Author Topic: Pilots and their experience.  (Read 3178 times)

Offline OtisBrown

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Pilots and their experience.
« on: February 02, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »
Subject: Pilots who NEVER HAD A CHANCE.
This is for Jansen --in part. The normal eye goes down at a rate of -1/2 diopter for each year in school. 
If you can not wear the plus, or know the necessity of it, at the threshold -- then this is what is going to happen to your distant vision.
Pilot Brian Severson was at 20/70, but "woke up" and with great consistency wore the plus.  He was successful.  This is the only "claim" I will make about the plus.  This was written by Chris -- and I will post other remarks about the continued need for the plus, if you are lucky enough to get to 20/50 (about -3/4 diopters) from -3 diopters.  No one ever said that prevention would be easy.

Chris> New on here and wanted to write a quick backstory and my reasons for wanting to get my vision back.

I entered the US Air Force Academy as Pilot-Qualified. I had 20/20 vision. In my junior year, my vision began to deteriorate from all the studying (160+ academic hours in 4 years!). Mandatory physicals revealed my vision had gone from 20/20 to 20/50. They prescribed minus lenses. I was being taught not toquestion so I didn't question.

By the spring of my senior year, my vision had degraded to probably 20/100.  It's a longer story than you want to read, but I basically lost my PQ. This changed the entire arc of my life and career. Instead of going to pilottraining, spending a career in the Air Force, and fulfilling a childhood dream, I went into Satellite Engineering and US Space Command. Of course, thisrequired constant computer and near work which would continue to degrade my eyes in my 20's.

I'm now 42. I'm at -5.0D in both eyes. I believe my myopia was functionally induced because no eye doctor that I've seen between then and now recommended
that I simply not wear my minus lenses and instead use the plus lenses for close work. I would get hints from time to time, but it was like they were telling me illicit information.

Only because of the Internet have I found information that gives me hope. I got here from an article on ISEE

Though I'm not going to fly for the Air Force (I separated since I wasn't a pilot), I want to improve my vision in hopes of alleviating floaters that developed in my 30's. My understanding is that they are a direct result of progressive functional myopia.

I'm hoping to avoid the remainder of my life in glasses and dealing with floaters in my vision. I also want to verify that preventative methods will work for my young children who are already reading at 4 and 3 yrs old.

I'm hoping I can be disciplined and not lazy and see real improvements. I am combining the exercises with much improved diet that I have been working on for the past few years.

I look forward to keeping in touch and staying accountable. Any advice or further information will be appreciated.

I'll close by saying that I'm always incredulous at most of my myopic friendsand family who can't even tell me their prescription. I'm appalled that they don't care. Starting to wear glasses in college when I grew up an athlete completely changed my life and opportunities. It's important to me and I don't understand why it isn't important to more people.

This is an objective lesson on the need for the plus at -1 diopters, the need to make a long term commitment to the plus, and what will happen, if you are at 20/50, and discontinue the use of the plus.  I truly know how had it is to sustain the motivation, but Chris is very accurate about this issue.

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Pilots and their experience.
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 08:04:57 PM »
Subject: There will be many who will "fear" the use of the plus when they are at 20/60.

I have no doubt that advocacy for prevention (when you are at 20/50, and -3/4) will be met with TOTAL RESISTANCE on part of the person himself, and with strong objection of a conventional OD.  I don't know how to overcome this objection.  But I will post these remarks of a pilot at 20/70, who did not fear to use the plus with long-term intensity.  So rather than becoming a -5 diopter myopic, from long-term study, and then long-term missile work, Brian cleared his Snellen and received FAA certification for 20/20 vision (a positive refractive state.)  Here is his statement:



Brian Severson was in an engineering college when he began to get into nearsightedness. In previous years Brian observed his brother become seriously nearsighted when he used a negative lens. He had received no information on prevention from the eye doctors he consulted. By his own understanding and perseverance, and some conversations with me, he returned his vision to normal as he describes in the following two letters.


     Hi!  I went out and bought a pair of +1.75 diopter reading
glasses, and two days later my vision improved from 20/70 - 20/80
to 20/50 at an exam today.  The Doctor wanted to sell me $500.00
worth of (Band-aid) lenses.  What a ripoff!

     Please rush me your book. I enjoyed talking to your wife.  I
will keep you posted on my improvements.  Someday when I get a
real job that pays more than $10,000/year I will call and chat
with you.

         Thanks again,

         Brian Severson

P.S.  I have a 1st class physical soon and need to improve my vision
      before then, or send $156 to my eye doctor for one replacement

     I'm sorry I have not taken the time to write or call you
until now.  On December 4, 1990, I passed a FAA 1st Class Physical
and, under much less than ideal conditions, read 20/15 on the eye

     Thank you for all you have done to help me.  I have at least
15 pilots and friends now wearing reading glasses.  I am
one-quarter through the rough draft on my vision book, and I am
slowly making progress.

     Is it still O.K.  for me to plagiarize (with credit, of
course) from your book?  If so, please reply in writing with

       Thanks & God bless,

       Brian Severson


While I advocate prevention, I will not make "claims" about this issue.  I think we should be warned about self-induced myopia (at 20/40), and with education, find in ourselves the motivation before this situation get totally out of control.  Otis

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Pilots and their experience.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 01:20:43 PM »
To encourage Janson, and other people who are in school and are at 20/50 to 20/60, I will post this experience of my nephew.
I had learned that our "un-protected" eyes go down at a rate of -1/2 diopter per year.  Further, it was clear that some ODs KNEW THIS -- but were not
capable of TELLING OF OF THIS FACT ABOUT OUR EYES RESPONSIVENESS TO LONG TERM NEAR.  That is and will be a WARNING to us, that no OD is "set up" to
help us when we are at 20/40 to 20/70, and we could bring it under control ourselves.  Here are the remarks of my nephew, who listened to the concept, and
realized that he had no choice -- but to do prevention himself.  As long as he passed the DMV requirement of 20/40, he could avoid the minus.  He is now 44 years old,
and still will wear the plus when necessary.  There are ODs who will imply that 'wearing the plus will 'hurt' your eyes.  In fact, the opposite is true.  If you even start with
the minus, your eyes, not only continue to adapt to that near, but begin adapting to that minus which you are wearing.  It is indeed very difficult to explain this to any
person.  But some people seem to intuitively get the idea.



Dear Uncle,          February 19,

     Thank you very much for the book, "How to Avoid
Nearsightedness".  I got it yesterday after I came back from the
weekend.  I am looking forward to reading it soon, but for now I
have a great deal of school work to read.

     I would imagine you'll be pleased to have me tell you that
one of the first things I did after opening your book was to check
my eyes with the eye chart.  I am able to read the 20/20 line on
the eye-chart. I have been using my drug store plus lenses most
of the time now.  I have always passed the driver's license eye

     I use these glasses nearly 100 percent of the time when I
read text books and use them for about 70 percent of the total
reading I do.  I started using them as much as possible again
because, at the end of last semester my sight was pretty bad (I
didn't check them on a chart).  I am lucky to have an uncle who
showed me back in eighth grade that I could prevent my

     One thing college has taught me is to listen to others and
then use or adapt methods to work for me.  In the last few years I
have had a great deal more reading work to do. If I don't use the
magnifying lenses I notice fairly quickly that my sight starts to
deteriorate.  Then I realize it's time to do something to stop
that process.

     At the moment, I am wearing the magnifying lens because I
know what it does for my vision.  Thanks for taking the time to
tell me how to avoid a situation, wearing glasses at all times for
the rest of my life, that I would find unpleasant, and for sending
me a copy of your book so I can learn more in-depth about the
methods I am using.

          Keith B.

You can not "follow" a person  around and "nag" him to wear the plus as Keith did.  Only when the person is convinced that he must continue to
wear the plus (when his Snellen goes down) is prevention possible.  We all want that "instant sharpness" of the minus lens.  It is very
difficult to "back off", and see that no OD can ever prescribe this, and you must have the wisdom to take prevention very seriously and
do what my nephew did.  Now I provide him with four test lenses, +1/2 and +1 and -1/2 and -1, just to get him comfortable with
checking both his Snellen (he read 20/20) and his refractive state -- which he measures at zero diopters.  Just about "perfect".