Close-up of woman's blue eye

Do I need glasses? Top 9 major signs to look out for

6 Nov 2023

If you are wondering whether or not you need glasses, it is important to consider your symptoms first. Our eyesight changes throughout our lives. There is every chance that you might need to wear glasses at some stage. Often when people begin to experience vision loss they put off scheduling an appointment with an optician. Especially because loss of vision happens at such a slow rate. If you’re still not quite sure whether you need to get your eyes checked or not, then keep reading to discover some of the key signs you need glasses. Find out if wearing glasses could help improve your sight and free you of any uncomfortable symptoms you might currently be experiencing.

Eye test equipment

Why do people need glasses?

Glasses are most often used to correct refractive errors that prevent you from seeing clearly. An eye test is the best way to identify whether you need glasses or not. Most adults are recommended to have one every two years, however, this can vary depending on your individual health requirements. If you notice any changes in your vision or are experiencing any of the symptoms below, visit an optician straight away. Don’t wait for your next planned appointment.

Common symptoms of needing glasses:

Blurry icon

Blurred or distorted vision

Double vision icon

Double vision

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Difficulty seeing or driving at night

Seeing halos icon

Noticeable ‘halos’ around objects, especially light sources

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Difficulty adjusting your eyes to various distances

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Problems viewing objects close by

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Struggling to see objects in the distance

Fatigue icon

Eye strain, headaches and visual fatigue

How do I know if I need glasses?

To decide whether or not you need glasses, ask yourself the following questions and if one or more of these signs sound familiar, book yourself an eye test and get expert advice from your optician.

Do you have blurry vision?

Having blurry or distorted vision doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wear glasses. It can be a sign of visual fatigue, eye strain and sometimes even dry eyes. If you have been reading or staring at a digital screen for many hours, these symptoms can simply be a sign that you’re tired and need to rest your eyes for a while. However, if blurry vision continues over a long period of time and you begin to notice objects nearby or at a distance are out of focus, you probably need to start thinking about booking an eye test soon. Your optician will be able to diagnose what is causing the persistent blurry vision. It is most likely a result of short-sightednesslong-sightedness, or astigmatism.

Close-up of black metal aviator glasses held up by man with background blurry

Are you seeing double?

In contrast to blurry vision, double vision can be very serious. You’ll notice it when you look at a single object but can see two in front of you. For example, if you glance at your watch and see two clock faces, or look at a computer and the screen is doubled. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about and will likely just mean you need glasses to correct your vision. It’s often linked to severe astigmatism, migraines, cataracts, dry eyes and diabetes. However, it’s still essential not to ignore this symptom. It could be an indication of more severe health conditions like the autoimmune disease known as myasthenia gravis. It could also potentially be a sign of multiple sclerosis, an aneurysm, or a brain tumour.

Is it more difficult for you to see at night?

Seeing clearly at night is tricky for everyone, no matter who you are. There are a couple of ways you can tell if you have night blindness. Do you wake up in the early hours and find it hard to navigate your house with the lights off? Or perhaps you struggle to see road signs when driving in the dark? Difficulties with night vision develop over time. Low-light environments can aggravate any sight problems you might already have, making it incredibly difficult for your eyes to adjust at night time even though the street lamps are there to illuminate your surroundings.

Signs you need glasses for driving at night are, you’re noticing circles of light or ‘halos’ surrounding vehicle headlights or finding it difficult to identify markings on the road. If you are told by your optician that you do need a pair of glasses for driving, it is worth adding our lens packages. All packages Silver upwards come with an anti-reflection coating which is particularly ideal for driving at night as it minimises the dazzling reflected glare from car headlights.

Man driving car at night

Can you see ‘halos’ around objects?

When you start to notice ‘halos’ around objects, particularly sources of light, this could be a sign of a sight problem, especially if it starts happening more frequently. For example, you might be aware of bright rings of light around vehicle headlights, light bulbs and street lamps. This can be a sign of near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia.

Do you struggle to adjust your eyes between different distances?

Perhaps you can already clearly focus your eyes on objects in the distance and close by but you are now finding it hard to adjust between the two. Do you notice that when you switch from looking out the window to down at a book (or the other way around) it takes a little while longer for your eyes to adjust? And do your eyes go blurry for a moment? If this sounds familiar and you are having issues adapting between different distances this will likely mean that you need multifocal lenses. Book an eye exam and discuss this with your optician in more depth. They will be able to give you the advice you need.

Woman looking into the distance

Are you having trouble seeing objects at a distance?

Maybe you can see objects nearby very well, but you find yourself struggling when it comes to looking further away. If it’s difficult to recognise a friend standing on the other side of the street or you are unable to see the TV from across the room, you probably need glasses to help with your distance vision.

Or do you find it hard to see objects nearby?

Increasingly more people work from home now and this has changed our lifestyles greatly. We spend so much time looking at objects close-up, like digital screens and notepads. It’s therefore unsurprising that our sight has suffered as a consequence. Have you noticed when looking at a computer screen or holding your notes up in front of you that your sight isn’t as clear as it once was? If that’s the case, then it’s probably time to get your eyes tested and invest in a new pair of glasses.

Man squinting whilst looking at a laptop screen

Do you find yourself squinting your eyes to see?

Squinting or narrowing your eyes is a common tactic that people use to try and see more clearly. Maybe you’re scrunching up your eyes and staring at your computer screen furiously trying to focus your eyes on what is in front of you. If you find yourself doing this a lot, it’s a sure sign that you need to get your eyes tested. Of course, your eyes will naturally squint to bring objects into focus. It helps to reduce the amount of light that hits your eyes and allows you to centre in on what you’re trying to focus on. But if you find yourself doing this more frequently, you are probably having problems focusing your eyes.

Can needing glasses cause headaches and eye strain?

It goes without saying that if you work from a computer or watch TV for long hours at home, you will probably experience eye strain, fatigue and headaches. These symptoms don’t always suggest that you need glasses but they can be an indication that you’re not taking enough breaks throughout the day.

Try to follow the 20:20:20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on an object located around 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help prevent blurred vision, headaches and eye fatigue.

If any of the above symptoms sound familiar to you, we urge you to book an appointment with your optician as soon as you possibly can. An eye test is a crucial medical examination that will not only help you get a prescription and keep your eye health in check, but it can also detect early signs of diseases like diabetes and glaucoma.