Author Topic: Eyesight without glasses  (Read 141815 times)

Offline Pip

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Eyesight without glasses
« on: March 05, 2010, 02:47:46 PM »
Wow! My distance vision in my left eye had gotten noticeably weaker in the past couple of weeks and I had been getting eyestrain and headaches. I tried the anti-corrective lens method and in just one day my vision in the left eye was back to where it was and the eyestrain was gone.

I did try the Bates method years ago with no success. I finally got Lasik done about 3 years ago with good results after my allergies made wearing contact lens too uncomfortable. Having my left eye distance vision worsen to the point where it was causing problems in driving was really upsetting because that meant I would have to either have touch-up surgery done or wear a contact lens.

So what I did was close my right(dominant) eye and tried to focus on lines as far away as possible for several minutes at a time a few time throughout the day and there was some mild improvement. In the evening I wore +1.5 reading glasses and read my daughter's smallish print bedtime story with just my left eye with the book held as far away as I could get it. Dd sure that I was being weird! After about 20-25mins of that my vision was back to where it had been after Lasik correction. In one day. This morning when I woke up, my vision was still good.

I wish I had known about this years ago. But what is cool is that if my dd's vision starts to deteriorate, there is a good chance we can stop it in it's tracks. Thanks for writing about this - you have made a difference in my quality of life and I look forward to trying out some of the other hormesis related ideas.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 09:33:13 PM by Pip »

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 10:05:21 PM »
These are great results, Pip!  I'm happy to see that this is working for you.  Interestingly, my right eye is also the dominant one, so I used a similar approach as  you did to strengthen my left eye.  I wore plus lenses while working at the computer to apply just the slightest strain.  At other times I wore a set of of plus lenses from which I had removed the left lens to "handicap" my stronger right eye and "even out" the extent of adjustment needed. Or, I would wear an eye patch or diffuser over the right eye, to make the left one do all the work.  Like your daughter, my kids also thought it was "weird".  It would be nice to figure out a more "cosmetically acceptable" way to do this. But as you say, what you learn from this may help your daughter avoid the need for corrective lenses some day.

While your one-day improvement is impressive, don't be surprised if the improvement starts to "wear off".  It' important to keep up the focusing exercises for several weeks to make the changes permanent.  And even then, you may find you need an occasional "tune up", especially if you are doing a lot of unrelieved close reading or computer work. (Just as one keeps going to the gym to stay fit).  I find that breaking up my work so that I am using my eyes at all distances throughout the day is important to maintaining good focus.

That being said, I have been free of glasses for about a decade now and my eyesight continues to get sharper every year. I can read fine print and see tiny details from afar, while most of my over 50 friends are always reaching for their glasses.  It's amazing to me that more people have not realized that they can overcome the need for glasses.  I hope that will change some day.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 10:11:17 PM by Todd Becker »

Offline Pip

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 09:56:55 PM »
Yes, I am continuing to do the focusing exercises randomly throughout the day.

I think I found out why my eyesight went downhill so quickly over the past few weeks - I have been reading the news on my iphone in the mornings before getting out of bed recently. I noticed today that after reading tiny type on my iphone for about 10-15 minutes, distance vision was worse in both my eyes. The right eye adjusted after a bit, but the left eye did not. I did the focusing exercise and things sharpened up again. I will definitely ease up on reading my news through the iphone. 

Offline Cindy

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 08:34:06 PM »
I came over to this site on referral from an intriguing comment to an article by Maggie-Koeth-Bader on the "Boing Boing" site. The article was about prenatal sensory stimulation and how it can affect the development of senses like vision and hearing.  One of the readers had found this blog and tried the focusing and anticorrective lens technique worked on their own eyesight. It sounded a lot like your experience, Pip!

So I tried it myself just to see.  I am extremely nearsighted and have always needed glasses for driving or vision distance. But I have been trying these techniques and making amazing progress in just 5 days! I first practiced reading text at longer and longer distances, by winking shut my stronger right eye to make my left eye work harder. I got to the point where I could read across the room. I'm now at the point where I no longer need my glasses for driving in the daytime. I still use them at night just to be safe, but I may be able to give them up totally.

People ask me if I switched to contacts, but I told them I gave up my glasses using eye exercises. Nobody quite believes me, but I don't really care.  I'm really amazed not to need my glasses any more after such a short time!  Sometimes especially when I'm tired I am finding that my eyes partially revert but if I do the focusing exercises for a few minutes, I get the sharp vision right back.

Offline Cindy

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 06:11:19 AM »
Just an update, ten days into this. My eyes are continuing to strengthen, my visual acuity is great.  I can see fine print more clearly and sharply and also my distance vision has really improved.  I'm not using my glasses any more, even when I'm tired.  Occasionally, my distance vision is a little blurry at first, but by focusing on intermediate distance objects and looking around, it clears up in a few minutes.  And what is really coolest of all is that I don't need my glasses for driving. I do have an optical restriction on my drivers license, so when I renew my license I'll have to take the little vision test to get that cleared, but I don't think I'll have a problem.

Offline Student

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 08:17:07 PM »
FYI: Sorry, but these types of eye exercises and lens therapies have been scientifically studied.
Unfortunately, they do not work. There is some evidence that plus lenses MAY slightly reduce the rate of
progression of myopia for a limited time in kids. But otherwise, they don't seem to work.

Offline Cindy

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 08:17:52 AM »
Hmm...you say that lens therapies do not work. Then how do you explain the fact that I no longer need my glasses for driving or to read signs at a distance? This is not an illusion or a placebo effect. The difference is huge!

Student, can you provide any citations for these studies? Perhaps they were looking at different techniques, like the Bates or Bershak methods. I had tried those, and they did not work for me. What worked is using plus lenses to constantly read at the "edge" of my focal distance and keep pushing this further. I don't think this involves relaxation or other muscle changes. Something is definitely going on with the eye itself. There are many ways to make something "not work" if you don't do it right or long enough. It took me several weeks of constantly working at this for 2-3 hours a day.  It doesn't happen overnight.

Also, regarding children, I've noticed that kids who get glasses at a younger age seem to be the more "bookish" ones or the ones who are doing a lot of close up indoor activities, as opposed to those who are outside throwing baseballs. There may also be effects of nutrition. So you have to look at what causes myopia in the first place.  I don't want to over-generalize, but I think that in most cases myopia is caused by environment and habits. I don't think people are genetically fated to need glasses!  

« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 08:55:29 AM by Cindy »

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 01:44:30 PM »
FYI: Sorry, but these types of eye exercises and lens therapies have been scientifically studied.
Unfortunately, they do not work. There is some evidence that plus lenses MAY slightly reduce the rate of
progression of myopia for a limited time in kids. But otherwise, they don't seem to work.

I realize that there is some controversy regarding whether plus lenses and "undercorrection" really do work. My personal experience and that of others is these therapies work quite effectively, when done properly and for long enough.  However, many have challenged whether this is scientifically possible.

First, I agree with Cindy that lens therapies are quite distinct from eye exercises such as the Bates method and should not be confused with these. There is significant evidence, primarily from animal studies, that myopia can be both caused and corrected by the use of lenses, based upon the Incremental Retinal Defocus Theory (IRDT). The process of elongation of the eye is called "emmetropization". As I elaborated upon on the Rehabilitation page of my blog, those studies show that animals fitted with plus lenses undergo hyperopic growth which compensates for myopia. This is confirmed both by focusing tests and by physiological evidence that the stimulus of "retinal-image defocus" actually impacts neuromodulators, proteoglycan synthesis, and the integrity of "scleral structure" in the eye, resulting in the elongation of the eye and causing myopia.

Nevertheless, the efficacy of lens therapies has been questioned, at least for humans. For example, there is a key paper by Chung, Mohidan and O'Leary (http://tinyurl.com/chung22) which found that myopic children fitted with undercorrected lenses showed a more rapid progression of myopia than children wearing lenses with full correction. So the eyesight of these children actually got worse by using undercorrection than normal correction. This would appear to contradict the IRDT hypothesis that the eye can be stimulated via lens therapy to grow shorter in axial length, and hence reduce myopia. And this result has been repeatedly cited by others as disproving the effectiveness of plus lenses or undercorrection.

However, a re-analysis of this study by Hung and Ciuffreda of Rutgers University (http://abstracts.iovs.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/5/4791) came to a different conclusion. In addition to normal correction and slight undercorrection groups, the Hung and Ciufredda study included a group using "high-powered plus lenses". Their analysis found that the high-powered plus lenses led to hyperopic growth (in other words, shortening of the eye's axial length), which decreased the myopia of the children wearing those lenses.  And the progression of myopia in children who wore undercorrected lenses is explained by the fact that they wore these all the time, not when just reading.  This led to a diminished stimulus by facilitating accommodative focuses during "near-to-far viewing cycles", which underminded the benefits of undercorrection.

Based upon this analysis, the proper use of undercorrection would be to wear the undercorrective lenses only during long distance viewing. This is a key point! Note that, according to the protocol of the study by Chung et al (p. 2556):

Quote
Subjects were instructed to wear their glasses all the time except during sleeping.

The fact that the undercorrected lenses were worn for close up viewing as well as distance viewing, would tend to undermine their effectiveness, according to the IRDT theory.

In summary, Hung and Ciufredda conclude:

Quote
Based on IRDT analysis, high-powered plus lens, full correction, and 0.75 D under-correction result in relative hyperopic, emmetropic, and myopic growth, respectively. Thus, the theory is able to explain these apparently contradictory findings. Moreover, the IRDT provides a consistent theoretical framework for understanding the development of myopia under a variety of experimental and clinical conditions.

So far from disproving the value of plus lenses and undercorrection, this study supports the IRDT theory for treating myopia. The conclusion should be taken as showing how NOT to use undercorrected lenses -- don't wear them for close work and reading, only for far distance viewing activities such as driving.  On the other hand, for close work (reading and computer use), wearing stronger plus lenses are effective in counteracting myopia. Based upon IRDT theory, I suppose the ideal combination would be bifocals with plus lenses for close vision and undercorrection for distance vision, or using two different glasses for these different situations.








« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 10:48:37 PM by Todd Becker »

Offline Cindy

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 09:30:10 PM »
Based upon IRDT theory, I suppose the ideal combination would be bifocals with plus lenses for close vision and undercorrection for distance vision, or using two different glasses for these different situations.

I have not tried undercorrected lenses.  I found that using the plus lenses worked well enough. I agree that is important not to wear the plus lenses all the time. (How could you?) I now wear them mainly when I'm at the computer for long periods of time, or for reading. But for sure I don't use them all the time, and certainly not when I'm not reading or at the computer. I also try not to be reading or at the computer for too long a stretch at one time. I think it's important to keep your eyes alternating between near and far.

This really did help me, and I don't need glasses any more for driving or other long distance vision.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 09:32:10 PM by Cindy »

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 09:30:19 PM »
Just added a new post on the main blog (click here) about using anti-corrective lenses to phase out the use of glasses or contact lenses.


Offline skirrel

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2010, 07:50:53 AM »
can the same approach be used to treat astigmatism?

thx

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 08:47:46 PM »
Hi skirrel,

Your question is an excellent one.  I'm not aware of any simple way to use standard non-prescription plus or minus lenses available in pharmacies to address astigmatism in the same way that these type of lenses can be used to overcome near- or far-sightedness. That is because astigmatism is due to asymmetric imperfections in the cornea or lens that lead to defocusing and blurry images.  The eye has a non-spherical oblong shape, but a normal  focal length.

However, there is a way to use "anti-corrective" lenses, as advocated on my blog, to induce adaptive changes in the eye that will reduce or eliminate astigmatism. The approach is to order prescription lenses that do not cancel out the astigmatism, but rather make the eye work to remodel itself.  And that involves ordering glasses with a slightly weakened correction for astigmatism.

To explain how that works, let's look at an example of a fairly typical spherocylindrical prescription, which is written this way:

          sphere   cylinder       axis
OD:     -2.75       -1.25         x15
OS:     pl            -0.75         x85

OD is an abbreviation for the Latin oculus dexter, meaning right eye. OS is an abbreviation for the Latin oculus sinister, meaning left eye. The first number is called the "sphere". A negative number indicates myopia (near-sightedness). A positive number indicates hyperopia (far-sightedness). Astigmatism is measured by the second and third numbers.  The second number in this prescription is called the "cylinder" (astigmatism), and the third number is the axis of the cylinder component. The axis of the astigmatism does not relate to the amount of cylinder, just the location of the irregularity. If the patient has no cylinder, then the last two columns may remain blank, or "DS" for "diopter sphereā€¯ may be used. The above prescription shows that the patient has 2.75 diopters (myopia because the sphere number is negative) with 1.25 diopters of astigmatism at an angle of 15 degrees in the right eye, and the left eye is plano with 0.75 diopters of astigmatism at an angle of 85 degrees.  Don't worry about the angles, just the strength of the astigmatism.

The myopia can be corrected by using plus lenses (for close work) and undercorrection, especially to exercise the right (OD) eye which has the stronger myopia. The undercorrection could be acheived by ordering lenses with perhaps a -1 to -1.75 OD instead of the full -2.75 OD.  The left eye (OS) can be a plain lens with no diopters ("plano").

If the astigmatism is weak (between -0.5 and +0.5 cylinder) this can be done by simply eliminating any cylinder correction. If the absolute value of the cylinder correction is greater than 0.5 (which means less than -0.5 or greater than +0.5), then merely reduced its value by 0.5 to 1.0 units the next time you order glasses.  So the person with the above prescription might cut their correction down to -0.75 in the right eye and -0.25 in the right eye.

The weaker glasses can include undecorrection for myopia or hyperopia simultaneously with the weaker correction for astigmatism.

If progress is made, then further weaken the astigmatism correction the next time you order lenses, until you don't need the glasses any more.

Offline skirrel

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 07:11:47 AM »
But would astigmatism improve even if you don't have undercorrections for it?  for example, just a reduced prescription for myopia without ANY correction for astigmatism, even if your astigmatim is 1.25?

also, isnt it the irregular shape of the eye that causes the lenses to be shaped irregularly in an astigmatic eye?

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 06:51:22 PM »
skirrel,

You are indeed correct that an astigmatic eye is not spherical. It is asymmetrically shaped -- or more precisely, it is the lens or cornea that is misshapen, depending on whether the astigmatism is lenticular or corneal. However, this irregular shape was originally caused by visual behavior. Astigmatism is typically not a purely genetic condition; rather, it develops in response to environmental stimuli. It is often associated with myopia, but it can also result from poor lighting or reading habits, e.g. reading or computer use habits.

There is some evidence from primate studies that astigmatism (axial spherical ametropias) which is experimentally induced by rearing the monkeys with specially fitted cylindrical lenses to blurring, will spontaneously reverse over time after the lenses are removed. Removing these special lenses from the monkeys is the equivalent of removing your optical correction for astigmatism. This spontaneous reversal in the astigmatism is of course associated with a remodeling of the shape of the monkey's eyes -- back to normal shape.  Here is the reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810233/

So to answer your question: If you reduce your myopia correction but do not reduce the astigmatism correction, the astigmatism remains. The -1.25 cylinder correction in the above example is correcting for the axial astigmatism, removing any stimulus or strain on the eye that would normally induce it to self correct. The eye remains "happy" being astigmatic because, after all, all images now focus perfectly on the retina. There is no stimulus for the lens or corneal aberation to remodel.

By undercorrecting for astigmatism, or better yet eliminating any such correction, the resulting slight defocus acts as a stimulus for the eye to remodel. Of course, the remaining astigmatism must be mild enough to induce the eye's connective tissues and muscles to accommodate change; if the blur stimulus is too great, the eye just "gives up" and does not change. So just as it is important with myopia to gradually step up the plus lenses or step down the myopia correction, it is important not to remove an extreme astigmatism correction in one fell swoop.

Let me know if that answers your question.

Todd


« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 06:56:05 PM by Todd Becker »

Offline skirrel

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Re: Eyesight without glasses
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 09:19:18 AM »
I must have mistaken what i have said.  I meant reducing the myopia, but eliminating the astigmatism correction altogether.  ALso, i heard that astigmatism is caused by tilting of head, or reading at an angle where the eyeball must look to one side. (ie, putting a book to right of head and having to move eyeballs to look to the right).