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Do I Need Glasses? 5 Signs You Might

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A young woman squinting while reading a book

It’s helpful to pay attention to changes in your vision or health you notice between comprehensive eye exams. Trouble reading, blurry vision, or squinting more often than usual are just a few signs that tell you and your eye doctor you may need glasses.

Visiting your eye doctor regularly is important for monitoring your vision because it’s not always clear when you need glasses. An optometrist can even help determine whether you need extra support from your glasses to help prevent symptoms of a condition like digital eye strain

If you’d prefer to avoid glasses, your optometrist may be able to recommend an alternative solution too, such as laser surgery or contact lenses.

5 Sign You Might Need Glasses

Each person’s vision needs are as unique as they are. What causes one person to notice changes to their vision may not get another person’s attention, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs when you experience them. 

Here are 5 common signs that could indicate you need glasses or an updated prescription:

Blurry Vision Up Close & at a Distance

Refractive errors are common vision problems for Americans. Each type of refractive error—such as myopia, hyperopia, or presbyopia—can affect your vision differently and at different times in your life. Depending on your age and whether it’s distance or close-up vision that’s blurry, a different error could be at fault.

Astigmatism is another specific refractive error that can affect both your close-up and distance vision. Additionally, you could have a combination of errors that cause vision problems at multiple distances.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with any of these conditions, noticing changes in the clarity of your vision may indicate a refractive error is developing.

Trouble Reading

Presbyopia is a refractive error that involves a physical change to your eye’s lens. Everyone develops some degree of presbyopia as they age. As the lens becomes less flexible, the eye loses the ability to focus on up-close tasks like reading or using a computer.

When you notice you’re holding books closer or increasing the font size on your computer, it may be time to consider reading glasses. Some form of bifocal or multifocal lens may also be a good option for individuals who are already affected by other refractive vision conditions. Your optometrist can help you select the right lenses for your vision needs.

A young man experiencing a headache in his home office


Headaches can be a tough symptom to gauge because they can have so many causes. But if you’re a glasses wearer already or noticing other signs you might need them, headaches could be another indication that you need new glasses.

An incorrect prescription (too weak or strong) and eye strain can both cause headaches. So, if you don’t currently wear glasses but notice blurry vision and start getting headaches—or if your current glasses are causing lasting headaches—that’s a good sign you should speak to your eye doctor.

Digital Eye Strain

Headaches can be a common sign of digital eye strain, but they aren’t the only one. Dry eye symptoms, such as irritated, watery eyes and blurry vision, are also common symptoms of digital eye strain. 

Long-term, prolonged use of digital screens or time spent focusing on small tasks is a common cause of eye strain. Incorrect glasses prescriptions and blue light are two culprits that can affect the severity of symptoms. Getting the right glasses to support your vision can help in some situations, but you should speak with your eye doctor to determine the right solution to relieve your symptoms of eye strain. 

Squinting & Rubbing Eyes More Often

Squinting and rubbing eyes are two common signs that children need glasses. If you notice yourself or a family member squinting to see properly, there’s a good chance you should speak with your eye doctor.

Rubbing your eyes can actually cause damage when done too hard or too often and can be a sign of other ocular conditions that may require additional treatment and testing beyond vision support. 

Determining Prescription Strength

A glasses prescription typically consists of spherical (S), cylinder (C), and axis measurements. Determining the prescription your glasses need may seem like magic, but your eye doctor uses several tools and tests to determine what you need for clear vision. 

Although changes in our vision typically slow down as we get older, you should still see your eye doctor for an examination to determine your prescription needs at least every 2 years. Overall eye health, vision, and age play a role in how often you should see your optometrist and the type of support you may need.

Discuss Your Options with Your Eye Doctor

You may notice the signs you need glasses, but ultimately you should consult your eye doctor to determine what type of glasses you need and find out what they should correct. And if you’re trying to avoid glasses, your optometrist may be able to offer other solutions for your vision, such as contact lenses or laser eye surgery.

However you want to solve your vision problems, it starts by seeing your eye doctor. Request an appointment at Toronto Centre Eye Care and let us help you determine your vision needs.

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Written by Toronto Centre Eye Care

For over a decade, the name Toronto Centre Eye Care has been synonymous with professional service and personal care. We pride ourselves on the level of care we offer our patients—going above and beyond the call of duty to identify a problem and recommend an effective solution.

We look forward to getting to know you.

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