Blur adaptation in children

My daughter began wearing glasses in 2017 (-1.5 in both eyes) at first she was excited about them and wore them more than she should in school, unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about it since she kept “forgetting” to take them off and I was not there to remind her, 18 months later her prescription had doubled but she refused not only the new glasses, but now will hardly even wear her original ones. This chain of events (in addition to some of my own experiences) led me to find EM about a year ago. While her eyes aren’t getting worse as fast, they are in fact getting worse (slowed to roughly a third the previous rate). My biggest concern is that her developing brain is terribly blur adapted. Is blur adaptation more dangerous for younger children (she is 10 now)? Or is it really pretty much the same and equally reversible when addressed? Should I keep fighting her and forcing glasses on her or leave it be and let her come around in her own good time, and help her deal with it then? Thoughts? Experiences? @Ursa does your blur adaptation date back to childhood? (Can’t recall for sure). Worrying about kids vision is much less straightforward as dealing with your own…


I was first prescribed glasses when in my early teens, but according to the opto I must have been living in a blur well before then. I wore my glasses as little as I could get away with, but over the years my myopia increased anyway. Years of study, I imagine, and a life-long addiction to reading were the main causes rather than lens-aggravated myopia, as I never wore my glasses when reading. I can’t remember when cylinder correction slipped into the mix. Nobody would have bothered to tell me.

I insist on calling it blur tolerance, as clinical blur adaptation is something else. Her developing brain will come to no harm, I should imagine. But for her eyes you would really need to see a specialist in child myopia.
I have not bothered to reverse my blur tolerance as my eyes are improving without having done so.

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Thank you! That is reassuring. She had seen an optometrist that supposedly specializes in childhood myopia and that woman was a fire breathing dragon! I am pretty sure what that woman said is part of my daughter’s rebellion. She basically terrorized my child and I, and even though I had found EM and knew better than the crap she spouted, she still shook me. And even now the doubt keeps creeping back in, am I don’t the right thing by letting my kid slide, her developing brain isn’t getting the chance to know clarity. But your improvements are the main thing I use to drive back that doubt… it’s just been worse lately… the remote schooling did her eyes no favors, but we are officially on summer break now and I am kicking her butt outside daily lol, but she won’t wear glasses, even if I get her to put them on she dumps them somewhere outside in minutes. Thanks again, I’m feeling better about just leaving her alone again, anything else is so exhausting! She can rock some active focus when it suits her though, so I take that as a good sign too.

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I am going to have to go back through some of your stuff for pointers on how you are successfully tailoring EM to your improvements in spite of blur tolerance approach. :blush:

I’m sorry to hear you ended up in the fiery reach of a dragon. Not the best way to get a child on board with reasonable use of glasses. You could get a fun Snellen for her, and get her to use her glasses when she looks at it from the right distance. This at least will give her some reference to clarity each day, and will let her see for herself whether her myopia is getting worse or not.


There’s a lot to wade through. Basically it was paying a lot of attention to what I could and couldn’t see, print pushing at the screen and active focus on distant objects. I measured every day, and initially used my reduced glasses for measuring only and for driving. I no longer use glasses at all, not even for measuring. This required strong intention, and careful attention, and I am not sure a young child can bring this up. You could think up some vision games to play with her. As much outside time as the weather allows will not do any harm.
Good luck.

Yeah that does sound a bit involved since she is super content to just walk around in the blur… thanks again for your encouragement I feel much better about this again. It is so hard to watch her neglect her vision while improving my own, but she is a stubborn child and I literally can’t MAKE her use her eyes.

Hi @Lloydmom
I remember throwing my glasses off at around 8/9 years of age as soon as I was out of sight of my mom. The next glasses at around 11 years old I forced myself to keep on under pressure of my mom and school. After four days I was “used” to them. In hindsight I wished I had thrown them off again as I now think it only worsened my myopia. I think your daughter might instinctively be doing the right thing by not wearing the glasses so much.
Playing outside a lot and the other tips Hannie mentions will probably help her to improve on her vision or at least prevent it from getting worse. I wish you much wisdom! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I was talking to another mother on Facebook, her daughter’s doctor was recommending bringing the prescription up slowly so the developing visual cortex could keep up. Her child wasn’t seeing 20/20 in full strength lenses.

I think the situation is different for children with early onset myopia, as it seems that there is a greater genetic susceptibility to developing myopia at play here. The visual cortex is obviously involved in the process of emmetropisation of growing eyes, and my feeling would be to go very carefully with glasses during this stage. I think limiting close vision, especially screen vision, is the best route to take, although that is as hard to impose on children nowadays as the limitation of sweets and crappy food.

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Thank you I am trying to increase in steps with her, but as mentioned she refuses to wear them in any strength for long. When I tested her the other day she is measuring between a -3 and -3.25, I had gotten her a -2.5 as well as the -3. Trying to get her acclimated to the -2.5 before introducing the -3 but she still defaults to the -1.5 if I push her to wear glasses and for the most part she flat out will not wear anything.

The remote schooling was an exception in this house, my kids generally get very little screen time. A little tv in the evening and only occasionally (like once every 4-8 weeks) are they allowed to use a hand held device for a short period of time. Unfortunately she still has a tendency to play in close mode much of the time: drawing, dolls, leg is and such, in which case it is probably just as well she doesn’t wear glasses. I struggle with trying to get her to look at distance more, she not inflaming further rebellion by attacking her favorite things.

Sounds very healthy, and certainly do not force her to wear glasses for close play.

Be careful with blur adaptation in children. Although at 10 years old it’s probably not as bad. The eyes need to see sharp images so that it doesn’t lose its visual acuity. “Use it or lose it” certainly applies here.

I think if you can talk to her about working towards being glasses free she might be more onboard of the whole activity. Maybe talk to her to find out why she’s resistant about wearing glasses these days, maybe she has been laughed at in school so a good conversation to resolve the issue might be needed here.

A) if she’s -3, -1.5 is a perfectly reasonable differential. When she does wear them, is she wearing them for reading or distance? The stronger lenses are quite possibly too strong for reading, and causing her eye strain or headaches. If she is adapted to blur at distance, and the new glasses don’t really work for her at close work, they won’t make any sense to her.
B) she’s 10, can she articulate her feelings about why she prefers the -1.5 glasses? Does she get input in picking out frames for the stronger ones?

Personally, I’d encourage using the -1.5s during close school work, let her have that time as a clarity reference, and let her wear or not wear what she finds comfortable the rest of the time. When she goes back to school, if you can’t get her into two planes of focus, you need to talk with her teacher about it. You might be able to get her printed copies of what’s going to be on the board/screen that she can read at her desk more comfortably, or bring in a laptop and get copies of the presentations to scroll through. Or put her in a distance lens and get her into proctored oral exams instead of having desk work. The bigger the concession the school needs to make the more likely you’ll need a doctor’s note for it.

She goes glasses free all the time unless it is to see the tv or the board at school. Or unless I force her to wear them, and that never lasts more than a few minutes. She always goes for the -1.5 unless I specifically tell her to grab the stronger ones. She wasn’t teased and she doesn’t dislike the frames, she just doesn’t want to wear them anymore. But she also isn’t inclined to have her activities interrupted enough to improve her vision. She does understand the tenants of EM. She is very smart, but also extremely stubborn, she is not the kind of kid you can force into anything. So I guess I just gotta leave her to it. When she watches tv though it’s with captions on and the volume way low lol so she has to practice active focus, which she can do quite well as previously mentioned, when it suits her.


Seems like a strong motivator if you can channel this. At -3 she’s only a few reductions away from being glasses free for near work and that should give anybody a lot of hope for reaching 20/20 soon.

Has she managed to do any reductions so far? Getting some results might motivate her to wear the glasses more often.

She doesn’t wear them for near work anyways… She literally only wears glasses for a few hours a week all told. She is perfectly comfortable in the blur 90 percent of the time.

So am I, and now for 99.9% of the time. I know you are concerned, though I can’t help but agree with the child.


My take is that improvements are slow to non existent if everything is blur all the time. At -3 even near work would be blur.

She leans into the desk when doing homework / reading etc?