Why do I see better when I squint?

20 Jan 2014

Squinting is an instinctive reaction by your eyes to bright light, by trying to reduce the amount of light suddenly entering the eye.


However, if you find yourself squinting in order to see objects clearly, then it may be a sign of a refractive error, or perhaps a symptom of presbyopia if you are over forty.


When you squint, the limited light rays that do enter the eye, pass close enough to the centre of the lens so that a clearer, more focused image is created. The problem is that squinting can cause unnecessary strain on the eyes and contribute to the formation of crow’s feet and other deep lines.

Accommodative power of the eye

The eye adjusts its focal length automatically in response to how close or how far away an object is by changing the shape of the crystalline lens, a process that is known as accommodation.


The crystalline lens is a soft, flexible layer of the eye that is controlled by cillary muscles that are attached to it. Both the lens and the cillary muscles work together to change the shape of the lens to reposition light onto the back of the eye so images appear clear.

Do I need glasses if I am constantly squinting?

If you are over forty and have never needed glasses, then it is unlikely that you have developed a refractive error.


Refractive errors are caused by an irregularity in the shape of a person’s cornea which causes light to be focused incorrectly on the back of the eye. They usually become apparent during childhood or adolescence.


Presbyopia is not a refractive error, but merely a telltale sign that your eyes are getting old and can’t work as well as they did previously.


The condition is recognized by the steady decline of near vision, because the cillary muscles and lens cannot work as well to create a shorter focal length.


Reading glasses tend to be the default solution to Presbyopia, but there are two minimally invasive procedures available at Optilase to treat the condition effectively.


KAMRA and PRESBIA both involve the insertion of a tiny lens into the non-dominant eye that is used for restore the eye’s accommodative power for near vision.


For more information on either KAMRA or PRESBIA, book your free consultation on +353 1 223 8821 or visit www.optilase.com/reading-glasses/

More to Explore

What can Presbia Flexivue Microlens Do for Me?

23 Nov 2012
Read more

Evaluation for Laser Eye Surgery

15 Feb 2013
Read more

How the eye works like a camera – and why laser eye surgery is the answer when it fails.

02 Dec 2014
Read more

Top Ten Warning Signs of Age-Related Eye Trouble

30 Aug 2013
Read more

Book a Free Consultation Today!

At your consultation we will answer all your questions, discuss finance options, and assess whether you are a suitable candidate for one of our life-changing, treatments. Consultations with our expert Optometrists are free and take approximately 1 hour at one of our nationwide clinics.
World’s Leading Technology
Laser Eye Surgery Lifetime Care Guarantee
Laser Health Insurance Discount
World-Renowned Surgeons
20% Tax Relief
0% Interest Free Finance
99% Of Our Patients Recommend Us

Lets Connect

Privacy CentrePolicy & Procedures
Flexible Payment with
Book a Free Consultation