A couple of years ago, I posted a video called ‘Opticians Hate This Video’ which was about how glasses for myopia weaken your vision and that poor vision can be corrected with exercises. Due to popular demand, I am going to do a follow-up video. But in the meantime, I will tell you my story here.
I have had glasses for myopia since I was nine years old. After getting my first pair with a -0.50 Rx, my eyesight deteriorated over the next few years, until I eventually ended up with a prescription of -5.00 in my right eye and -4.75 in my left. I also had an astigmatism Rx and in my twenties I was given a prism in my left lens because my left eye had developed strabismus and was turning outward.
A few months after I had my son in 2007, I decided to get new glasses and chose plastic frames for the first time, on the advice of a stylish friend. I wore them for a while, but after a few months, I noticed that my eyes were hurting me a lot and it seemed to have something to do with the glasses. So, I started to leave my glasses off more and more often to ‘give my eyes a rest’. Eventually, it got ot the point where I could barely tolerate the glasses at all, so I went back to the optometrist. They said that my Rx had changed: it was lower now. They gave me a -4.75 Rx and I thought this would solve the problem, but still my eyes continued to hurt. So I went back, after again mostly not wearing my glasses for about a month, and they gave me -4.5. I went back a week later because they still hurt. I had heard the optometrist say my eyes were 4.25, so I figured the problem was that they had over-corrected. They explained that they liked to give a slightly stronger prescription to give me better even better vision, but sent me home with a -4.25 as requested. Still, the problem was not solved and I returned again. I asked if maybe the lenses were misaligned, but they assured me they were not. They thought maybe I had become diabetic as a result of my pregnancy, so I had a test, but I was not diabetic. Then the optometrist said the problem must be that my close-up vision was deteriorating with age (although I was only 38) and the solution would be progressive lenses. I got those, but they made things worse, so I got regular glasses again. You can imagine how much all this was costing me! Because of the constant pain, and since I was starting to think there was something wrong with the glasses industry, I started looking into eye exercises, to see if that would help. I found out that not only would they help eye strain, but they could also improve my vision. I started doing some exercises that I learned online and also bought a book on the Bates method. Before finding this information, I had taken to rolling my eyes around in various ways to relieve the strain, not realizing that this could actually be helpful to my vision.
At this point, seeing that my myopia prescription kept going down, I also asked the optometrist if they could just give me weaker lenses, but they would not do that. So after a while, I found another optometrist who would do this, and I got lenses that were two diopters weaker than what I supposedly needed. This doctor also noticed that my Rx was now -4.00, and tht I no longer needed a prism and my astigmatism was a lot lower than it had been. Thinking that the eye strain might be from not being able to tolerate the astigmatism prescription, he made me some lenses without it. By this time, I had been doing the exercises for a couple of months. It seemed to me that they must be working, since I no longer needed the prism, and I thought they might have helped with the myopia and astigmatism as well.
So, I wore the weaker lenses, although I left them off a lot because they still hurt. I figured this obviously could not be because of an overly strong prescription, or astigmatism correction, and I felt a bit despondent that I would never again be able to wear glasses comfortably. I thought maybe my eyes really were deteriorating because of age, and couldn’t accommodate to the lenses anymore. Still, I kept doing the exercises. About a six months of so later. I went to get some new glasses because my frames were getting old, and it turned out that my Rx had gone down to -2.75 and -3.00. I got a new pair with my ‘ideal ‘ prescription, but they hurt like hell, so I also got a cheap lens in one of my old pairs, with 1 diopter less than I needed, and no astigmatism correction. When I told them I still had pain with my newest pair, they said that might be because of the plastic frames, in which the lenses are flatter, which puts more strain on the eyes. And the fact that my frames were a bit too large for my face would have made this worse. So that was what it was! The plastic frames! That made sense, and I was amazed that no-one else had mentioned it to me, as I went through all this trouble for the past year and a half. i continued to wear plastic frames, but smaller ones and with a minimal prescription as described above, and these cause only occasional, minimal discomfort. If they bother me, I still take them off, but it doesn’t happen as often as it used to.
So, it was the plastic lenses that had been the culprit, and they had led me to go without my glasses and take up doing eye exercises, and the result was that my myopia prescription went down by two diopters, my astigmatism prescription went down to almost nothing, and I no longer needed a prism. Of course, I can’t prove that this is exactly what happened, but it sure looks like it to me.
I still wear glasses. Partly, I lost motivation to do the exercises when I finally got a pair that I could tolerate. And partly, I like my glasses as a fashion accessory. But I am happy with the improvement in my eyesight and I believe that I could make further progress if I went bakc to using the techniques that had apparently worked for me in the past.
There has been an ‘explosion of myopia’ in North America over the few decades. It used to be that only a few children and young people in a thousand were myopic, but by 1969, this figure had gone up to 10%. According to Joseph J. Kennebeck, OD, this can be attributed to excessively straining the eyes with too much close-up work and TV viewing, and the use of myopia prescription lenses, which weaken the eyes over time.
Many people have used exercises such as the Bates Method to improve their vision. You can learn about some Bates exercises here on their website seeing.org/techniques/index.html There are also many videos on Youtube about using eye exercises to restore your vision.
Certain exercises are particularly helpful for specific problems, such as crossing the eyes to correct strabismus. Your vision is also a reflection of your spiritual and psychological state, and these states can be improved as you improve your eyesight. Please watch this interesting video on Vision Therapy.
Disclaimer: the content of this article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.