I've been told that wearing eyeglasses to correct poor vision can cause your vision to degrade even further. In other words, "Hold off wearing glasses for as long as possible, because once you start, it gets much worse."

The claim is that with glasses, the eyes don't have to work as hard to focus and then become "lazier" (for lack of a better term), leading to a vicious cycle of needing more and more correction.

Is there any truth to this claim?

2 Answers 2


According to the Mayo Clininc, no. They write in their eye myths and facts section:

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses will weaken the eyes: The eyeglasses worn to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia will not weaken the eyes any more than they will permanently "cure" these kinds of vision problems. Glasses are simply external optical aids that provide vision to people with blurred vision caused by refractive errors. Exceptions are the kinds of glasses given to children with crossed eyes (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia). These glasses are used temporarily to help straighten the eyes or improve vision. Not wearing such glasses may lead to permanently defective vision [1].

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    I agree. Not wearing glasses can actually cause your vision to temporarily deteriorate because the ciliary muscles become fatigued. Apr 14, 2015 at 23:48

Another explanation for the eye mis-focusing is that the problem is "habitual strain," not the shape of the eye, and that glasses do nothing but exacerbate this strain. Instead, the cure is relaxation and exercises, via the Bates Method. This explanation is still alive, despite a lack of scientific evidence that it works; Bates's seminal Perfect Sight Without Glasses, first published in 1920, is now in its 6th edition (2013).

Anecdotally, though, glasses may cause the wearer to realize how bad their vision was before. And as with any impoverished sense, the brain will have learned to fill in the perceptual gaps automatically. New glasses-wearers may find their vision "degrading" as they lose their internalized accommodations, which are no longer needed.

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    "...glasses do nothing but exacerbate this strain." Can you please incorporate support from recognized reputable sources) for your answer? Apr 23, 2015 at 2:36

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