How Do You Feel About Your Glasses?

As a child I felt trapped behind my thick heavy glass eyeglasses, caged even. I also thought they were necessary for me to be able to see. My mother often yelled at me that I’d “ruin my eyes” when I did things like read without a light on, so I never took my glasses off to try to see with just my unaided vision. I resented how the lenses got fogged over or splashed with rain or snow in bad weather, or the glasses fell to the ground when I climbed up a tree or around the monkey bars.

When I was first starting vision improvement, I had a brief conversation with a man I met in the eye doctor’s office, telling him I wanted to get rid of my glasses since I disliked them so much. He seemed surprised, saying “I like my glasses — they help me see!”. This surprised me. He was so calm,, while I was a bundle of nerves. Was it possible my negative attitude and resistance were hurting my progress?

Some folks may want to hang onto their glasses for reasons other than eyesight. My eye doctor has a story about what he calls the John Denver effect, with a young patient wanting glasses even though she could see fine, so she’d look like her personal idol. I’ve also encountered female clients who don’t want to give up their glasses with expensive jewelry-like frames, which they think make them look glamorous.

Another reason to want glasses is for protection, especially if you suffered a childhood eye injury which glasses would have prevented, or the glasses you did wear then kept spray paint or flying objects out of your eyes and saved you from harm. It’s understandable why you’d feel safer with glasses with this history, but is this still a reason to wear them and separate your eyes from the world now?

If I look back over my vision improvement path, I see that I wanted to get out of my glasses so badly, I made it harder on myself than it had to be. I’d wear my reduced prescription glasses to drive to the grocery store, then leave them in the car while I went inside to peer at the items on the shelves, often identifying what I wanted by the color of the packaging, since I couldn’t read the lettering unless I was a few inches away.

Glasses were The Enemy to me, all those stronger and stronger prescriptions when I was little which made me feel like I was in an ever-shrinking prison, and which I discovered later hadn’t fixed my vision at all. In fact they allowed it to get even more strained and for me to see even more poorly. I was determined to reverse this downhill slide, especially since I was healthy in all other aspects.

stop wearing your glasses

Today I don’t wear glasses, even though I can’t always see as clearly as I’d like to. When I encounter blur I proceed more slowly and take deep breaths to calm myself. Anxiety can worsen that destructive mental spiral of being afraid I won’t be able to see. I can’t honestly say I view glasses as a good thing in my life, though I would have been seriously handicapped as a child without them, at least until I learned to relax. And I am much more accepting of my past experience. Resentment, like anxiety, is not a healing attitude!

If you have eyeglasses, are you wearing them when they’re not needed, maybe just out of habit, or for one of the other reasons mentioned earlier? A glasses-free life is a pleasure, believe me, so much more natural and unencumbered and yes, free. When I was a child, if my fairy godmother happened to show up and grant me 3 wishes, my first would have been “fix my eyes!”. (My mother regularly worried about “Nancy’s bad eyes”.) I know now there was nothing wrong with my eyes at all.

When I wore glasses, my obedient eyes were just doing the best they could to see through those thick lenses. Without that wall of glass altering the scenery before it gets into my eyes and makes its way to my brain, my good eyes are seeing more, and seeing it more clearly. What can you see without your glasses? Be safe, please, especially when driving. And maybe you don’t need your glasses as much as you think you do.


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Nancy
I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.
Nancy

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Nancy

Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.

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Dale
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Dale

I wore weak reading glasses for many years, and several years ago began doing extensive computer work, which resulted in becoming slightly myopic, -.75 in each eye.
The myopic correction is so much more comfortable than the reading prescriptions that I formerly had. I know that these glasses are not very strong, but I put them on first thing in the morning, and wear them until going to bed. I can’t say that my vision without them is terrible, but without them my eyes feel strained. At first they seemed so strong, and the images appeared so small, but so amazingly sharp.
I have had three exams in six years since getting them, and the prescription has remained the same, and the optometrist says that my vision without them has remained the same at 20/70. He said that I need them due to late adult onset myopia, and that the prescription will most likely remain the same, or perhaps increase very slightly.

Nancy
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Nancy

Hi Dale! I’m glad your prescription hasn’t worsened, and that you feel comfortable with glasses. At first they seemed so strong because they were more than you needed. Then “your eyes got used to them” as the eye doctors always predict, straining to see through that prescription in front of them all day long. If you don’t mind the glasses, fine. If you do, I’d challenge you to do a few simple things without them without straining, and see how that feels. You can get used to no glasses again if you want that. Thanks for writing. 🙂

Dale
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Dale

Thank you for the reply Nancy. I never discussed this with the Optometrist, but have always wondered if I had been myopic all of the years that I wore reading glasses. The reason being that my Initial complaint had been distance blur when, and after doing any reading. This went on for about twenty years, and during that time I never had an eye exam. The first Optometrist that I went to gave me reading glasses, and when I complained that they did not help, he said to wear them full time. I then went to several other Optometrists with the same complaint, but did not tell them that glasses had been prescribed. Each one prescribed a little different reading prescription, most of them stronger, and some with astigmatism correction included. Then one of them gave me bifocals, and even though they helped slightly, I never wore them on a regular basis. Eventually the problem of distance blur did go away. However the glasses never felt comfortable, or gave me crisp vision, like my present glasses do. The best description for these glasses is that they give me high definition vision, where as the bifocals only enlarged images, and they… Read more »

Nancy
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Nancy

Dale, I’m not an eye doctor and can’t prescribe glasses. Yet it makes pefect sense to me that distance blur after a long time of reading is from your eyes being temporarily accomodated to see up close, and the distance vision (maybe your “weak spot”?) needs a bit of time to come back on-line. It does not mean to me that you need reading glasses! I’m glad you’ve found a solution which works for you, and remember, vision varies, and will adapt to whatever glasses you put in front of your eyes. Including no glasses at all. I’m guessing having no distance correction for so long, and straining to see in the distance, might have made your myopia worse than it would have been otherwise. Anyway, here you are now, knowing more than you used to, so go forward from here. See well and be well!

Roman
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Roman

From what I can remember, until about age 13 or 14 I never questioned *anything* authorities said, said about me, or did to/with me (this last item sounds more ominous than I want it to sound). My needing glasses at around age 5 fit right in there with my feet being all askew, my general anxiety, my dropping things all the time, my almost constant stomach ache etc. I was just ‘not quite okay’ (I felt) in comparison to anyone around me. Nevermind that many ‘authorial’ proclamations were quite contradictory (in themselves, and in contrast to other authorities). Surely I was just too stupid to understand what they really meant. At any rate, their facial expressions and demeanor told me that it must be so … (Was I glad when, a few years ago, I stumbled across the concept of ‘double bind’ that helped me articulate my experience and put it into a broader perspective.) Its all connected of course … Thankfully, my best friend of 40 years keeps reminding me of the following: Some years ago – I don’t remember the exact context – I apparently kept emphasizing again and again how utterly helpless I would be should I… Read more »

Christopher Lane
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Christopher Lane

A vision journey has a starting point; as a vision educator I have met many who have been totally dependent on glasses since primary school for decades, never been able to drive without glasses restore there clarity of focus to pass the drivers eyesight exam; BUT NOTE have also never tried managing without there glasses even for a short while. Restoring the natural process requires many to relax in a technique that works for them. There are many professional men out there who hardly need to wear glasses but feel there image is more intellectual, so get listened to! A starting point includes blinking deliberately, checking what you can see without optical aids… introducing palming and sunning to gently push the focusing boundaries. The stressful examination schooling years may leave you with a really great career path a feeling of achievement. The optical corrections set up fixed muscular activity only loosened restored with periods of being with out glasses. The response time varies with individuals and commitment to make a change. So with the principles understood and experience of returning clearer vision, practice is possible with and without glasses until there is discomfort with an old prescription. Glasses do protect… Read more »