Even if you’ve been wearing eyeglasses and/or contact lenses for years, you may not realize that every corrective lens prescription — and therefore every pair of prescription glasses and contacts — has an expiration date.
Many factors can affect your vision as time goes on. From ever-evolving refractive errors and age-related eye changes like presbyopia to chronic eye strain and progressive eye diseases like macular degeneration, visual acuity isn’t a fixed facet of ocular health.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wear prescription glasses for longer than two years without having your eyes checked. In most cases, it’s best to have annual eye examinations to check your ocular health and make sure your prescription still works for your eyes.
At Elite Eye Care in New York City, Dr. Markiel Yakubov and our team know that nothing beats being able to see clearly. With that in mind, here are five telltale signs that it may be time for a new glasses prescription.
1. Everything seems a little blurry
If images on screens, words on pages, street signs, approaching faces, and everything in between seems a bit blurry, fuzzy, or unclear even when you’re wearing glasses or contacts, it’s a strong indication that your prescription has probably changed.
Remember, visual acuity in just one of your eyes can change, while the vision in your other eye may maintain clarity at your old prescription level. But a subtle vision change in just one eye is all it takes to blur your vision, however, as both eyes work together to perceive depth and clarity.
2. You find yourself squinting a lot
Squinting is a natural reflex when you want to see something more clearly. When you partly close your eyes to focus on something specific, a smaller amount of concentrated light enters your retinas, temporarily bringing whatever you’re looking at into sharper focus.
Just as frequent squinting is a telltale sign that someone may need their first pair of corrective lenses, squinting while you’re wearing prescription glasses is a major signal that your current lenses no longer match your vision needs.
3. Your eyes feel noticeably tired
Like any muscle in your body, eye muscles are prone to fatigue when they work hard for an extended period. Other factors that can contribute to short-term eye fatigue include lack of sleep, intense focus on one thing (like a smartphone screen) for too long, seasonal allergies, and certain medical conditions.
But when your eyes are noticeably tired most of the time despite wearing your glasses as recommended, it could mean there are significant changes in your vision that need to be addressed. Poor vision can take a significant toll on your eyes, and chronic eye fatigue is a frequent consequence.
4. Your eyes are sensitive to light
If bright light of any kind bothers you more than it used to — whether it’s vivid indoor lighting, natural sunlight on a clear day, or glaring headlights or streetlamps at night — it may be time for a new corrective lens prescription.
It’s natural to want to shield your eyes from intense light, but normally bright light shouldn’t make you want to cover your eyes or even close them in pain. While chronic light sensitivity may simply mean that your eyes are working overtime, it can also indicate the presence of an eye infection or a more serious ocular condition. Either way, a prompt eye exam is in order.
5. You’ve been getting headaches
Even if your vision seems perfectly fine with your current eyeglasses, you may still need an updated prescription if you’ve begun experiencing frequent headaches. In fact, headaches are one of the clearest (and often earliest) signs that your changing eyes have “outgrown” their old prescription.
When your corrective lenses don’t match your vision needs, your eyes strain to compensate for the shortcomings of your current prescription. The effects of continuous eye strain ripple back to your brain, causing it to pick up the slack. Headaches triggered by eye strain are very common, and they usually have a simple fix: new glasses.
Schedule your next eye exam today
An eye exam with Dr. Yakubov and our team at Elite Eye Care can provide 20/20 vision again in no time, thanks to a new corrective lens prescription that meets your eyes’ current needs.
If you’re ready for new glasses or contacts, call or click online to schedule a visit at your nearest Elite Eye Care office today. We have five New York City locations: one in Brooklyn, and four more throughout the Bronx.