Through the years there has been a shortsighted allegory accepted among certain factions of America culture about shortsightedness (nearsightedness or myopia) itself.

It’s commonly whispered among parents that one of the causative influences of the progression of the condition of nearsightedness is the continual upgrading of their children’s prescriptions which lines the pockets of the optical industry and perpetuates the disease itself. In short, by increasing the power of the glasses of myopic children doctors promote their own welfare at the expense of the child.

As one who has practiced well over thirty-five years in several regions of the United States I’ve found it interesting that many cultures outside the U.S. accept the concept of “holding off on power” far more readily than Americans. In fact I’ve had some very pleasant, kind and intelligent patients from eastern countries explain that the concept of “under-prescribing” is commonly practiced in their country either as dictated by doctors or parents. Of course, I have no personal experience within those nations, only the accounts of others.

So it’s true that keeping your children’s glasses exactly on prescription makes myopia even worse, right?

Currently there is considerable scientific evidence that not keeping your child’s glasses up-to-date is more likely to make myopia worse.

There is an excellent article in 20/20 Magazine explaining current science of myopia. This is a trade magazine and not a scientific journal, but the gentleman who wrote this article, Barry Santini, a licensed optician, cites several experts in myopia research.

Further information can be found at


Photo credit: Krewr Studio