Will Glasses Ever Become Obsolete?

At a time when technology is making leaps and bounds, many people are asking themselves if glasses will become obsolete. The answer to this question is no. Glasses have been around for centuries and they will continue to be an important tool in our lives for years to come.

Despite the advancements in eye surgery and contact lenses glasses are oftentimes the fastest and safest way to correct someone’s visual deficits. Over the course of decades, your prescription oftentimes changes even after surgery, and while you might enjoy the time wearing your glasses fewer chances are high you need to go with some sort of a compromise due to the big lens glasses provide compared to your cornea or contact lenses.

The risk is pretty much non-existent for infections with glasses compared to contacts. And when you do not like your visual experience you have a lot of lens designs to choose from. Most people learn this when they get presbyopia and need some sort of reading glasses. Even the cheap glasses give the wearer a way better visual experience compared to a multifocal contact lens.

Maybe researchers find a way so people will have better ways to restore normal human vision. One of the most promising will be discussed in the paragraphs below which is a totally new perspective when it comes to correcting visual deficits.

What Technology Could Make Glasses Obsolete?

Visual problems are very common so a lot of emphases is put on finding new solutions for old problems. How about you could use eye drops and your vision would clear up? Currently, the company Orasis, Pharmaceuticals, testing their CSF-1 eye drops that offer temporary relief reversal of farsightedness.

The studies were done on animals with promising results. Although the company still has a long way to go to prove the eye drops can be used for humans as well. The concept though is not new. Many people as they age have a lot smaller pupils than their younger counterparts. When the pupil is extremely small oftentimes older people are able to read and see in distance without glasses.

This pinhole effect is exactly what eye drops should achieve in humans. This way Orasis wants to produce an alternative to progressive glasses and multifocal contact lenses or surgery. The ingredients for such an effect are not new but this perspective is for a lot of people with presbyopia.

It is pretty exciting to see those developments. Pinholes have been used in history to correct difficult cases of refractive errors in the past. You can find more information on that topic here.

The mentioned alternatives that could make glasses obsolete are fairly limited to presbyopia when it comes to the research of Oasis or surgery that would to an improvement of strong aberrational problems only a few people have. But what about the typical issues like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. A lot of people have those conditions and the following could be used to correct them.

It is called Orthokeratology. this is a contact lens you only need to wear while sleeping and during the day you can see perfectly clear without the lenses or glasses. But the effect diminishes over the course of a day. So a good solution would be to stabilize the corneal structures to get rid of the lenses at some point.

This is exactly what Dr. El Hage and Dr. Seiler did in their pilot study in which the use of riboflavin corneal cross-linking and orthokeratology to treat myopia was investigated.

Currently, riboflavin in combination with UVA light is used to stabilize corneal structures and is therefore widely used in keratoconus treatments. Patients with keratoconus often experience vast fluctuations in their prescriptions so stabilizing them oftentimes slows down the deterioration of the cornea.

In combination with Ortho K this already widely used treatment could be a solution in the future that indeed could make glasses obsolete. As an optician, I do not think glasses will be gone in the near future. Contact lenses still cause too much trouble especially when the wearers are over forty years old and the tear film is not as good as it was in their twenties.

I alone performed hundreds of Ortho K fittings and while they are a good solution for a lot of people oftentimes people switch back to glasses after a few years. The optics during day and night in combination with no foreign body sensation is just unmatched when it comes to the alternatives.

On top of the simplicity of glasses and how good they work there is also the factor of time and costs to produce a visual aid for people. The mentioned studies were very small and most people want just to get the problem fixed within a few days. Glasses can deliver this experience easier, while complicated eyes might need a lot more time to be corrected properly with lenses or even surgery.

But of course, all of what is discussed in this article is a biased opinion from a master optician and all I can do is what has been done to this day to make glasses obsolete. And currently, the demand is rising. May we will see a breakthrough in technology that reverses this effect in the next years. We will see. technology moves fast and I can wait to see fresh new solutions.

Some of the so-called solutions that should rival glasses are old but have recently spun in the world wide web like eye exercises. But performing eye exercises will not eliminate the most common causes that necessitate glasses – namely, nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Although a lot of people would like to believe this works I never saw a person performed refraction and saw an improvement in regards to their visual acuity.


Glasses will not be obsolete in the near future and also not in the next decades. They are a simple very versatile product that is highly customizable to the visual needs of the wearer. It delivers in most cases optimal optics and is less dependent on the condition of the tear-film as contact lenses are.

I wish you a great day.

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