Author Topic: Curious about this: Why didn't my myopia continue to get worse?  (Read 1998 times)

Offline Hillyman

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I understand the explanation of how myopia gets worse as lenses are prescribed, adding to the focusing strain for any close distance. I was prescribed my first glass for nearsightedness at 10. I wore them regularly for school starting at 12, and by the end of my teens, my myopia was -5.5 in each eye. I have had the same level of myopia since then (I am 59 now.)

So I have always been curious about this: why didn't my myopia continue to get worse after my last prescription? What was the factor at -5.5 that "neutralized" the tendency to get worse? So as a generalized question: why are the nearsighted who wear glasses not all at -10 or worse?


Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Curious about this: Why didn't my myopia continue to get worse?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 07:53:17 AM »
I understand the explanation of how myopia gets worse as lenses are prescribed, adding to the focusing strain for any close distance. I was prescribed my first glass for nearsightedness at 10. I wore them regularly for school starting at 12, and by the end of my teens, my myopia was -5.5 in each eye. I have had the same level of myopia since then (I am 59 now.)

So I have always been curious about this: why didn't my myopia continue to get worse after my last prescription? What was the factor at -5.5 that "neutralized" the tendency to get worse? So as a generalized question: why are the nearsighted who wear glasses not all at -10 or worse?

It's an interesting question.  The same thing could be asked about any pathology caused by a deviation from "normal" forces.  Why don't all people who eat a diet high in inflammatory sugars and fats continue to gain weight to the point of morbid obesity -- rather than stabilizing at an apparent "set point"?  Why don't folks who are sedentary continue to lose muscle mass and bone density?

The answer, I think, is that there is always a balance of forces that find a settling point or equilibrium.  This is a complex function of not just behavioral habits and environment, but also genetics.  In the case of visual acuity, some are fortunate to be born with eyes that resist permanent change or loss in accommodation in response to near work.  Their eyes "bounce back".  Others experience a progressive weakening in scleral tissue or muscle tone and are readily remodeled by near-point stress.   And on the behavioral and environmental side, visual hygiene varies widely.  Some who spend the day working on the computer still manage to take breaks and look both near and far.  Others slavishly read with a fixed gaze and no breaks.  And I think diet is a big factor that is not fully understood.  I'm convinced that a high sugar diet--low in certain fats, beta carotene and polyphenols--tends to weaken the eye.


It's hard to prove my position here, because there are so many interacting forces.  How would you design a study to prove it?  But it is consistent with the way that physiology works in the rest of our bodies, so why wouldn't it also be true of our eyes?  I have some further musings on "settling points" and what we can do to change them in my post on How to break through plateaus.  That post was mainly focused on weight loss, but I think it can be applied to explaining changes (both positive and negative) in visual acuity.

Todd
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 08:01:41 AM by Todd Becker »