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effects of wearing wrong prescription glasses?

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Does wearing the wrong prescription make your eyes worse?
After a bad Lasik experience, my eyes are at 20/80 and 20/100. Over a slow healing period throughout  the last two years, they've gone from not being able to be refracted at all to nowadays where glasses are finally effective in getting me to 20/20 20/25.

A few months ago, I started wearing a pair of my friend's old glasses and my vision was great. After losing those, I went to the opthamologist and got a new prescription.

I had a pair made with that new prescription, and my vision isn't nearly as good as it was using the glasses that weren't mine. I've been considering getting a new pair made with his prescription now, since I know it works. Is there any danger in wearing the wrong prescription if I see better?

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asked Apr 15, 2017 in Health by Raghuraj S. Hegde

2 Answers

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If your vision is clear with a certain prescription, that is the right prescription for you. Prescriptions change slightly all the time, even during different hours of the day, so a prescription taken by a doctor may not always be perfect. It's likely if you got your prescription redone it would match that of your friends' lenses, so if your glasses aren't working for you seek a new prescription.

To answer the main question, however, wearing the wrong prescription will not damage your eyes in any way unless you are a child. The brains of children are still changing, and can suppress signals from one or both eyes if they feel the eye isn't working properly. This can cause amblyopia, or "lazy eye." Kids should always wear their own glasses, but, again, if you see better with someone elses' glasses, then your own glasses need changing.
answered Apr 15, 2017 by Matan Shelomi
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What are the effects, if any, of wearing glasses with incorrect prescriptions?
answered Apr 15, 2017 by Maren Poppe
Well, it depends on various factors eg, the nature of the inaccuracy and what is the degree of inaccuracy. The effects may also be different depending on the age of the person.

Just for illustration, let’s say someone 20 years old had -2.00D of myopia, and was dispensed -2.50D lenses instead. Would that person notice anything wrong? Maybe not. Would there be any long term problems? Probably not either.

If that same person were dispensed -3.50D lenses, they would still be able to see things clearly. However, for such a degree of inaccuracy, it is likely that prolonged near work will cause the eyes to became tired more easily because of the extra effort needed to focus/accommodate. But if the problem were sorted out and the glasses were exchanged for the correct prescription of -2.00D, then everything would be fine again. ie there is, in general, no long term damage done by wearing wrongly prescribed/dispensed glasses.

If you have instead, an older 50 year old person, then even an extra -0.50D of lens power would be noticed and vision would be blurry for far and near with the incorrect presciption.

At a very basic level, the incorrect presciption will induce a corresponding refractive error, and this corresponding refractive error will induce some degree of visual blurring which, depending on the person’s age can sometimes be compensated for.

The visual blurring or efforts to compensate may cause eye strain/tiredness and also sometimes dizzyness and headaches, but these are all temporary and will resolve once the prescription is fixed.

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