Will Wearing Glasses with an Outdated Prescription Hurt My Eyes?

Many people rely on prescription glasses for clear vision. However, as time passes, our eyesight can change, leading to the necessity of updating our prescription. A common concern among eyeglass wearers is whether using glasses with an outdated prescription can harm their eyes. This article delves into the potential impacts of wearing glasses that no longer match your current vision needs.

Understanding Eye Strain:

Eye strain is a typical issue associated with wearing outdated glasses. When the prescription is no longer accurate, your eyes have to work harder to focus, leading to symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, and tired eyes. These symptoms are not necessarily harmful in the long term, but they can certainly cause discomfort and impact your daily activities.

Impact on Vision Health:

Wearing glasses with an outdated prescription does not directly damage your eyes. However, it can exacerbate underlying conditions. For instance, if you have astigmatism and your glasses do not correct this properly due to an outdated prescription, you might experience increased discomfort. Moreover, not addressing vision changes promptly can hinder your ability to detect and treat other eye-related conditions effectively.

Children and Outdated Prescriptions:

For children, wearing glasses with an outdated prescription can be more problematic. Children’s eyes are still developing, and incorrect vision correction can potentially lead to issues like amblyopia (lazy eye) or worsening of myopia (nearsightedness). Hence, regular eye exams are crucial for children to ensure their glasses are adequately aiding their vision development.

The Psychological Aspect:

Beyond physical symptoms, there’s a psychological component to consider. Wearing outdated glasses can lead to frustration, especially if it affects your ability to perform tasks at work or school. This can impact your quality of life and overall well-being.

When to Update Your Prescription:

Optometrists generally recommend an eye exam every one to two years for adults and annually for children. However, if you notice changes in your vision, such as difficulty reading or seeing objects at a distance, it’s wise to schedule an exam sooner. An updated prescription ensures that your glasses are effectively aiding your vision, reducing the risk of eye strain and other related symptoms.


In conclusion, wearing glasses with an outdated prescription won’t necessarily hurt your eyes in the long term, but it can lead to discomfort and exacerbate certain conditions. It’s essential to have regular eye exams and update your prescription as needed to maintain optimal eye health and comfort. Remember, your glasses are not just a fashion accessory, but a crucial tool for clear and healthy vision.