Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

Posted February 22, 2019


There are a number of myths out there about eye care and glasses. Ever heard that eating lots of carrots will fix you eyesight? That’s one of them! While you will get plenty of Vitamin A, eating baby carrots by the handful will only turn your skin orange, not change your vision.

Another myth is that sharing glasses is a big no-no, because it can permanently damage your eyes. Yikes! Thankfully, that’s not entirely true, so no need to panic. However, there are some good reasons why you should invest in your own pair instead of borrowing from a friend. Mostly, it comes down to clarity of vision, hygiene, and comfort.

Let’s debunk this myth first. There’s a good chance you’ve had times in your life when your glasses were a little out-of-date and you were wearing the wrong prescription without even realizing it. Does that mean your were damaging your eyes all along? Not at all! There are all sorts of things people claim can permanently damage your eyes–TV watching, reading in poor light, crossing your eyes too much–but for the most part, these are all myths (the sun can cause permanent damage, however, so don’t try to debunk that one!)

You can strain your eyes, yes, but nearsightedness, farsightedness, and an astigmatism are caused by problems in your eyes’ internal structures, like their shape or the curvature of the lens: all things which will not be altered by straining your eyes. What eye strain does do, however, is make you uncomfortable.

Each prescription is unique to each person, so it is very unlikely that your friend or family member has the exact same prescription as you. A correct prescription will not only be clearer, but more comfortable too. An incorrect prescription can cause eyestrain–which leads to headaches, fatigue, and dizziness–making you very uncomfortable.

Let’s talk hygiene. The same hygienic concerns that make us hesitant to share cups, toothbrushes, and hats apply to glasses as well. Germs travel along for the ride when you put on someone else’s glasses. Think about how some people clean their lenses by fogging them and rubbing them on their shirt (which, by the way, is not a good method for cleaning your lenses! Pro Tip: care for your glasses according to your optician’s recommendation.)

Of course, the germs won’t jump from the lenses into your eye. However, it is very easy to touch your glasses and then touch in or near your eye, whether on purpose or by accident. Your friend’s germs will take up residence in your body, and then you’ll end up with a cold, the flu, conjunctivitis, or a number of any other icky illnesses.

And remember: optical devices live on someone’s face, so if you’re wearing someone’s glasses, you’re transferring the dirt and oil from their face to yours, making your skin more prone to breakouts and blemishes. Not a very pleasant thought!

So why share a pair when you can get your own? Even if your mom’s, or your brother’s, or even your friend’s glasses seem like a good match, your prescription may require slight adjustments that will help you see even more clearly! And your own pair of frames will be adjusted to perfectly fit your face and head shape. Further, if you select your own pair of frames, you can pick ones that perfectly align with your individual fashion sense and style choices.

Our opticians are always ready to help you pick out a pair of frames that fit your face, your vision needs, and your style. Make an appointment to have your annual eye exam in either Salem or Christiansburg, and stop by our optical lab to find your own unique pair!

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