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An alternative view of spectacles for myopia

I have a friend, who was (he died of cancer) a very famous eye doctor. He told me once that specs COULD worsen myopia. But, as a practitioner, he has to advise children to wear glasses.

I remember (this is like 20 years ago) him telling me that, to be off glasses, and still see with myopia, a person has to learn not to strain the eyes. But, how many children can learn to do that? So most opticians are trained to just prescribe, eye doctors too.

This is a very senior doctor, he was the most senior in some hospital and he got quoted in newspapers kind, so he was very advanced and very well researched. I say this because most doctors are not as advanced, and so this point of view is normally not subscribed. Well, he passed away about 10 years ago, so I don’t know what happened after that when it comes to myopia research. But, I am strongly against wearing glasses, though DH wears a pair. It impacts your lifestyle, teaches you that you have poor eye sight and you cannot do anything about it.

But he has now passed on, I don’t know whether other researchers have proven otherwise.

I would say 99% of small children cannot resist or even understand the meaning of ‘straining’. However, I am one special case. Ha ha… not because I am smart, but because I am lazy. Whenever I cannot see something, I’ll just look away and say, cannot see lah. I won’t even bother to strain to see what the thing is. Not sure if this can help some of you who have children with myopia. Teach them ‘not to see’, if they can’t see. It will definitely slow down myopia worsening.

Another reason he cited for the bad eye sight was the white board vs the black board we use. Remember the property of light? How can our eyes take that reflection from the sun? Black board can be better, but they are dirty etc etc…

Another one, is sleeping late, and using florescent lamp. Most lightings in our houses are bad and wrong. Well, thing is, no matter how expensive those lamps are and how they emphasize they are good for your eyes, they are not. So, work in the day and sleep at night. Again, with our kids’ busy, busy schedule, this is close to impossibility.

Those are what I understand. I’m no specialist or eye doctor, just compiling from what my eye expert friends say. When he passed on, it was a very sad occasion. Perhaps some of his voice can be heard here. O, he also commented on Bates one time in the press… but I cannot remember exactly what he said, he did not say it won’t work, I think he said it will not cure myopia. But again, doctors are not God.



National Myopia Prevention Programme

Hi Mom_of_3,

Normal or not, it would be advisable to bring your children for an eye check by an optometrist every half a year so ensure their vision is clear all the time. 

Both logMAR and Snellen are notations that measure visual acuity of an individual. It can be measured with or without glasses. 


Hope it helps πŸ™‚

Clarity of vision for chilldren


I totally agree with your point on clear vision for children. The seating plan in class, however, compromises it by having wide windows and white boards. This creates a lot of reflection (reducing contrast) which makes students unable to see what’s on the white board clearly no matter how good their corrected vision is. So i think the planning of seats is equally important as clear vision.

improvements such as adding curtains, using adequately inked markers would help improve the contrast thus allowing the students to see clearly.

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

My Personal Take

Personally, I find that for a school going child, the clarity of vision is important. I have seen many a times, children not wearing thair glasses in class and having difficulties following the lesson, especially that now we are using the projector alot.

So, first thing, we need to ensure that the child is able to see clearly in class so as not to affect the learning.

Secondly, another thing which we need to take into consideration would be the amount of near work a child does. If a child is to be working up close for a long period of time, this would cause the ocular muscles to work harder due to the need for the eye to move inwards to allow the compensation of near distance using the lens in the eye.

This action of compensation, if maintained for a long period of time, would cause fatique to the lens and the muscle. It is just like if we read a book for a period of 20 minutes and then look up, we will find that our eyes need to readjust the blurness in focus.

Hence, one of the biggest culprit in myopoia is the duration of near work our children do.

On a final note, though thare are alot more things to mention, I would suggest that take the clarity of vision in class to be important to ensure that the child is not being handicapped by this difficulty which could be easily overcpome.



National Myopia Prevention Programme

Can someone please advise, my daughter had her eye tested last year at K1 and it was normal. Now at K2, the test results came out and the word “normal” was removed. What does this mean? What is Log Mar and what is Computed Snellen? Tried to find out on the internet and nothing helpful. Thanks.

Thanks, winth, for sharing

Thanks, winth, for sharing your experience.  That is the most unusual story that I have heard, that myopia can be reduced overtime simply by not straining the eyes.  The most common advice has always been to wear the correct prescription so that myopia does not increase further…  I guess you would still use this method if your kids ever need to wear glasses (touch wood!)?


I so agree that straining the eyes worsen myopia. Like doing homework late into the night, and under florescent light (not natural), starring long hours at computer screen /TV without (or with little) blinking.

Lack of outdoor visions (I won’t say just outdoor activities) also constitute modern days’ rise of myopia – we travel in cars/buses (vs walking/cycling), we live in smaller places where living quarters are more enclosed. (vs villages/the country). There is less opportunity to stretch our eye muscles.

My DH and I are trying to provide our kids with more “long-distance visual activities” like looking out of our full height glass windows, taking walks, cycling, looking out of the window when we travel, visit parks, fly kites, watching the clouds/moon, observing changes in the sky…

From personal experience, wearing spectacles worsens myopia and wearing contact lenses as a substitute slows down the increase of power.

Hi Busymom, I started using

Hi Busymom,

I started using pin-hole glasses only 1 month back after reading so much about Bates’ Method. And yes, only when seated and trying to look at the PC for brief 15-30 mins. If I have to work and staring into the screen, I will use my normal glasses to help me shield off the radiation and to prevent constain straining. If I don’t wear any aid when using computer, I might have to strain my eyes to see cos I place my PC very far from me. And no, pin-hole glasses cannot be used outdoors or for driving.

Due to the short amount of time used, I cannot say that pin-hole glasses has reduced my myopia. It basically helps me reduce my reliance of glasses.

But I have reduced my myopia since when I was a child without any pinhole glasses, just the pure method of ‘NO STRAINING’ of eyes.

I have gotten by from 250 degree at Pri 6 (without glasses cos I seriously get dizzy when I try to walk with glasses on). So my purple glasses was basically 1 day off before I stopped using it.

Sec 1-4, zero glasses used. Had a pair of glasses only when I need to see what’s on the blackboard. Other than that, I relied on what my eyes can see. And yes, I need a pair of glasses, when I try to catch the morning bus plus the bus stop is empty (so I cannot rely on others to flag down the bus for me and I will run late for school if I don’t catch my bus)

Perfect eyesight by Sec 4 (normal daily life doesn’t involve glasses)

Good (not perfect) eyesight up to JC (until I tried to use contact lenses for the fashion thingy). Then right after that, my myopia shot up to 250 degrees.

I didn’t care what the optican said about keeping to the correct prescription of contact lenses and glasses, and maintain wanting my spectacles fixed at 200 degree. And I can still see fine.

Glasses still make me dizzy when I try to wear them (but I guess that’s a good way of telling myself that my eyes just aren’t made for glasses).

Hi.... You may want to try this one!

From a young age, my sister reads a lot. But she has perfect eye sight – the only one in our family of 9. Her method is nice and cheap.

What she does is that she ‘washes’ her eyes everyday. She gets a small basin of water, puts her face into the water and rolls her eyes clockwise and anti-clockwise. And it works like magic! She is more than 50 now, and she doesn’t even suffer from lao hua!

I am short sighted already… πŸ™  But I use this method to get myself freshen up every morning and night. I am also less tired and have less eye irritations after I started  this method one year ago.

Please try…..

Contact me if you want more infomation. πŸ™‚

Jennykhots, I personal


I personal opinion is that at 10 years old, the child may not be able to upkeep the hygiene side of using contact lens and this may lead to unrecoverable consequences.

Do think twice.

at what age should kids wear contact lens?


I have only heard of going to the eye doctor (the one who performs the lasik) to sign up for a package. (he will apply special eye drop for the child over a span of 6 months which helps slow down the rate of increase)  I think it has something to do with dilating the pupil.  My friend’s kid eyesight shot up to 175 degrees from 75 degrees within a year and after she started on this package, the child’s eyesight has dropped to 125 degrees and it has been stabilized at this 125 degrees for 6 months already.  I am planning to let my girl try this package in June. On the other hand, I am also thinking about the option of contact lens but  she is only 10 years old, is it too young for her to try? Any parent who has allowed their kids to put on contact lens at this age already?  Kindly share


Could you share what

Hi amylgf

Could you share what neuro-Vision is all about?

Hi winth How long do you

Hi winth

How long do you have to put on the pinhole glasses? Is it only when you are working on the computer?  Without it, are you able to see what’s on the computer clearly?

But more importantly, has wearing the pinhole glasses reduced your myopia?


2ppaamm, I always suspect


I always suspect that there is a conspircy theory on myopia and the glasses companies… 

You see, like Tamarind, I read a lot of Chinese novels lying down and in dim light from young.  the words are small and tiny.  But I have perfect eyesight compared to my younger sister and brother, who didn’t read as much.  They complaint that they are not able to see and my parents brought them to make glasses and they are stuck with glasses for life.  Not just that, it does seem like their degrees get higher and higher and higer.  I started to get a little short-sighted when i started work and due to staring of the computers and sleeping late.  But I get by without glasses and I think I can still see fairly well – at the very least i can still see and drive at night. 

Relazing the eye is really important.  I think I will nag my kids and hope that they don’t need to glasses at all.

Thanks for sharing!

winth and tamarind, You are

winth and tamarind,

You are the real life example. This demonstrate that what optometrist usually told us that not wearing the minus lenses will worsen myopia is NOT true!

I am just wondering if singapore eye doctors, optometrist know all these? I heard from myopia prevention website that they didn’t tell us the truth in order to protect their business.

Well, nevertheless, I feel that I didn’t let my daughter to put on glasses is the correct decision. but just couldn’t stop her from squinting.
She squint not only for words, she squint at everything far, even people!
That squinting doesn’t help with stable the myopia. and so far there is no effective solution to control myopia without too invasive.
where should we go?

Well, forget about MyoVison lense. It is just another minus lense manufacture in different way. If anyone use this new lenses and myopia can control or stopped, I am the 1st person who want to know.

2ppaamm, Thanks for sharing


Thanks for sharing your feedback on the neuro-Vision.
Initially I want to try out, but they don’t accept younger children.
So your child tried and didn’t work at all?

if that is the case, why singapore eye center want to do that? and claimed to be ‘scientific proved’ some more…

Base on personal

Base on personal experience, I can support this theory of not straining the eyes.
I also just give up and don’t bother trying if I cannot see something.  In fact, nowadays I cannot see what is written on the white board clearly if I sit at the back of the classroom.  Then I just refer to the notes, or sit closer if it is important.

My eyesight was perfect all the way until university, even though I read many books when I was a teenager. And I have bad habits, I love to lie down and read.  But I didn’t need spectacles.

My eyesight now is not as good as the time when I was still studying, due to many hours of staring at the computer screen.  But I can see many times better compared to my hubby, who cannot even walk outside without his spectacles.

Hi ppaamm, Thanks for the

Hi ppaamm,

Thanks for the share! Me too, I don’t wear glasses cos they give me a ‘headache’ and I feel giddy wearing them. So I’ve been glasses-less for my life and I’m still 200 degree myopic.

Have read up ‘Bates Method’ and bought the pin-hole glasses too. Bec I’m only 200 degree myopic, the pin-hole glasses work for me and I can see clearly when I’m using my computer. It’s amazing how it works. Bates Method won’t work for those above 500 degree though (it’s stated inside the leaflet), so DH was very upset.

For Bates, he believes in letting your eyes ‘relax’ by powering down your glasses. When I was determined not to wear glasses at Pri 6, I simply refused to wear glasses and told myself that it’s okay. And squinting makes my eyes look small, so to act ‘cool’ I basically just walk straight without trying to get used to wanting to look at details. So in fact, I was ‘powering down’ without releasing that it actually helps the conditions of my eyes.

We have been told too often by opticans, when we complain that we get headaches by having a perfectly prescribed glasses, that it is just a matter of getting used to this ‘headache’ cos your eyes need to adjust. But actually, you are not giving your body and mindset a chance to ‘self-recover’ from the myopic state. I complain about this headache that is bugging me whenever I wear glasses, but the opticans only tell me to get used to it.

Now, I’m trying to wear my pinhole glasses while in office, if only my colleagues stop laughing at me .

Thank you for your comments

Hi all,
O, didn’t know this got here.  Here are some queries and answers (if I have them):

For DS1, wearing glasses definitely worsened his myopia.  But I am also not sure if not wearing anything and having him strain his eyes in school (where teachers cannot give preference to you if you are myopic and refuse to wear glasses).  When we switched to gas permeable lenses or hard lenses but wearing them at night (Ortho-K), his myopia was contained, prior to that it was increasing exponentially.  The amazing thing is that over about 1 or 2 years, it went down by about 100 degrees.  So glasses did not help my son, but hard lenses did.

Hehe, I tried that eye relax as well.  I will use that and have to drag my children to go there every night, then I had to do it.  Wa, very troublesome and as you can imagine, the impatient me soon got tired and now that machine is stored up.  I am sure it works to some extent, because relaxing your eyesight is definitely a good thing to do.  In fact, in China, they have ‘eye exercise breaks’ between classes.  Wonder why we don’t have them here.  I am just too busy to spend close to 3 hours a day monitoring this.
I’m already in mid-40s and still ok, not lao hua.  I believe this has to do with my can’t-see-don’t-see attitude.  O, and I don’t watch TV.  It makes my eyes tear.
That pin hole, I know what you mean.  Ha ha, look very weird hor?  For your boy, once puberty is over, I don’t think the myopia will increase even without the machine.  That’s what I experienced.  Check it out?

How true, it is such a big problem in Singapore.  I am one of the lucky few who enjoyed perfect eye sight for more than 40 years, when my son was diagnosed with myopia, my world fell apart.  No matter how common, it is always painful to know the child has to live with a lifetime of inconvenience.
Wah, you use so many things.  Reminds me of myself when my son was first myopic, I spent tons, even went to this neuro thingy, where they train your mind and people get off their glasses.  Thousands and hours spent, the myopia sticked.

When catching bus, ask people what bus number.  Nevermind lah, just sound a bit irritating.  I also developed this pattern thingy.  I recognize the pattern of bus numbers, so I guess the numbers quite accurately when I was young.  But my eyesight is very close to perfect (6/7.5) all my life, so I guess my problem is not that big.  Slides projected – you won’t believe it.  When I was an undergrad, I used to sit right at the back, if I cannot see, I borrow a pair of glasses and look through them from an arm’s length, to see specific words.  Strange hor?

How true, when I was in postgrad school and started to be more guai, I always sat in front.  So that I’m not the one straining the eyes.  I ask my kids to do the same.  But our school system is not that accommodative.  Tall people behind, short ones in front.  My kids tend to be the taller ones, except for DD2.  Maybe that’s why her eyesight is the best.  She is myopic only on one side at 50 degrees.

Can always start now!  Make sure you don’t strain your eyes.  Try a pair of hard lens?  Can be OrthoK or those regular ones that you wear in the day if you are not sold the idea of OrthoK. I heard they contain the myopia as well.

I’d be careful with lasik surgery, have you seen an eye surgeon who had gone through this procedure?  All my eye surgeon friends are still wearing lenses… I wonder why.  But again, to each his own.

Hi! Long time no ‘see’.  Most welcomed, just sharing what I heard.  Again, what I know may not be the full ‘gospel’.

Nice information

Thanks 2ppaamm for this valuable info….

hi Busymom From experience,

hi Busymom

From experience, a paid of glasses that is badly prescribed does worsen one’s myopia.  In my case, my myopia got worse every year without fail, until I started wearing contact lens. So far, no one has been able to explain why this is so.  I don’t believe it was coincidental.

On your quote above, I was once told by the optician the reason.  The main reason for contact len to be more effective than glasses is due to the gap between the eyeball and the corrective lens.  Because contact lens ‘sticks’ to the eyeball and moves along when we look up, down, left or right.  Glasses do not have that ability and the gap to our eyeball is much wider.  And of course, a poorly prescribed pair of glasses can definitely worsen the eyesight.

That also explains why lasik surgery is so popular now, despite the risk.

To learn more about me, go to Baby Samson or SAHMs

Thanks for sharing 2ppaamm.

Thanks for sharing 2ppaamm. Wish my mum had this piece of information. I start wearing glasses at Primary 2 and had experience ever increasing degrees ever since.

"Whenever I cannot see

“Whenever I cannot see something, I’ll just look away and say, cannot see lah. I won’t even bother to strain to see what the thing is. Not sure if this can help some of you who have children with myopia. Teach them ‘not to see’, if they can’t see. It will definitely slow down myopia worsening.”

I so AGREE with your comment! I tell my kids, if u cannot see, move closer! or wait for whatever u are looking (eg. bus) to come closer to u. Do not strain the eyes. Also limit the time on near work. It is the greatest culprit!

How 'not to see', if can't see?

We need to catch bus, look at slides projected, etc.  How can we choose not to see in these cases?

oh, by the way, I let my

oh, by the way, I let my girl using plus lenses (Lao Hua glasses) + bates method+ eye exercise to control myopia.

If anyone is using similar method or other effective method, please pm me.

Welcome more discussion on

Welcome more discussion on myopia topic.

I believe this is what almost all parents are interested to know with myopia rate >80% in Singapore.

ortho-k, pinhole glasses vs eye-relax machine

Thanks for sharing, 2ppaamm. Can you share your experience with orth-k lenses?

We got a pair of pin hole glasses for son to try, not sure if it was effective coz he didnt wear it often and long enough. Though he mentioned a girl in his pri school used to wear them to school. Imagine the stares from kids around her.

I swear by the eye-relax machine to maintain his current power. But from 3 times a wekk to the current once a week, I suspect his myopia is worsening. Need to look for alternatives.

Oh, and wearing contact lenses did stabilise my myopia; until lao hua sets in. πŸ™



Hi 2ppaammI do not know if

Hi 2ppaamm

I do not know if wearing glasses would worsen myopia, although I have heard this claim before.  From experience, a paid of glasses that is badly prescribed does worsen one’s myopia.  In my case, my myopia got worse every year without fail, until I started wearing contact lens.  So far, no one has been able to explain why this is so.  I don’t believe it was coincidental.  A friend also once shared with me that her mum, who is an accountant, had to change her glasses every year due to worsening myopia.  This apparently stopped after she went to a particularly well-know optometrist for the prescription of her glasses. 

A talk that I have attended before in fact claimed that wearing pinhole glasses helps reduce myopia, especially for those cases which are mild.  Ask DH to try at that time but he did not have the patience to carry it out.  Another rather strange suggestion was that active children are less inclined to be myopic, thus jumping on trampoline helps.  Not sure how true are such claims though.


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