Worrying About My Vision

In the mid-1900s MAD Magazine was born, a satirical comic-book-like publication which made fun of politicians and all things Establishment. Its goofy-looking cartoon mascot was Alfred E. Neuman, whose signature phrase was “What, me worry?”.

A roommate introduced me to MAD Magazine in college, when I was working hard at both my studies and my part-time jobs, paying all my own bills, determined not to fall behind. Dismissing worrying as pointless seemed frivolous and irresponsible to me back then. There was work to do! I had to study in every spare minute, please my employers, keep gas in my little VW bug so I could get to work, etc. There was plenty of reason to worry!

Firmly wedded then to my -10 hard contacts (with a -1.75 astigmatism correction too), I didn’t think about my eyes or my vision much. If I did, I would worry. As a child, my glasses got stronger and thicker every year, so my logical child brain concluded I’d be blind by the time I grew up. I practiced walking around my house with my eyes closed, memorizing the location of the furniture and doorways, to prepare myself.

My mother was an expert worrier. I believe I soaked up this attitude and made it my own too, before I could even talk. She would regularly worry aloud about “Nancy’s bad eyes” when I was young, a phrase which still makes my heart sink. I remember Mom calling me up in my 20s to tell me about some trip my younger sister was taking, ending with “Nancy, I want you to help me worry.”! What?! I told her she didn’t need any help, then started looking at the pattern in myself. How much of this Worry Habit had I absorbed?

Years later I started vision improvement, which brought my unhelpful worry habit right to the surface and in my face, so I couldn’t avoid it. At my first visit to the behavioral optometrist, after a thorough exam, he told me I had no serious visual problems like glaucoma or cataract, but that there was a lot of tension in my visual system. My eyes and visual brain were constantly worrying “Can I see that, or not?”.

As soon as I started reading Dr. Bates’ work, the natural vision pioneer of over a century ago, I encountered the idea that all vision difficulties arise initially from straining. If I had “a lot of tension in my visual system”, was I straining to see all the time? If so, no wonder my prescription was so strong!

My early attempts to stop straining to see, or at least to strain less, were frustrating, to say the least. It was deep in my personality to try hard at everything. People had always told me “Nancy, you’re so intense! Lighten up!”, and I didn’t know what they meant. I took a few yoga classes which were unsatisfying to me. I preferred my weight training and running where I could really push myself. I started getting regular massage, since I carried a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders.

I gradually lowered my glasses prescription, abandoning contacts since it was tedious to take them off and put them back in, and did a few things with no correction at all. I was starting to worry less about my vision. I could tell it was improving, which years ago I would have never predicted. The best I could have hoped for was that it wouldn’t get worse. I could feel the relaxation in my face now and see the new softness in my gaze.

Today I keep my physical, emotional, and visual tension at a low level with regular practices like meditation, exercise, journalling, energy work like EFT (“tapping”), and time with close friends. I don’t worry about my vision any longer. I don’t need to wear glasses, and can see everything I need to see.

I’ve concluded that my naturally nervous bookish personality was ripe for eyeglasses, which didn’t help me relax but instead locked in the tension. It took me decades to release those shackles, and that associated worry habit, and to re-learn to see in a natural easy receptive way. Maybe Alfred E. Neuman had a point after all. Worrying doesn’t help!


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Nancy
I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.
Nancy

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Nancy

Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.

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Ber10
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Ber10

Thanx for your reply Nancy! Yes I have to be more patient and challenge myself a bit more. Be more active…After sending my questions it became much more clearer to me (inner and outher clearity) I was in fear! Iam sorry for the questions, reading too much on vision improvement lately I think. Bertien

Ber10
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Ber10

Hi Nancy, Maybe you can help me out, because I want to know and live the truth. 🙂 Vision is a natural thing, wright? People who have clear vision, don’t THINK about it! So i did all those practices for years, read most of the blogs, but in real life I can not always incorporate. I can’t THINK about it all the time! I got used to the blur, when I went without glasses so its difficult…..but not impossible. After almost 10 years my vision is still not 20/20. Most of the time it is the same, -2.5 or so, when i became aware that my eyes weren’t broke. When did you think, okay now i’m on the right track? Isnt there a short cut I can do to speed it up 😉 If you have 20/20 vision why are you still meditating and tapping? Bertien from Holland

Joe
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Joe

If you don’t mind me asking, what is your visual acuity now? I’d imagine it’s better than -10/1.75CYL like it used to be but have you been able to get to natural 20/20? I have great daytime vision about 20/15 but astigmatism makes nighttime and darker, cloudy days a complete disaster and kind of ruins the whole day.

Joe
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Joe

Thank you Nancy. I did read the article about dim lighting and found it helpful. I know a part of it is that I need to relax and not be strained, but I know for a fact that the shape of my cornea is ever so slightly warped that makes everything in the dark (especially bright green and blue things) be seen as double (astigmatism). I can still function without glasses in the dark but it’s very stressful as I am constantly reminded of the double vision I used to not have, no matter where I look. I know that glasses will only make the problem worse. Can reducing my emotional and visual tension really help my cornea actually change shape and restore to a perfect sphere?

Vacheslav
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Vacheslav

instead of massage, one needs a chiropractor. and instead of meditation, one needs praying; like the simple phrase: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

Sheila
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Sheila

I am 71 and only at the beginning of this journey. My eye tension is at 18/19 and I buy readers at 2.75. Years ago I bought Bates’ book in hopes I could correct my vision problems. Early in the book he says that if you wear glasses it’s already too late and his exercises won’t benefit me. I gave up and resigned myself to slow eyesight loss. Now you’re saying there is hope???? Did I misread his book?

Steve Fonseca
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Steve Fonseca

The original Bate’s books and monthly magazine are amazing. Written in about 1920. He writes about healing all ages and most of his patients wore glasses until the learned from him. Your book would make him roll in his grave unless you did misread it. To heal your eyes is like healing any other part of your body. #1 Dont poison yourself NO Fluoride from drinking water #2 Nourish yourself (I was deficient in iodine) #3 Recreation/movement of the eyes #4 the eyes REST while they see and after they see (no strain) And also #5 See beautiful things. Want to see it. If you look at something stressfull your eyes may want to head in the wrong direction.

Larry
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Larry

I think he wrote you need to stop using Glasses to get improvement,

Steve Fonseca
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Steve Fonseca

Thanks for sharing… I’m on that journey of relaxing the last traces of tension in my sight.