for one reason or another. It’s important to know whether or not you should join them as living without glasses can put a strain on your life if you need them!

So, this blog post will help you figure out if it’s time to join the glasses club. Here are some of the main things to look for:
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1. Difficulty reading things up close

Have you recently found it difficult reading books or scrolling through your Twitter feed? Do you find yourself squinting to look at emails? Are things blurred when they’re close to your face? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you may have something called hyperopia. This is more commonly known as farsightedness.

Now, the mistake many people make is that farsighted people can’t see very far away. In reality, it’s the complete opposite! You will have normal vision when focusing on things in the distance, but it’s the up close and personal things that you struggle with.

Ironically, an eye test might not show this condition. If you’re looking at the typical eye test chart, then it’s usually from a distance. So, it can appear clear to you, but you go home and try to read a book, and everything is blurry. If you’re suffering from this issue, then it’s a sign you probably need some glasses to wear when you’re reading or studying things close to your face. 

2. Difficulty seeing things far away

Conversely, you might be fine with close-up things and struggle focusing on things in the distance. This is known as myopia or nearsightedness. In essence, it’s the opposite of farsightedness. If your vision always seems to be blurred or lacking focus - apart from when you’re looking at things close to you - then you probably have this problem.

People with nearsightedness will most likely need to wear glasses all the time, as your vision will mostly be blurred. You can take them off when reading, but you’ll definitely need them for general use.

3. Frequent headaches

If you have unexplained headaches all the time - particularly after staring at something for a long time - then it could be a sign that you need glasses. This stems from the fact that you’re squinting a lot. When you squint, you put tension around the eyes and forehead, and this has been proven to cause headaches in many people.

How does this relate to your vision? Well, consider why you’re squinting. People with good eyesight don’t need to squint all the time. Squinting is your way of forcing your eyes to focus on things. When this happens all the time - and your eyes feel strained - then you will get headaches. To stop this, you have to provide your eyes with a better way of focusing. As such, you probably need glasses!

4. Dry and red eyes

Do your eyes always feel outrageously dry? Do you finish work every day and see red eyes staring back at you in the mirror? Both of these things can be linked to your vision, and they can also be linked to something completely different. So, let’s rule out the irrelevant thing first. If you suffer from allergies, and you’re sneezing or have a runny/blocked nose, then your dry and red eyes are probably a symptom of that. If you’ve been tested for allergies or know that you don’t suffer from them, then it could be linked to vision.

Primarily, the problem is something called digital eye strain. This is a condition that develops when you spend a prolonged time staring at a screen. Computer and cell phone screens are bad for your eyes as they make them work a lot harder. This can dry out your eyes and make them feel really strained, leading to the redness. Also, you can develop more symptoms - like headaches, blurred vision, and neck pain.

If you have these symptoms, then your eyes are being damaged. The chances are you most probably need glasses to help alleviate these symptoms and protect your eyes from further damage. Normal glasses can be effective, but if you really want to fight your digital eye strain, then get a pair of glasses that eliminate glare and filter blue light.

5. Pressure behind your eyes

This is potentially a symptom of a serious eye disease called glaucoma. The pressure you’re feeling is built up due to fluid behind your eye. In turn, this pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve, permanently affecting your vision. It’s a condition that can easily be treated, but you need to be aware of this sign to go and get treatment ASAP.

Unfortunately, if you have glaucoma or you feel this pressure behind your eyes, then your vision may have already been damaged. As a result, you might need some glasses to correct the damage and allow you to see clearly once more. 

6. Trouble seeing when it’s dark

Now, you’re not expected to have incredible night vision where you see clearly in complete darkness. However, someone with good eyesight should have no trouble seeing when the sun sets. If you’re walking at night and can’t see anything at all, or you can’t even see your hand in front of you when your bedroom light is turned off, then that’s a problem.

Admittedly, it’s hard to determine if your night vision sucks or you are genuinely in a very dark area. So, here are two things to try. Firstly, wait for a few minutes with your eyes open. This gives them a chance to adjust to the darkness and find their focus. If you still can’t make out any shadows or objects, then it’s a slight worry. Secondly, have someone else in the room with you - preferably with good eyesight - and ask them what they can see. If they have no issues seeing, then you know you have poor night vision.

Why is this an issue? Well, a lack of night vision could be an early sign of cataracts. This is when the lens in your eye starts to cloud over. It commonly happens when you’re over 40, and you might need glasses to account for any vision loss experienced after you’ve had cataracts treated. 

7. Objects are angels

Speaking of cataracts, another telltale sign is when you see halos around objects. No, these objects haven’t descended from heaven; it’s a sign that there’s a problem with your vision. Again, get tested for cataracts, undergo the necessary treatment, and perhaps wear glasses to help with vision loss as a result of this condition. 

8. You see double

Provided you’re sober, seeing double is a key sign that you need glasses. It can be very unsettling as it makes you feel really dizzy. Doing normal tasks is near enough impossible, and you definitely shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car. If you keep experiencing instances where you have double vision, then you should get your eyes tested. You’ll probably find that you have an issue with your cornea or eye muscles.

The good news is that you won’t be seeing double forever. People with this issue usually find that a pair of glasses sort them out straight away!

9. Wobbly lines and faded colors

Take a look at different objects or things around your home right now. Does it look like the colors have faded or become distorted? Do you see wobbly lines instead of straight ones? This is one of the most common signs of age-related vision loss. You see this wavy effect and color distortion because of macular degeneration. This is an eye disorder that a lot of adults suffer from when they reach 50 years of age. It’s nothing too serious, but left untreated, it can lead to more severe vision loss.

Wearing some glasses with prescription lenses will bring clarity back to your vision and cancel out these symptoms. 

10. Get an eye test

Lastly, the absolute best way to know if you need glasses is to get an eye test. Generally speaking, an eye test a year is all you need. This lets you get a comprehensive examination of your eyes and your vision. You can identify any issues before some of the previously mentioned signs even show up. Similarly, if you spot any of the problems or issues listed above, then it’s a sign you need to book an eye test.

Most people are going to need glasses at some point in life. As you get older, your vision will naturally start to deteriorate. Many people have gone through life with perfect vision, but then they reach a certain age and suddenly need glasses. It’s just the way the human body works, but there’s also a huge concentration of young people that need glasses as well.


The sooner you get glasses, the easier it is to handle any eye problems. So, be sure you book regular eye tests and also be watchful of all the things mentioned throughout this article. 

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