How do Glasses Work

If you’re lucky enough you won’t have to look around for your glasses to read this, but even if you do that’s no big deal because the little frames are indeed lifesavers.

How were glasses first invented?

The ancient Romans were the first ones to discover that by using pieces of glass to alter the path of light, they were able to read small texts more clearly, thus inventing the magnifying glass.

Italian glass blowers had discovered that they could create glass lenses of different thicknesses that would add or subtract from the eye’s focusing power to aid in improving vision problems.

Why are glasses worn?

The general two sentence answer to this question would simply be because one is unable to see distant things clearly or can’t read without having to squint.

Diving into the actual causes, there are several defects of the eye that lead to the requirement of spectacles, however factors such as prolonged screen time, straining eyes in dim light, etc. can lead to damaging of vision over time. 

Eye defects can come about with age, daily activities, work environment, food intake, etc.

Different eye defects

1.Myopia (or near-sightedness)

  • In this condition, objects that are far away from the eye appear blurry but those that are near the eye are seen clearly. The image is focused ahead /in front of the retina rather than on it. The primary reason behind this is, the eyeball is too long, or /and the refractive power of the lens is too strong. 
  • When one is diagnosed with Myopia, the spectacles are made with a concave lens so that the image gets formed on the retina.
  • Depending on the power, one may need to wear glasses for only certain activities, like watching something on the television, reading, painting, or driving. On the other hand, if one is very near-sighted, they must wear their glasses all the time.

2.Hyperopia [old name-hypermetropia] (or long-sightedness)

  • In this condition, there is difficulty with seeing objects that are nearby clearly, whereas far off objects can be seen with ease. The image is formed beyond the retina usually because the eyeball is very short or the refractive power of the lens of the eye is too weak.
  • The spectacles are made with a convex lens so that the image is made to focus on the retina.
  • One may need to wear glasses either all the time or only when reading, working on an electronic device like a computer or tablet, or doing any other sort of close-up work.


  • It is a type of defect in which the eye doesn’t focus light evenly on the retina resulting in distorted or blurred vision. Symptoms can include strain on the eyes, constant headaches, and trouble seeing at night.
  • Astigmatism occurs when the cornea of the eye has a non-round curvature more like a teaspoon, hence the eye lacks a single point of focus.
  • This condition can be corrected by wearing glasses having cylindrical lenses which can bend light more in one direction than others.


  • Presbyopia is the natural tendency of the eyes to lose the ability to focus on nearby objects. It starts around the mid-’40s and becomes prominent by the time the individual reaches the age of about 60.
  • Over time, the lens becomes harder and loses elasticity, hence a bifocal lens is prescribed to the person by the Optometrist.

Generally speaking, prescriptive glasses are worn to correct eye defects caused because the image formed by the eye`s lens isn’t in the right position (on the retina).

What a pair of glasses does is it absorbs the light rays falling on the eyes and then bends it according to the condition the person suffers with, hence making the image fall right onto the retina.

Therefore, the glasses are worn until the condition has been cured, but in most cases, glasses have to be worn for a lifetime as the symptoms are detected very late and long-term usage is required.

Maintenance of glasses.

  • Glasses must be cleaned almost every day, or every alternate day to prevent the build-up of oil, dust, sweat, and bacteria in the frames. Using a good glasses cleaning solution along with a microfiber cleaning cloth is advisable.
  • Purchase an eyeglass repairing kit-this will aid any quick fixes one must do at home or at the last minute.
  • Always keep the spectacles in a case when you aren’t wearing them.
  • Get a check-up done once in about 4-6 months to keep track of the eye power 

How to keep your eyesight sharp?

It is always advisable to prevent wearing spectacles for as long as possible and maintain good eyesight by taking intense care of your eyes. You may achieve that by following some tips mentioned below.

  • Consuming nutritious foods-load up on omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C and vitamin E. Green vegetables, fish, eggs and citrus fruits are all great sources of the essential nutrients.
  • Always carry a pair of sunglasses– Investing in a decent pair that will protect one’s eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays is a necessity. Too much UV ray exposure increases the chances of cataracts.
  • Throw away old makeup– bacteria grow quickly on liquid makeup. It is advisable to replace makeup products every 3-4 months and never share cosmetics with peers and avoid usage of store sample products, all this can lead to eye infections. 
  • Besides all this, frequent screen breaks should be taken to prevent strain, headaches, itchiness in the eyes, and body pain.
  • In addition to this, regularly scheduled eye check-ups must be done to keep oneself updated about the status of their eyes and if they need to do anything to prevent any eye problems.

Although modern-day technology and medical science advancement enables us to correct our vision and have a normal life, it is best advised to take utmost care of your precious gifts as they have to last you at least one lifetime! It is also best advised to visit an ophthalmologist or at least an optometrist once a year for a routine check-up.

By Caitlyn

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