1. Your cycle
  2. Health
  3. Symptoms and diseases

Flo Fact-Checking Standards

Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

Do You Need Glasses? 10 Signs That You Might Need Vision Correction

Many people ask themselves if they need glasses. Read on to learn about common eye conditions that can affect your vision, plus 10 signs that you might need glasses.

Many common eye conditions can affect your ability to see clearly. Conditions that can be corrected with glasses are called refractive errors. The most common types of refractive errors are nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. 

Refractive errors are caused by the shape of your eye. In people with these conditions, light doesn’t bend correctly as it enters the eye. This causes blurred vision or other vision problems. 

Nearsightedness, also called myopia, is a very common refractive error. It’s estimated to affect one-quarter of Americans, and it’s usually inherited. If you have a nearsighted parent, you may be more likely to develop this eye condition. People with nearsightedness can see close objects clearly but have trouble seeing objects in the distance. For example, it could be difficult to read road signs.

Farsightedness, also called hyperopia, is much less common than nearsightedness. Most infants are farsighted when they’re born, but as their eyes grow, it usually goes away. For people who remain farsighted as they age, it’s difficult to see close objects. They can see objects in the distance more clearly. 

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your eye’s cornea or lens. When your cornea has an irregular shape, you have corneal astigmatism. When the shape of your lens is distorted, you have lenticular astigmatism. For people with both conditions, both near and far objects can look distorted. This distortion is sometimes compared to looking in a funhouse mirror. 

Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that usually affects people after the age of 40. As you age, the lens of your eye naturally gets more rigid. This can make it harder to see close objects, such as reading materials. If you have this condition, you may wonder if you need reading glasses. 

If you’ve noticed changes in your vision, you may be wondering how to know if you need glasses. Blurry vision is the most common symptom, but there are many other signs to watch out for. 

If you’re experiencing any of these 10 signs, you might need glasses:

  • Blurred vision, which may affect near and/or far objects
  • Eyestrain, which can give you itchy, burning, or watery eyes
  • Frequent headaches from overexerting your eyes
  • Seeing two images when you look at an object
  • Squinting to try to see objects clearly
  • Hazy or cloudy vision
  • Seeing glare when you look at bright lights
  • Difficulty focusing when you’re reading or working on the computer
  • Clumsiness or poor hand–eye coordination
  • Trouble driving at night

It can be harder to tell if your child needs glasses, especially if they’re not old enough to tell you they can’t see well. As a parent, you may notice that your child is squinting or covering one eye. They may also rub their eyes excessively, which could give them red eyes. Children may have trouble focusing on their homework. 

Glasses correct your vision while you’re wearing them, and the majority of people can enjoy normal vision while wearing glasses. Glasses don’t change the shape of your eyes, so they don’t permanently solve vision problems. 

Glasses work by bending light rays. The shape and thickness of the lenses are designed to correct your individual vision problem. The lenses may be curved inward or outward to ensure the light gets bent appropriately. 

While wearing their glasses, about 75 percent of adults have 20/20 (normal) vision. Having 20/20 vision means that when you stand 20 feet away from an eye chart, you can read it as well as an average person could. 

Laser eye surgery is the only way to permanently improve your vision. This procedure involves surgically reshaping your cornea. People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism may be candidates for this surgery.

If you’ve noticed some of the 10 signs described above and are wondering if you need glasses, see an eye care professional. They can perform an eye exam and determine if you need glasses. Even if your vision seems fine, it’s still a good idea to get your eyes checked regularly.

There are three types of eye care professionals: optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. Optometrists perform eye exams, prescribe glasses, and manage common eye disorders. Ophthalmologists can perform these tasks as well, but as specialists, they can also manage complex eye disorders or perform surgery. Opticians use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Opticians don’t diagnose or treat eye diseases.

You should get regular eye exams even if your vision seems fine. It’s possible to have poor vision without noticing any signs you need glasses.

To perform an eye exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist will ask you to read an eye chart. Each eye is tested individually. If you can’t read the whole chart, the eye doctor may recommend glasses. To determine the right prescription for your glasses, they’ll have you read the chart through a phoropter. This device contains many different lenses.

An eye exam is more than just a test of whether you need glasses. During your eye exam, the eye doctor may check other aspects of your eye health. They may use a device called a slit-lamp microscope to look at your iris, cornea, eyelids, and other parts of the front of your eye. To look at the back of your eye, including your retina and optic nerve, they may use eye drops to widen your pupils. They may also check the pressure inside your eye. These tests can help diagnose various eye diseases.

You should get regular eye exams even if your vision seems fine. It’s possible to have poor vision without noticing any signs you need glasses. These exams can also help your eye care professional diagnose serious eye problems at an early stage, before they harm your vision.

The best way to find out if you need glasses is to see an eye doctor. They can perform an eye exam to evaluate your vision. If necessary, they’ll prescribe glasses to help you see more clearly.

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-exams-101

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/myopia-nearsightedness

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/farsightedness

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-astigmatism

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-presbyopia

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/what-does-20-20-vision-mean

https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/refractive-errors

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/symptoms-causes/syc-20372397

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eye-exam/about/pac-20384655

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/la-crosse/services-and-treatments/ophthalmology/myths-and-
facts

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/lasik-eye-surgery/about/pac-20384774

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/how-to-know-if-your-child-needs-glasses

Read this next