Eye Health Central

The Challenges of Being a Glasses Wearer

We compiled a whole list of hindrances and how to solve them

Whether you use them for fashion or for vision correction, wearing glasses has become a widespread norm. There are countries where 70% of the population wears glasses. While they can provide you with a clear and focused view of the world, they also bring with them a unique set of challenges that can range from minor to major annoyances. Here’s our list of unique annoyances brought about by wearing glasses:

The Everyday Trials of Glasses Wearers

Challenge - Discomfort and Pressure: Wearing glasses over long periods of time can often lead to you feeling discomfort, especially if they don’t fit you perfectly. Over time, poorly fitting glasses can cause you to have pressure points, which leads to painful sores on the bridge of your nose and behind your ears. Solution - A well-fitted frame and regular adjustments by yourself or your optician can help reduce these issues.

Challenge - Fogging: Probably one of the most common complaints, especially in the winter or when Covid struck where wearing masks was obligatory - lens fogging. This is due to the condensation of water vapour on the cooler surface of the glasses. Although this can be annoying it is normally short lived.

Solution - Anti-fog sprays or wipes can offer you temporary relief and are especially helpful during winter. If the fogging is due to wearing a face mask, a properly fitted mask that has a good seal around the nose and cheeks can help. 

Challenge - Visual Distortions: When adjusting to a new prescription or a different type of lens, you can experience visual distortions. Peripheral vision distortion is particularly common if you have high-index or bifocal lenses. 

Solution - Time really is a great healer in this instance. It can take two weeks or more for your brain to adjust to these changes, so it's worth persevering.

Challenge - Rain and Water Spots: If you have ever been caught in the rain then you can relate to the struggle of seeing through droplet-splattered lenses. Similarly, water spots from splashes are a pain and you will find yourself constantly cleaning your lenses.

Challenge - Impaired Physical Activity: Glasses are a significant hindrance if you’re participating in vigorous physical activities, as you fear you will break them, lose them, or even if you take them off someone might steal them. 

Solution - Special sports glasses are available, but many glasses wearers find switching to daily disposable contact lenses even if it's just for sport can really help.

Challenge - Maintenance and Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your lenses can feel like a chore sometimes and you will do it more often than you think.

Solution - Keep a microfiber cloth and lens cleaner nearby at all times, preferably one in the car and one in the house, it will make your life much easier!

Challenge - Being Unable to See during the Middle of the Night: A common inconvenience! The struggle to see clearly just after you wake up in the middle of the night. if you are very short sighted reaching for a glass of water, going to the toilet or checking the time can feel like climbing Mount Everest. 

Solution - The trick here is to keep your glasses on your bedside table every night so you know exactly where they are. If it's a big problem, i.e. you have just had a baby, or you are on emergency calls such as firefighters or doctors, speak to your optometrist about extended wear contact lenses, as you can wear these overnight.

glasses wearers

Challenge - Applying Makeup: Applying makeup, especially eye makeup, can be a tricky task because of the fact that you have to remove your glasses whilst doing this, which can make it even harder for you to see what you’re doing. 

Solution - By removing your glasses there’s no chance of make-up smearing the lenses or frames, which means no additional cleaning. Apply to make in bright lights or you could try using a magnifying mirror or even glasses designed to make up application, these glasses have hinged lenses so that you can swing each lens forward individually allowing you to see through one lens whilst applying make-up to the other eye.

Glasses for make-up

Challenge - People Asking to Try on Your Glasses: Probably the most common occurrence that is not only annoying at times but also potentially harmful to your glasses. When several different people, especially people who don’t wear glasses, try your glasses on, there is a danger of damage. Add in the fact that you have to wait whilst they have checked themselves in the mirror and taken all the selfies from every angle imaginable.

Solution - Just say no, or better still get in all the selfies with them and enjoy the likes.

Challenge - Lying on Your Side: Whether you’re reading a book, watching TV, or just relaxing, lying on your side can be a challenge with glasses. The frames usually get pushed out of alignment, which then causes you discomfort and visual distortion. 

Solution - At the risk of stating the obvious, avoid laying on your side or adjust your frame slightly if you have to, to get the most comfortable wearing experience

Challenge - Sensitivity to Light: If you have high-index lenses, you could potentially experience heightened sensitivity to light, which can cause pain when it’s overly bright or when using digital devices.

Solution - Anti-glare and blue light filtering lenses can help you get around this issue.

Challenge - Cost: Good quality glasses can be expensive. With the need for frames, lenses, and sometimes additional features like scratch-resistance or anti-reflective coating, the costs add up.

Solution - Buying glasses online where the price often includes high index lenses, scratch-resistant coating etc can offer great savings. You don't need to go for designer frames to be able to see well, and always check with your optometrist what all the "add-ons" are for, and make an assessment as to whether you really need them or not.


The challenges of being a glasses wearer range from physical discomfort and visual distortions to more minor issues like social and aesthetic concerns. Despite these challenges, millions of people around the world depend on their glasses for their day-to-day lives. Understanding these challenges will help you appreciate the subtle complexities of wearing glasses and push you to find practical solutions for every obstacle you may come across. 

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 6 Jul 2023, Last modified: 20 May 2024