Skip to main content

Misconceptions About People Who Wear Glasses

Caitlyn has both experience and formal education in many different areas.


Everything in Their Vision is Doubled

Anyone who has worn glasses has run into someone who jokingly holds up their hands and asks “How many fingers am I holding up?” For some reason, people who don't wear glasses believe anyone with poor vision sees double, triple, or even quadruple. This may come from the fact people with especially poor vision struggle in identifying whether someone is holding up one three or four fingers, but it simply isn't true!

The truth is, the world simply becomes blurry to people who need corrective eye-wear, making some details hard to pick out. Think of when a camera goes out of focus. That's how they see the world without glasses, contacts, or surgery!

Their Vision Only Worsens When They Don't Wear Glasses

It is believed that when the glasses are off, the vision instantly begins to worsen dramatically. Conversely, wearing glasses all the time prevents the vision from getting worse. Again, this is not true.

As people age, their vision tends to deteriorate regardless of past difficulties with their sight. For people who wear glasses, this process is still happening, just happening at a younger age. Vision problems originate from refraction issues due to a misshapen eyes, lenses, or cornea. Basically, depending on how light reflected off an object is bent into the eye to the retina, objects far away (or up close) become difficult to see. Wearing glasses and contacts does nothing to stop the process of worsening eye sight, nor does not wearing them expedite it.

All People Who Wear Glasses Can't See Far Away

Nearsightedness (also called 'myopia') is the most commonly reported and tested for vision problem. People who wear glasses typically can't see the board in school, or someone standing a certain distance away, but there are cases where the opposite is true. Some people can see objects far away perfectly fine, but when objects come closer, they tend to blur and become as indistinguishable as the chalkboard to those with nearsightedness.

Farsightedness (also called 'hyperopia') is the condition where a person can not see things clearly up close, such as those people who need glasses to read. The visual focus reaches past the retina, making it hard to see objects that are too close. While nearsightedness is more often talked about, both of these conditions are very common.


People Who Wear Glasses Have 'Eye Protection'

Many people have had something fly into their eye. It's irritating and sometimes damaging for everyone. Glasses are often seen as little protective shields for the eyes that keeps debris, rain, and bugs from getting in a person's eye but, sadly, this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, especially with bugs, things can get caught between the eye and the glass, meaning they continue to be a nuisance until they can free themselves, or until the glasses are removes.

Rain, dust, insects, and more can still annoy those who wear glasses. And with rain, there is the added hassle of cleaning them off well enough to see.

People Who Wear Glasses Should Take a Break From Wearing Them

A common misconception among those who are just starting to wear glasses is that they should take breaks from wearing their prescription glasses to 'rest' their eyes. This doesn't actually do anything, however, and can lead to headaches and eye strain. If a person is told to wear their glasses when reading, or watching TV, or all the time, then they should listen to their doctor.


Putting on Another Person's Glasses Can Damage the Eyes

This one is common with people who wear glasses themselves. It is often believed that wearing someone's glasses, or a person with great vision wearing another person's prescription glasses, can damage the eyes. People who don't wear glasses are told wearing glasses can force them to have poor vision as well. None of this is true.

As stated above, poor eyesight comes from the shape of the eye, lenses, and cornea. Wearing improper glasses does nothing more than cause a headache for those who shouldn't wear them.

Scroll to Continue

Everyone Who Wears Glasses Are Almost Blind

This one probably comes from the portrayal of characters who wear glasses in television shows and movies, such as Velma from Scooby-Doo. People often think that without glasses, the person is blind and unable to walk around without them lest they run into something.

The truth is vision problems are on a scale. Some people only need glasses for specific tasks, like driving or working on a computer, while others need to wear them at all times. Some people are blind without their glasses, while others can almost see perfectly fine without them.

People Who Wear Glasses Can't Play Sports

Once upon a time, this statement might have been true. Glasses used to be made out of actual glass, meaning they were broken a lot easier than present day glasses. Playing sports meant either risking the glasses getting smashed in the game, or trying to play with poor vision, which for some people was not possible.

These days, there are glasses made specifically for sports, meaning even those who can't or won't wear contacts can join in on sports.


Doing Eye Exercises Can Prevent Needing Glasses

In most cases, stretching or warming up can prevent injuries, and keeping a physically fit body can keep injuries at bay. With eyesight, however, this is not the case.

Eye strengthening exercises are typically for people whose vision is so bad, or so unique, that the doctor prescribes them to perform specific tasks to help their eyes enough that they can wear glasses or contacts. If a doctor doesn't suggest them, it's probably best not to bother with them.

People Who Wear Glasses Are Super Smart

This one is an interesting stereotype. Glasses are often connected to intelligence thanks to the media, but contrary to this, glasses don't denote intelligence. They simply help people see better!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Caitlyn Booth


The Little Shaman from Macon, GA on June 20, 2019:

Great artice!

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on June 19, 2019:

When I was about to graduate from high school the school nurse asked me why I had never gotten glasses. I answered truthfully that no one had ever told me I needed them. When I did get them, one of the first things I noticed was telephone lines and electric wires.

Some people could not understand that I didn't know I needed glasses, but since I apparently have always been nearsighted, I had no way of knowing what "normal" was.

Related Articles