Vision correction without surgery - an experiment


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I'm a bit short sighted and have worn glasses for the last ten years or so. I started getting cheesed off with wearing glasses a few years back and tried contact lenses - only trouble is my eyes get really dry wearing lenses, even the daily disposables - possibly partly because I spend my days ogling the markets on screens for 8+ hours a day.

I was long overdue another visit to the opticians anyway, so I went down for a checkup last month. Turns out my nearsightedness is getting worse (doh!!) AND there were some slight side effects from wearing contact lenses for longer than the recommended 8hrs per day - slight vein inclusion on the cornea - apparently this happens when the cornea is starved of oxygen when its under a soft lens for a prolonged period of time, and my typical use would be from morning to night, ie: 12-16hrs, oops!

Now i'm not one for taking ANY chances with my vision - so I immediately invested in some of those lenses that are oxygen permeable for 24hr use - wish I'd known about these before.

I also started thinking about vision correction procedures to get away from glasses and lenses permanently - a few friends have had laser surgery and generally been very pleased with the results. I did a bit of research into the different types of procedures available - the most widely practiced procedure is lasik where they cut a flap in the cornea, laser correct the bit underneath and then stick it all back down again. 99.x% successful.

Now I dont know about anyone else, but the idea of having something sharp near my eye makes me decidedly squeamish - never mind actually cutting my eye open whilst i'm awake and can see!! :eek: never mind the unlucky 1% who have "unsuccessful" operations, whatever that implies.

Not really an avenue I wished to pursue - which brings me onto something i saw on GMTV a while back. Some doctor claimed to be able to correct vision just through "vision therapy" or special exercises for the eyes. I did a bit of digging and tracked down the course he offers - for $100 and 25 mins of exercises a day, he claims to be able to show significant correction of vision within 30 days!? sounded a bit too good to be true, and my finely tuned trading snake oil sensor started going off. However, he also offers a six month unconditional money back guarantee... which inclined me to think that maybe theres something in it after all.

So to cut to the chase, I sent off for the course - it arrived a week ago and i've been practicing the exercises daily since.

I thought it'd be interesting to do a "walk forward" experiment - i've got my prescription from my eye test the other month, so in order to test if its really possible to improve your vision through nothing other than eye exercises, i've booked myself another eye test for a months time from when I started the course.

I'll scan my old prescription and post it in here over the weekend, and then I'll post the results of my subsequent re-test. If theres an improvement then I guess that would be 'clinical' proof that its possible. if theres no change then i was conned and i'll be getting a refund - either way, it'll be an interesting diversion if nothing else, and if it really works then i've certainly got something to gain from the experiment.
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As a fellow four-eyes, equally squeamish about the surgery option, I await developments with interest! Good luck!
Jack o'Clubs said:
As a fellow four-eyes, equally squeamish about the surgery option, I await developments with interest! Good luck!

A friend of mine had inch thick specs and through using the Bates method is now 20/20 but my optician dismisses this as 'the ability to interpret blurs.' Well he would wouldn't he.

As for laser treatment I know of somebody who can see great after the op but can't drive at night anymore. Personally I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.... :cheesy:
The Bates method? Taking the mick, surely? After all Master Bates causes short sight in the first place, no?
lol - are you trying to imply that furtive self manipulation is the cause of my worsening eyesight, rather than my claim of staring at the markets? :LOL: :cheesy:

The course I'm doing was by a guy called Sorensen rather than bates, though perhaps the methods are similar
Jack o'Clubs said:
The Bates method? Taking the mick, surely? After all Master Bates causes short sight in the first place, no? for real!

I'm shortsighted but got reading glasses too (getting really old). The more I use the readers he more I need them, addictive things. I try not to use them now.
the very best of luck with that Arbitrageur.

being seriously short-sighted myself, I too have been dabbling with eye-exercises.
look forward to your results.
Hi Arb',
I'm resigned to wearing spec's for the rest of my natural. I dabbled with contacts about 15 years ago and 'cried' every day - all day. The discomfort was horrendous and constantly having to tell people that I had a heavy cold was very boring.

The only vaguely useful comment that I can offer is to say that if your search fails, revisit spec's again. I have Nikon lenses in my current pair and the difference is astounding. Having worn glasses since I was 6, I never expected such a pleasant surprise after 35 years. If you've only worn glasses for ten years - you're only a novice! Your pic' on your profile isn't too sharp, (maybe the photographer has been practising the Bates method), but it looks to me as if you might benefit from a smaller frame. If your current pair weigh much over 16gms, then there are definite comfort improvements that can be made.

Anyway, good luck with your quest.
Eye Test

Not sure where this came from... but looks kind of official....ish... :rolleyes:


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Good luck Arb...look forward to the results.

As an aside, and I have no idea what the exercises you are doing entail, as a yougster I remember my grandfather telling me (when i had to start wearing glasses at 8 - 30 odd years ago) that he had been short sighted as a boy, but was told to spend long periods looking at distant objects (he lived in the countryside) and that this would remediate the problem He claims it did for many years until he moved to a City when he was in his twenties and the problem returned.

again good luck
part of the course encourages you to avoid wearing glasses for stuff you can actually see without glasses. I'm not quite so short sighted that I cannot see my monitors without correction, and apparently when you're short sighted if you routinely wear correction for close vision work, you're "overcorrecting" your eyes and causing near-point strain.

kind of makes sense really - i can see my screens (just) without wearing any correction, if I wear lenses to look at stuff I can see normally I'm forcing my eyes to overcorrect the focal point which in fact is making my far-sight worse.

I dont know if any of you guys play golf in any serious capacity. I dont, but I've had a few lessons and part of developing a good swing is developing "muscle memory" doing the same action over and over so that you can repeat the same swing with some semblance of reliablilty.

a section of the course relating to short sightedness says the same sort of thing is basically true of your eyes. focusing is controlled by muscles, and if those muscles get over-used to focusing on something a few feet away, (read: your trading screens) without any kind of interval or break, the eye muscles will get used to being in the contracted position of focusing on the screens and will over time further inhibit your vision. This would hold true with what my optician said this last visit, that my eye deterioration is probably down to working on computers, and reading between the lines, my wearing glasses for using screens has probably not helped my situation. The course encourages you to focus on something 10 feet + away for ten seconds every ten minutes or so, to try and avoid letting your eyes get too used to focusing on a fixed point for extended periods of time.

I'm not an optician, but this sort of advice makes good sense.
two bates related videos you might want to check out are Meir Schneider's Yoga for the eyes, and leo Angart's Vision. Personally I think Meir Schneider was more faithful to Bates and the better of the two.

there are a lot of bates-related resources on the internet too including his books (for free).
This is an ISBN number for a Magic Eye book - beyond 3d viewing. It explains why viewing those crazy 3d images can improve your vision ISBN: 0740745271
two of the exercises in the course are about tricking your eye into focusing on something that isnt there - ala 3D viewing
ok, heres my prescription as mentioned earlier in the thread.

Left eye -2.75
Right eye -2.00

note the prescription is dated the 19th May, but my test was actually done on the 13th March - i had to request a duplicate copy and it came in the post today.

I'm about two weeks into the course, and I *think* i'm starting to see a difference. its hard to say really, whether I'm imagining it or not, but one of the exercises involves focusing on an opticians chart and measuring how far away you can stand before you see noticeable blur, and I can now stand a good few feet further away than I could when I first started (for my right eye particularly) which is promising, but not exactly a scientific measure.


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A very interesting thread - I have a copy of "Better Eyesight Without Glasses" by Bates too, but I've never gone into depth with the exercises. I'm only a -.05 and -.25 so don't have a huge amount of need, I only wear my glasses when driving and in the cinema.

One thing I have definitely noticed is that my eyesight gets worse if I don't look away from the screen enough, and leads to a headache if I don't do something about it. I find either holding my palms against my eyes so I don't see any light at all, or if I'm able to, staring at something quite far away and trying to count objects (like bricks in a wall) remove the eyestrain and headache the best.

I read once that aborigines have fantastic eyesight, because they're always looking very far away for food and have a flat landscape (i.e. not surrounded by buildings...)

hi Arb,

I await your results with interest as I'm a -3.25.

My daughter is slightly dyslexic and is at the moment doing eye therapy for 'convergence insufficiancy' (where your eyes can't cope with shifting from long to short) - as this may help (well stop the brain confusing her anyway).

I'm also reading a book about how eye exercises can help to alleviate dyslexia, but only on chapter 2 at moment. But I'm intrigued that some of them may help all types of vision.

You might want to also check out Dr. Leo Angart. A Danish eye doctor now living in Hong Kong.

He has had some significant success with exercises and (mental techniques) for correction of vision impairments - even some severe cases.

Met the guy once at a conference and his inner self really comes across. He genuinely cares.
ok, I went for my eye test today. I'll scan the prescription and post it in here later.

First I'll qualify that I was away in zurich last week and wasnt quite as disciplined with the exercises while I was away as I'd intended as I didnt actually have the opportunity to do any.

so the results are from 3 weeks worth of exercises and a week off...

Left eye = -2.25
right eye = -1.75

so thats a +0.50 improvement on the left and a +0.25 improvement on the right.

The optician was surprised, but qualified it by saying thats not a huge improvement since the measurement increments are so small.

I'm quite chuffed however, although I'd have liked to have seen a larger measurable change obviously. I'm going to continue the exercises with fresh impetus and go back again in three months for another check to see if there is further improvement.