Trust us, you don't want to wear an outdated prescription for long.
Wearing glasses is surprisingly common, with up to close to 64% of US adults, 166.5 million Americans, wearing prescription eyeglasses. Buying eyeglasses is not a one-time purchase. Beyond wanting new glasses for a change in style, most adults will need a new prescription regularly.
So how do you know when it's time for new glasses? Fortunately, there are seven signs that let you know you may need a new prescription.
Do you suspect you may need a new prescription for your eyeglasses? These are the telltale signs.
If you need a new eyeglasses prescription, you may be experiencing headaches. But since there are more than 150 types of headaches, it can be difficult to attribute your problems with headaches to your prescription.
If you have frequent headaches, take note of when they occur. If you commonly have a headache after watching something intensely, you may want to visit your optometrist.
When you're scrolling on your phone or are reading, do you squint? You may do it so often you don't realize you're scrunching up your face and closing (or partially closing) one eye to get a better look at something.
When you squint, you're changing the amount of light that enters the eye. This may make it easier to see clearly. Squinting is a clear sign it's time to update your eyeglasses prescription.
Eye strain is a common condition that occurs with intense use of your eyes. This could include excessive use of your computer and other digital devices, driving long distances, reading for long periods of time and exposure to either very bright or very dim light.
If you have eye strain, your eyes may feel tired. They may get red and watery. And your vision may become blurred.
In addition to getting a new prescription, you may want to look at blue light blocking glasses, which can give your eyes relief if you look at a screen for hours at a time.
If you have blurred vision, you just can't see things clearly. When blurred vision happens gradually, you may not even realize right away that your vision isn't as sharp and crisp as it used to be.
One of the most common reasons for blurred vision is an outdated eyeglass prescription. This can happen whether you're nearsighted (trouble seeing things far away) or farsighted (difficulty seeing things close to you) or you have astigmatism (your eye isn't shaped properly, making your vision blurry).
When was the last time you saw your eye doctor? If it's been more than two years, it may be time to go back and get a new eyeglasses prescription. Experts recommend adults get a full eye examination at least every two years. But if you have additional medical issues like diabetes, heart disease or cancer, you may need to see your doctor every year.
When you go to a restaurant, do you have to put the menu right under your nose to read it? This may be a sign you're farsighted. Or do you have to hold your phone at arm's length? This could mean you're nearsighted. Either way, not being able to read things you used to is a clear sign it's time for new glasses.
If you can't see the road as easily as you once did, you may be experiencing night blindness. This is when your eyes can't adjust to the lesser amount of light available at night. Often, a new prescription will solve this problem.
Glasses prescriptions typically expire every one to two years, so that's how frequently you can expect to update your prescription. It's best to get an eye exam when you're due, even if your prescription seems to have stayed the same.
Regardless of how long it's been, if you notice even one of the seven signs above, it's time to book your next eye appointment. Vision is often considered the most important of our five senses, so it's important to see your eye doctor on a regular basis and get a new eyeglass prescription before your vision problems get worse.
In addition to keeping your vision sharp, when you get new glasses, you can choose new frames and give yourself a whole new look.