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Signs that you need glasses

Signs and Symptoms You Need Glasses

Are you squinting more often than usual or holding your phone at arm's length to read the screen? These could be signs that you need glasses.

Many people experience vision changes gradually, so it can be challenging to recognize when it's time to get glasses. The best way to be sure is to schedule an eye exam. Recognizing the early signs and symptoms you may need glasses can help you know it's time to visit the optometrist.

Common Signs and Symptoms You May Need Glasses

How can you know it's time to get prescription glasses? Here are some common signs to look out for.

Blurred Vision

If objects at a distance or close-up appear blurry or out of focus, glasses could help. For example, if you experience blurred vision, you may find reading books or faraway street signs difficult.

Frequent Headaches

Do you experience frequent, unexplained headaches, particularly in the forehead or temple area? If you have no medical conditions or illnesses that would cause headaches and have tried drinking water, maintaining a good sleep schedule, lowering stress levels and eating nutritious foods, your headaches may be caused by vision problems.

Squinting and Straining

Squinting and straining are signs your eyes are working harder than they should to see clearly. When you squint, you narrow your eyes to reduce the light entering and temporarily improve focus. If you find yourself squinting to see objects at a distance or close-up, you might need glasses.

Double Vision

Seeing double occurs when your eyes do not work together properly, causing your brain to receive two slightly different images. Double vision could indicate an eye disorder or an underlying health condition. While the reasons for double vision can vary in severity, if you're seeing double regularly, it's time to make an appointment with an optometrist and your primary care physician.

Night Blindness

Difficulty seeing clearly at night, especially while driving, may indicate a vision problem. If you find it difficult to see road signs or have trouble distinguishing between objects in low-light conditions, you'll want to make an appointment to see an optometrist soon.

Watery Eyes

Watery eyes are caused by fatigue and irritation when your eyes have to work harder than usual. Everyone gets watery eyes from time to time due to lack of sleep, staring at screens for hours or allergies. However, excessive tearing or watery eyes can be a sign of eye problems or other health conditions.

Eye Conditions That May Require Glasses

The signs and symptoms above might indicate an underlying eye condition that glasses can help correct. The most common eye problems are refractive errors, which occur when your eye structure or shape prevents incoming light from being concentrated on your retina. Explore common refractive errors below.

Eye conditions that may require glasses


Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a condition that makes it difficult to see objects up close, while distant vision remains clear. Hyperopia arises when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, making light focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. Symptoms of farsightedness may include:

  • Difficulty seeing objects near you clearly.
  • Eye strain or discomfort.
  • Headaches.
  • Squinting.
  • Fatigue or irritation after reading or doing close-up work.

Hyperopia can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam and corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.


Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a condition where distant objects appear blurry while close-up vision remains clear. Myopia happens when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, forcing light to concentrate in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Symptoms of nearsightedness may include:

  • Blurred vision when looking at distant objects.
  • Squinting.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain.
  • Difficulty seeing the television clearly.

Myopia is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam and can be corrected with prescription glasses, contact lenses or, in some cases, refractive surgery.


Astigmatism is common and arises when an irregularly shaped cornea prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, leading to blurry or distorted vision. Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision at all distances.
  • Difficulty seeing fine details.
  • Eyestrain or discomfort.
  • Headaches.
  • Squinting.
  • Difficulty seeing at night.

Astigmatism can occur in combination with other vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. An optometrist can diagnose astigmatism and determine the appropriate corrective lenses.


Presbyopia is an age-related condition that makes it difficult to focus on close-up objects, such as reading material. As we age, the eye's lens becomes less flexible, making it harder to adjust focus between distant and close-up objects. Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • Difficulty reading small print.
  • Holding objects at arm's length to see them clearly.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain.
  • Fatigue or irritation after reading or doing close-up work.

Presbyopia typically develops around age 40 and can be corrected with reading glasses, bifocals or progressive lenses.

How to Tell if You Need Glasses

If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms, you'll want to schedule an in-depth eye exam with an optometrist. During the exam, your eye doctor will assess your vision and determine if glasses are necessary. Generally, you may benefit from prescription eyewear if your vision is 20/40 or worse.

Remember that some vision problems may not have clear symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining eye health. The American Optometric Association recommends that adults aged 18-64 have a comprehensive eye exam every two years, while those 65 and older should have an annual exam.

During an eye exam, your optometrist will assess your vision and eye health:

  • Visual acuity test: This test uses an eye chart to measure how clearly you can see at different distances.
  • Refraction test: Your optometrist will use a phoropter to determine the lens power needed to correct your vision.
  • Eye health exams: Your doctor will examine the internal and external structures of your eyes to check for any signs of eye diseases or conditions.

Your optometrist will determine if you need glasses and prescribe the appropriate corrective lenses based on the results of your eye exam.

Find Lenses at Eyemart Express

Your vision is a precious gift, and you want to take care of it. Regular eye exams help determine if you need glasses and allow your optometrist to detect early signs of diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.

At Eyemart Express, we are committed to providing exceptional eye care and helping you find the perfect pair of glasses to suit your needs and style. Our expert staff will guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the highest quality care and expertly crafted products all in one place.

Get new glasses in a moment. Take control of your eye health and schedule a professional consultation at Eyemart Express today.

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