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Ask Dr. Julie: Can You Decrease A “Minus” Prescription With Vision Therapy?

minus prescription improve

Hi, I’m Dr. Julie Steinhauer. This is Ask Dr. Julie day and we have a great question who came in from Scott online. Scott asks, “Can a minus lens prescription, which would be for nearsightedness, be lowered also or can you only lower a plus lens prescription for someone who’s farsighted?” Well Scott, that’s a great question and you absolutely can decrease a minus lens prescription.

So a plus lens prescription is given to someone who needs magnification. Someone who’s farsighted needs to have things magnified and look bigger. You can tell by looking through their lens, their eyes will look bigger and larger. Someone who’s wearing a minus lens prescription, or is nearsighted like myself, when they kind of turn like this, you might notice how their face kind of indents and looks smaller and that’s because a minus lens minifies or makes things look smaller.

On a scale of how things work mathematically, most people are born farsighted and go towards a zero point and then move into potentially being nearsighted. That’s just the way that about 99% of people are born. And so it follows this pathway of change of a normal progression and what happens, we call it emmetropization. So what happens though is that you can take someone from the minus end, which is down here and you can bring them up, but it’s really tough to bring them to the zero point. And even tougher, depending on where they’re at, to bring them up into the positive zone.

Think about it like this: If you’ve got a negative attitude going on for the day, think about how hard it is for yourself to have to bring yourself up from the negative into the positive, right? It’s a tricky thing. It’s a mindset issue. Lenses are kind of the same way. It’s a tricky thing to kind of take someone up from like this negative point where they’ve been at with lenses, try to get them to a positive point, and then maybe try to get them in the positive. If it’s so far down into the negative, it’s just not going to happen. You cannot bring them necessarily all the way to a null point or all the way into the plus. But you can get them close depending.

So there are some significant changes that you can make. It doesn’t really even matter how nearsighted an individual is, even if they’re like a minus nine or a minus 12 we have tremendous success with decreasing lens prescriptions. We can decrease something like a minus 12 maybe as much as back to like a minus seven or minus six.

Now that’s really good stuff and that’s on the tricky end. We might not always get those results. But certainly if you have someone who’s in the realm of like a minus three you should be able to decrease them back to maybe like a two, maybe even a 150, possibly even less. It depends on what their mindset is. That’s the most important thing of everything. And so if you have someone whose goal is, “I really, really, really want to get out of these contact lenses or glasses and I am all in, no matter what you tell me that I have to do” well, then those are the best scenarios and typically we’ll have really good results.

So Scott, awesome question. You absolutely can take someone from being nearsighted in the minus end of lens prescriptions and get them to be more positive or less negative. There are some challenges with it, but for those who are really committed, it’s amazing, amazing, amazing.

All right, they’re going to be more, I’m going to make more of these videos. Hopefully you find them helpful, so if you have questions, submit your question on our Facebook page or send us an email and your question might end up on one of these segments next. And certainly you can feel free to go to our website at You can fill out a questionnaire there. If you’re not local to us and you’re thinking about, I’d love to do this, but how, even if you aren’t local, feel free to give us a call. But definitely if you are local will then call us. Call us at 618-288-1489 we can talk to you about how we can help reduce your lens prescription, whether you’re in the plus farsighted side or the minus nearsighted side. Either one of those we can work with and astigmatism too can be decreased usually by bucket loads. So it’s awesome stuff.

And again, our phone number is 618-288-1489. We’ll see how we can help you. We’d also encourage everybody to, as well, fill out the questionnaire on our website. That kind of gets the ball rolling and it gives you some things to think about too, as far as what might be happening more with your vision that you’ve never thought of before. Thank you. and be blessed.