Seeing Close Up Better without Glasses? Here’s Why

You might be wondering why all of a sudden, your vision starts getting better when you don’t wear glasses. Texts seem to be more readable when you don’t wear one. This is a common occurrence and the culprit of that is usually aging.

Farsightedness is the most common reason why people see better close up without glasses. The reason is because as we age, usually starting in the 40s, our lens start to become stiff. This makes us farsighted and negative lenses which are being used for people with nearsightedness amplifies its effect.

However, another reason is if you don’t have myopia or not nearsighted, maybe you have a wrong prescription. In that case, better check with a health professional and get the right prescription.

According to the National Eye Institute, farsightedness or hyperopia is experienced by 5 – 10% of the USA alone. It usually comes because of the aging lens of the eye in which it can’t refract like it used to. Due to this refractive error, people tend to have a hard time seeing near objects or texts.

What is Farsightedness

Farsightedness is when your eyeballs are short and because of this, light is refracted behind your retina. The retina is the part of the eye that gets the image and transmit it to your brain. Because of this, people will have a hard time looking at things near them.

A simple Illustration differentiation Farsighted from normal eyes (check the length of the eyeball)

Farsightedness usually comes with aging and genetics. If your family members have them, chances are you might also have them. Experiencing the following signs can be related to farsightedness.

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Blurry vision, especially for close objects

Source: National Eye Institute

Of course, another sign is that if you have myopia, you tend to see close-up texts better without the glasses.

How Negative Lenses affect Farsightedness

Negative lenses makes objects and texts appear near you. Thus, if you have farsightedness or presbyopia, you will have a harder time looking at things with glasses compared to not using glasses.

Negative Lenses are designed for us to see objects that are far away, this is because is helps our eyes refract light or what they call accommodation. But how they refract light is different from our natural lens inside the eyes.

The difference is that the lens in our eyes can adjust depending on the situation. If you are looking at near objects or far objects, it will adjust itself depending on what you are looking at.

Glasses are constant. If the power is -3.25 then it will always be -3.25 and the problem starts there.

To make it easy to understand, those negative means that it helps by making an illusion that images are near you. So even if you are nearsighted, it will make objects appear near so that you can still see clearly.

The problem is that even when doing close-up work such as reading, it still does this and makes things appear very near your eyes.

And if you are farsighted or developing hyperopia, you can’t see objects that are near.

That is the reason why most people can see better without their glasses. This is because glasses or negative lenses makes images seem near you, upon developing farsightedness, you won’t see things that are near.

Common Solutions to the Problem

The most obvious solution is to not wear your negative lenses when doing near work. You can see better without it anyway. Removing your glasses on doing close-up work is an easy solution. It won’t affect your eyesight in any way.

Some people report eye strain when completely removing their glasses, if that is the case, you can use bifocal lens which can have two different powers in them. Usually one positive and one negative.

But if you are not nearsighted and experiencing this, or you are still not in your 40s, there is a high chance that you have a wrong prescription. If that is the case, it is better to talk to an eye expert immediately as having a very wrong prescription can cause many problems and discomforts such as too much eye strain.

Will Your Eyes Get Better if you Stop Wearing Glasses?

There is currently no scientific evidence that not wearing glasses can make your eyes better. In fact, a study from Acta Opthalmologica even concluded that not wearing them might make things worse. [1]

This is because of a concept known as blur adaptation in which your eyes get used to see things that are blurry, this is bad for the eyes since you want your eyes to know that it needs to see clearer than what it sees right now. This concept has been well documented in science. [2]

1. Source: Pärssinen O, Kauppinen M, Viljanen A. The progression of myopia from its onset at age 8-12 to adulthood and the influence of heredity and external factors on myopic progression. A 23-year follow-up study. Acta Ophthalmol. 2014 Dec;92(8):730-9. doi: 10.1111/aos.12387. Epub 2014 Mar 27. PMID: 24674576.

2. Source: Rosenfield M, Hong SE, George S. Blur adaptation in myopes. Optom Vis Sci. 2004 Sep;81(9):657-62. doi: 10.1097/01.opx.0000144743.34976.da. PMID: 15365384.

What are the Side Effects of not Wearing Glasses?

The most common side effect you can have by not wearing glasses is eye strain. Not wearing glasses forces your eyes to work harder making it tired more frequently than usual. Not wearing glasses don’t make it worse.

But in this case, since you can’t see clearly when using glasses, it is alright to not wear them.

If you experience any discomforts such as nausea and headaches, then it is time to be more cautious and check with a qualified health professional regarding this matter.

What happens if You don’t wear glasses all the time?

Eyestrain is the most common experience you will have when you decide not to wear glasses. This is because it will take more focusing power for your eyes to see clearly compared to not wearing glasses. Some people also experience frequent squinting and headaches. Not wearing glasses will also not make your vision better.

Only the things I love is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I earn an affiliate commission.

I believe that tools are essential, especially in improving our lifestyle. Because I am a minimalist, I only buy things that add value to my life.

In this part, I will give you the tools I use for improving my eyesight.

Myopia Calculator

First, let’s start with something free. The Myopia Calculator is something I’ve personally made for my viewers.

Go to the Myopia Calculator I’ve coded, which will give you the details you need to start print pushing and active focusing.

I also have video instructions in that blog post, making it easier to use the tool.

Active Focusing Full Course!

So you want to do active focusing but don’t know how? I got you covered with a completely free course!

You can visit the course here: Improve Eyesight Fast: Full tutorial with Proof.

My Story

Alright, who am I giving tips on how to reduce your eye grade? What’s my story?

You can find my whole story here: How I reduced my Myopia


Another free tool where you can learn more about eyesight is on YouTube.

While I do not make eyesight videos anymore, many YouTubers are out there that teach how to reduce your eyesight.

However, I am not one of them.

Of course, if you want to follow me, you can find my Channel by clicking the button below.

Tape Measure

Have a suitable measuring device. I don’t recommend cloth or simple tape measures since you must always stretch it hard when measuring.

Get a simple heavy-duty tape measure since you need to pull it out. You can also see that I’m using this measuring device in my videos.

Blue Light Glasses

Okay, one of the things you will learn from me is that preventing eye strain means getting enough sleep. Guess what? Blue light affects our sleep a lot.

That’s why I recommend wearing Blue Light Glasses at night about 2 hours before bedtime. That way, you will be sleepy enough and have a good night of sleep.

I use a yellow-colored one since it blocks the majority of blue light.

Reading Glasses/ Positive Lens

A quick warning. Do not use a positive lens if your eye grade is more than -2.00. You do not need one if your eye grade is still high.

But always get a good quality pair of these glasses since low-quality pair of positive lenses might not be very accurate.

Furthermore, some of these cheap pairs are not optical grade, which means their surface is not smooth. Non-optical grade glasses confuse the eyes.

If you are in the last stages of print pushing (-2.00 below), don’t waste your efforts by having a low-quality positive lens.

While there is a simple test for checking positive lens quality, it would be better to ensure that you have a high-quality lens.

So I recommend this positive lens which is lightweight, scratch-resistant, and accurate.

Negative Lens/ Myopia Glasses

This is one of the problems of most of my viewers; however, I’m sorry, but as of this time, I can’t give you recommendations on where to buy a pair online.

I am just lucky to befriend an optometrist who helped me get the grade I want. Let’s see in the future if I find anyone that would offer to help us get one online.

Of course, I will check their quality myself before recommending anything.

If you know someone who can help the community, go to my contact page and email me.

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