Expectations: How Fast Can I Improve My Vision?

You probably have asked yourself this very question, at some point while reading articles on this site.  “How fast can I improve my vision, then?”  This question comes up frequently of course, and I hesitate […]

Jake Steiner

Jan 15,2014 · 6 min read

You probably have asked yourself this very question, at some point while reading articles on this site.  “How fast can I improve my vision, then?”  This question comes up frequently of course, and I hesitate to put out a general response.

In the clinic this was a bit easier to answer.  It depends on every individual case, though many of these individual cases are reasonably predictable.

Let’s say you are 30, physically active, with a healthy diet, spend nine hours per day in close-up focus (work, reading, TV,  Web browsing), go to the optometrist once a year, and always wear your -4.00 prescribed glasses.  You come to the clinic and ask me, “How fast can I improve my vision?”  I might tell you that by following all recommendations precisely, you will reduce your prescription to -3.00 within two months.  From there, you will improve at a rate of about 0.75 diopters within the first 8-12 months.  Past that, it may take you about a year for each subsequent 0.5 diopters of improvement.

Predicting physical recovery is nothing more than a guess.  I can make a pretty good guess for a lot of cases just based on experience, though I may still be a bit off on occasion.

Above is an example of a healthy individual, with youth and plasticity in the eye on their side.  The high degree of ongoing strain, and the up to date prescription give us some room for ciliary myopia (focusing muscle caused myopia) “on top”, that we can resolve quickly.  Hence the big drop in the first two months.   If you are unfamiliar with myopia progression, read this article.

After that correction of focusing muscle spasm (a diopter of that individuals total myopia), things will slow down.

Reversing axial myopia (where your eyeball has physically elongated to counter the long term focusing muscle strain), takes longer.  Keep in mind that this is just a common case.  I have seen clients who had more ciliary myopia than expected, and recovered faster than my assessment.  

Newer elongation tends to reverse a little more quickly, than elongation that existed for many years.

In many cases, myopia that has been developed decades ago, takes about that 0.5 diopters per year, to improve.  

That sounds like a long time, but do put it in perspective:

You are getting your healthy vision back, instead of being resigned to a lifetime of poor eyesight.

Another reason I prefer not to make predictions, is because it creates expectations with the client.  If I tell you “0.5 per year”, you might indeed only improve exactly by that rate.  Not because it is the best possible outcome, but simply because I set that expectation in your mind.

If you read some of the client reviews, you find some astonishing recoveries there.

I prefer to start out with possibility.  You can, you might cut your myopia in half this year.  It’s possible.  It could all be ciliary, you might have some genetic predisposition to quick axial change, it is all possible.  If I don’t limit your expectation, we find out what you can accomplish.

For this reason I generally provide a monthly rehabilitation plan, we set up a measurement log, and I withhold predictions till we have a few months of progress report.

But then, this is the Web.  It’s a whole different interaction form, and so many time I can’t provide that degree of personal attention.

So there we have it.  Cat out of the bag, as they say.

What might you take away from all this?

Dare To Have High Expectations For Yourself.

You get the most recovery potential, improving your vision the fastest, if you realize that you very likely might have quite a bit of improvement opportunity.

Really limit your close-up strain, minimize prescription strength to where you really have that blur horizon in front of you in the right place, do challenge your eyes, especially for focusing pulling (outdoors, distance viewing).  

Don’t let the lowest number in this article become an excuse for you.  0.5 per year of improvement is my lowest number.  You can get 0.5 diopters of annual improvement, no matter your situation.  It almost a guarantee – if you put in the effort, if you follow the #endmyopia Method, you improve at least 0.5 diopters per year.  But much, much more might be possible, and has been accomplished by many participants.  

Appreciate Any And All Vision Improvement.

Now, if you started out with lots of improvement, you resolved 50% of your myopia, and now you are in fact seeing a slowdown of improvement rate – appreciate this as well.

Yes, eventually, a two decade old elongation might take a bit longer to reverse.  You are asking your eyeball to grow shorter again, where it had grown longer 20 years ago.  That might not happen overnight.  That is the sort of improvement much of the establishment decries as ‘impossible’, because it is slow, and requires persistence.  

But a half a diopter, is a notable difference, in many ways.  You realize this quite quickly, if you put on a prescription half a diopter lower than you need.  Half a diopter is enough to reduce the world into blur, even if it’s still a -5.00 lens (and you are used to a -5.50).  And with every half diopter you get a better image (less distortion), better color, less peripheral vision blur, and all the other side benefits that improve the quality of your life.

So while I am not entirely pleased at laying out all my little secrets here, use this information responsibly.  Use it to fuel your ambitions, rather than letting the figures become an excuse.

There is also this post in the forum by Ingrid, looking back at coming from using -7.00 (!) lenses a year ago, to being glasses free now – just a year later.  

If I had told her from the start that only 0.5 per year is possible, many of the things she had pushed for throughout the year, would likely not have happened at all.   So while we will look at her story in another article in a bit more detail, keep this in mind.  You could as well be one of those cases where you go from definite high myopia, to no myopia, in very little time at all.


alex cures myopia


Jake Steiner

Reformed stock trader. Kite surfer, pilot, vagabond. Father. And of course - the last of the living, imaginarily bearded eye gurus.

Topic:  Myopia