Many of us go for years at a time without considering changing out our glasses because we doggedly believe that we can still see perfectly with our old lenses.
While you may not have noticed or realized it, your old eyeglasses may be working against you, causing undue eyestrain or fatigue.
But how often should we replace our glasses, and why?
Listen to the Advice of Your Optometrist
Your glasses should be replaced when your optometrist recommends that they should be. This usually will occur in tandem with your regular eye exam.
The American Optometric Association recommends that non-senior adults and children over age 6 have regular eye exams a minimum of once every two years if they do not have risk factors for poor vision.
Seniors over age 60 and individuals with risk factors should have an eye exam every year, or more frequently if recommended by their doctor.
During this regular eye exam, you will need to ask your optometrist whether or not you need to replace your glasses with a new pair. Be sure to bring your old glasses with you so that your eye doctor can inspect them for flaws and durability.
There are several reasons why your doctor will recommend that you get new glasses, even if you feel like you can see well with your old glasses.
Though you may be able to “see just fine” with your current eyeglasses, if you are using an outdated prescription, you may be causing yourself undue eyestrain. Our prescriptions change subtly over time, so while you may believe that you’re seeing everything perfectly, you are probably actually having to unconsciously strain your eyes to see adequately.
Our eyes will naturally try to focus on items we are trying to see, so you may not notice yourself straining to see something properly. However, if you get frequent headaches, neck aches, or seem to be squinting often, you are probably having to try too hard to focus your eyes, which means you need a new prescription for your glasses.
Just like computer technology, the technology behind making your glasses lenses is constantly improving by leaps and bounds. Every year, improvements are made in lens design to help offer you the best in vision, and many occupation-specific lens aids have risen in availability in the past few years.
For example, if you work long hours staring at a computer screen, there are lenses which can help to reduce the glare of the screen and reduce your overall eye strain.
Even if your prescription has remained the same, you may want to look into new eyeglasses to take advantage of the technological advances in eyewear lenses.
You may have done everything you could to prevent damage to your glasses, but it is possible that they still could be scratched or defective in some way. Your doctor may recommend that you have a new pair made up if your glasses have any sign of wear and tear, especially on the lenses or on crucial moving parts.
The older a pair of glasses is, the more likely it is to have some form of damage, so understand that if your glasses are many years old, your optometrist is probably going to recommend that you invest in a new pair.