“I feel so much more comfortable with my glasses off” or “If I wear my glasses for too long, I get a headache” or “Sometimes I can see better without my glasses!” — I’ve heard these comments, and many similar ones, from my clients. Dr. Bates, the vision improvement pioneer, said all visual difficulties are the result of strain. He also said that eyeglasses strain the vision. It seems some part of us instinctively knows this.
Looking through prescription lenses forces your vision to try to see through the prescription. The eyes are obedient servants of your brain and intention. If they think you want them to see through a curved piece of plastic, they will try their best to do so for you. They will allow themselves to be corralled by the frames of your glasses, moving less and less out to the periphery. The healthy eye is moving all the time, which is why it seems to sparkle. Since the strongest correction in your glasses is in the center, wearing eyeglasses also trains the eye not to move away from this point. This is not good!
Last week I held a vision session with a new client, who wore a very strong eyeglasses prescription. As he looked at the Skype screen while we talked, he commented that his eyes were getting sore. On a hunch, I asked him if he’d be comfortable taking his glasses off, pretending he could see me on the screen well enough to interact. He agreed, then reported in a few minutes that his eyes felt better! His glasses had kept his eyes from moving, and they were getting tired of this inactivity.
If your eyes don’t move, that’s called a stare, which is a big no-no in vision improvement. When I first learned about this, in my over-doing way I would almost frantically dart my eyes all over the room, trying to avoid the dreaded stare. That’s not the idea! Allow your gaze to travel around your environment easily and gently, seeing what you can see. Examine the details, then the details within those.
This same myopic client had told me his eyes hurt whenever he tried to look to the side, or up or down. This is a symptom of the same problem — his strong glasses were making him stare, and his eyes had gotten out of the habit of moving. He might as well have sat in front of his computer for several hours, then wondered why his legs were stiff when he got up! I suggested gentle eye circles, to gradually loosen the stiff little muscles around his eyes, letting his gaze slowly travel around an imaginary clock face.
Some people dabble at vision improvement, going without their glasses occasionally. However, every time they put their glasses back on they are re-introducing the straining habit of looking through them. The visual system is flexible and responsive — it can be quick to complain if mistreated, and quick to improve when we’re good to it. So please don’t think you’re doomed if you have to wear glasses. Just wear them as little as possible, and use a weaker prescription when it’s safe. Your eyes will be so grateful!
Eyeglasses are an artificial aid to vision. They mute colors, flatten depth, and cut off your periphery. Your visual system is much better off without these devices. If you need them to function, see this as a temporary situation, like using crutches until your broken leg heals. Set a plan in place to depend on them less and less over time, until your vision is free, with eyeglasses as just a memory. I am grateful every day my eyes and brain no longer think I need glasses to see. I feel like I’ve been set free from prison. Yippee!