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Ask Dr. Julie: How Is It Possible To Decrease A Strong Eyeglass Prescription To Just Reading Glasses?

Decrease A Strong Eyeglass Prescription


In this segment of Ask Dr. Julie, I am addressing something that comes up on a real regular basis for us. One of our specialties is taking people and reducing their lens prescription and getting them into reading-only glasses, at the same time of maybe changing something like helping them with amblyopia or alignment of their eyes. It oftentimes comes up, how is it possible? How can you possibly take someone from a high lens prescription like a plus four and take them down into just a reading only lens? Won’t their eye turn? Won’t it make it worse? This comes from our patients all the time. It’s a question that we get online all the time. It’s not necessarily from any one particular person, but let’s talk about it and let’s answer it.

To do that, I’ve got a case that I’m going to use. This young girl is nine years old and came to us back in September. She’s been with us just for three months, and we took her from a plus four in one eye and I think a plus 3.5 in the other eye. We took her down to a low plus power, so almost like a reading lens at the top. Then we put her in a symmetrical, in both eyes, bifocal. It’s a very big segment, and it gave a bifocal like a reading power, similar to what someone would wear if they had bifocals when they’re a little bit older. What this does is it takes all of the power away from the distance, but it gives them a lot of the power for reading, which is where the farsighted kids actually really struggle the most.

Will it cause them to have an eye turn? Yes, probably initially, but we expect that. Even if we say, “Wow, that plus four was helping to control the level of eye turn, but as soon as she takes those glasses off her eye turns.” However, as soon as I put her into that lower prescription, it’s common for the eye to turn again, but it’s only going to be for a period of just a few weeks as the brain readjusts and figures out what we needed to do.

Then we’re going to work on eye alignment, we’re going to work on binocularity, and we’re going to work on depth perception to be normalized. Usually there’s a period of about one, two, or three weeks where it is possible for sure to see the eye turn a little bit more. But you know what? Our goal is just to talk to the parents and/or the patient, if it’s an adult, and talk to them and make them understand, get them to understand, that it’s really important that they realize this is normal. It’s normal for this process. The brain’s going to readjust. Trust me, we’re going to train it to be able to readjust, and then promise that we’ll see better alignment.

Step one is, get them out of that lens prescription into something more mild, where it’s a bifocal, if we can. In other instances I might have to do something slightly different, but today this is what we’re talking about. Then step two is to realize it’s part of the normalized process to see the eye turn a little bit more, but we’re going to work through that and it’s going to get better.

Then once it does start getting better, we start to see some normalizing of alignment of the eyes without a hefty lens prescription. We see not only that, but we see possible eyesight improvement if they’re amblyopic.

Then our next phase is to see if we can get them into a reading-only lens. We’ll take the bifocal away, and will we see the eye turn come back when the bifocal goes away? Yeah, we will, but again, it’s normal.

Every little step along the way, I use a specific form of treatment or tool or activity in the office to help achieve alignment of the eyes.Then all of a sudden we change it up and we make it a notch harder, we’re probably going to see the eye turn comeback, but it’s because the brain needs to reorganize binocular vision again. It’s all part of the process. It’s completely normal. It’s not anything to be worried or concerned about. I hope this is a really big help to some of the people who ask us like, “What is this about? How does this work? How is it even possible?” Trust me, it’s possible because we do this every single day, and we are so blessed to be able to see people’s lens prescriptions reduce dramatically, improve their eyesight, and help them to be non-amblyopic, achieve alignment of the eyes binocularity and depth perception, and all of those things.

It works! So if this is you, or your child who have a really high level lens prescription, and you’re thinking, “I don’t think we can get out of it”, then contact us! Our phone number is 618-288-1489. Give us a call and we can see how we can help you. If you happen to be getting this from overseas and you’re not local to us, you can still call us, or go to our website and fill out our questionnaire link that’s on that first page.That’s going to start a process of us contacting you back to see how we can help you. Again, our phone number is 618-288-1489. Give us a call, because we can help. Thank you.