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Hello and questions
#1
Hi

Sorry of this is the wrong forum, but nothing seemed more appropriate. Please move if necessary.

I came across this forum when I was searching around for topics on myopia.

I am 24 and started noticing my eyesight was a little fuzzy a couple years back. I went to see an optician and was given a prescription of -1.25. I had a pair of glasses and contact lenses made up, but have not used either much at all, as I generally find my vision without acceptable. I sometimes use them for driving and nearly always use them for flying (I have a private pilots license), but passed both tests/medicals without needing them and would be comfortable without. It's just that I am/was of the attitude that if you could choose between perfect and fuzzy it makes sense to have perfect.

The reason I am looking for information on myopia is that I am considering applying to the military branches as a pilot which require an entry level eyesight of 6/12 (20/40) and a myopia of no worse than -0.75.

I have downloaded a Snellen chart and am able to make out the majority of letters on he 20/30 line, although they are not clear/in focus. I am therefore not overly concerned by the 20/40 requirement, but my currently prescription exceeds the myopia requirement.

I would be interested to hear peoples opinions on whether they think this amount of myopia potentially could be reversed, or at least reduced to a -0.75/-0.50 level and over what sort of timescale.

In my previous/current work I use a computer a fair bit.

I have read around and yesterday bought a pair of +1.75 glasses which I have tried out for reading, reading at a distance of about 12 inches where the text just becomes a little blurry. I am also considering buying a lightly less powerful pair of glasses (approx +1.50) for wearing while using the computer as I like to be a little further away from the computer. Would this be a good idea?

I can't admit to being 100% convinced by the theory behind this, but I am reasonably open and willing to give it a shot, particularly as it would appear to have no obvious adverse consequences, nor be a particular burden to carry out.

My only other questions are:

- On the Snellen chart should you be able to see the line of letters clearly, i.e. 100% in focus, to say you have x/20 vision, or just be able to tell what they are?
- I have seen people claim an improvement of their vision on the x/20 scale. Would this also lead to a reduction in prescription on the -x.xx scale?

Thanks for reading and I would be grateful for any advice/recommendations about my situation.

Jojm
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#2
Dear Friend,

Subject: I am a pilot also.

It is good that you passed the "FAA" requirement for the private license. That is normally 20/40 or better.

But the military has a "higher" standard -- and that is naked eye 20/20.

It is good to know the exact regulations. Here is the military requirement:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://myopiafree.i-see.org/milvis5.html">http://myopiafree.i-see.org/milvis5.html</a><!-- m -->

Just scroll down to the chart.

This shows that they will "accept" you if your naked eye does not go below 20/70.

They also accept "astigmatism" of about 1.5 diopters. (Most people are lesss than that.)

It is well-known that if you are in college, your vision will go "down" by about -1.3 diopters (average).

It would be well to learn these (Bates/Prentice) preventive measures on imagination-blindness. For the most part, very few ophthalmologists or optometrists will VOLUNTEER this type of information to you.

CAVU,

Otis
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#3
Otis

Thank you for your reply.

I am in the UK, rather than the US, and the standards I am looking at are 20/40 and a maximum of -0.75 with the naked eye to 20/20 corrected.

My specific question relates more to the application if the plus lense for close work to someone of my age at 24 (I see reference to children and late teens, but little reference after this) and whether it is possible to reduce a -1.25 to a -0.75 with this method in a reasonable amount of time?

My only other questions relates to the Snellen test. Many sites/online tests which I have been using adjust the distance away from the screen, e.g. it is 6 foot rather than 20 foot and the size of the text is adjusted accordingly. How accurate are the results generated from such a scaled test? For example, if the paper was closer than my focal distance I could see every line, etc.

Thanks in advance.

John
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#4
Dear Pilot,

Subject: How long does it take -- to clear your Snellen from 20/40 to 20/20.

That change is about 3/4 diopter (by actual measurement). I have used BOTH Bates (See 1913 study) and Prentice methods. Currently my Snellen is 20/20 and my refractive STATE is +1 diopter.

I am wearing a +2 diopter lens as I type this to avoid re-entry into myopia.

I would suggest reading the experience of other pilots (Europe) who went through this Snellen clearing process. See a "Natural Vision" pilot who reached 20/20 and is flying 747's I beleive. (Check his home page).

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://myopiafree.i-see.org/natvizim.html">http://myopiafree.i-see.org/natvizim.html</a><!-- m -->

There are others who have used these methods (with great force) and it takes them about six months to clear their Snellen to 20/20. It is NOT EASY and takes great persistence. See:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://myopiafree.i-see.org/AboutUs.txt">http://myopiafree.i-see.org/AboutUs.txt</a><!-- m -->

There can be no "guarantees" on this. Only the guidance of people on "Imagination Blindness" can be supportive of you and your career.

Get your own Snellen -- for FREE. Put it up at 20 feet in BRIGHT LIGHT. Determine the line you can read 1/2 the letters correctly. That is the best way to confirm your improvement

Be prepared for the effort.

Best,

Otis
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#5
Otis

Once again, thank you for your quick reply.

It would definitely nice to recover to 20/20, but initially I am looking for a correction of -1.25 to -0.75 to be within limits and also see if the process is likely to have continued benefit for me.

I've had a read through the first link and will give a combination of plus glasses for close work and the eye exercises a go.

One further question I did have, was that in relation to using plus glasses for close work, is it better to do no close work at all, or is there an actual benefit over performing no close work in performing close work with plus glasses? I hope that makes sense.

Thanks

John
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#6
Subject: What "I" do for all "close work".

John> One further question I did have, was that in relation to using plus glasses for close work, is it better to do no close work at all, or is there an actual benefit over performing no close work in performing close work with plus glasses? I hope that makes sense.

Otis> In our "modern world" -- it is impossible to avoid all "close work". But what a proper-strength "plus" will do is to "end" all the close work. The "physics and science" of this are very clear to me. But at first "blush" the concept does seem strange. The real issue is this -- can you master the 'art" of prevention by using these Bates/Prentice methods.

Otis> I am PERSONALLY using a +2 diopter lens for ALL CLOSE WORK -- always. This is for prevention. I have no desire to lose my distant vision ever again. Once burned -- twice shy.

Otis> The first link was by a pilot who got the "gumption" to use the plus (and other methods). If you check "Home" you will find that he is a pilot for "Icelandic Airlines" flying a 747 -- probably in the left seat by now. It is always wise to pay attention to people who are successful with this difficult process.

Otis> The next link (Stirling Colgate) describes his own experience with clearing his Snellen. He thought so much of the preventive idea that he sent his "paper" to the National Eye Institute. And like Dr. Bates work -- they just IGNORED IT. This "casual ignoance" bothers me more than any other issue.

Otis> I look to imagination-blindness to help penetrate this "obtuseness" that seems to permeate the National Eye Institue.

More later,

Otis


Thanks

John
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#7
Sorry for all the questions, but I have been reading around and have a couple more:

(1) When doing close work with plus lenses, should the work be at the furthest distance away at which it is in focus, or just at the point at which it is just out of focus?

(2) It would appear that recovery (i.e. a decrease of myopia) is potentially possible when it is caused by a stiff muscle/spasms, but not when it is caused by a lengthening of the eye. Is my understanding correct, and if so, is a optician able to diagnose from an eye exam the cause in each case?
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#8
Dear John,
Since the time of Bates -- there has been a problem. The 'conventional" OD would OVER-PRESCRIBE a person. Then Bates would "cure", and take the minus lens OFF the face. Then the "conventional" MD would "over-prescribe" and put the minus back on the person. Since the person did not know what to do -- he just wore the excessive minus all the time. That is what "converts" pesudo-myopia into permanent (eye-length) myopia. This is why Bates considered that the Snellen must be restored (1913 study) before that minus converted "eye strain" myopia into permanent myopia. With this issue understood, then let me answer your questions.

John> Sorry for all the questions, but I have been reading around and have a couple more:
Otis> Always glad to clarify the intent of Bates 1913 study. Please read it.
John> (1) When doing close work with plus lenses, should the work be at the furthest distance away at which it is in focus, or just at the point at which it is just out of focus?
Otis> Just get about a 2 diotper lens off the shelf. Then take some reading material and hold it at 20 inches. If it is clear then push away. If not clear then pull slightly nearer. It should clear about 16 inches. If that is comfortable for you then read at that distance (or slightly greater) -- to show you are right at the "edge". Also, always glance at your Snellen on your wall to confirm your Snellen at 20/30 as you stated.
JOHN> (2) It would appear that recovery (i.e. a decrease of myopia) is potentially possible when it is caused by a stiff muscle/spasms,
Otis> This is what the "plus" i intended to reduce as much as possible.
Jhn> but not when it is caused by a lengthening of the eye.
Otis> If you don't STOP IT -- as per 1913 study, then pseudo-myopia "converts" to eye-length myopia as Bates stated.
John> Is my understanding correct, and if so, is a optician able to diagnose from an eye exam the cause in each case?

Otis> The OD is only prepared to make your Snellen very, very sharp. He has NO CONCDERN other than that.
Otis> Your desire to clear your SNelln is no concern of hit -- at all.


Best,

Otis
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#9
Otis

Thank you for the replies. I will digest what you have said and will fire away if I have anymore questions.

I will also double check my vision on a Snellen at 20 ft in good light as I feel there may be error induced by using a scaled version and I suspect my vision is closer to 20/40 than 20/30. I think my left eye is also slightly worse than the right.

I have started using plus specs for all close work; a 2.25 for reading and a 1.5 for computer work as I work with a computer screen further away than a book.

I've also started the eye exercises morning and evening that were listed on the pilots page.

John
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#10
What if the Bates method does not actually have much or any effect on the eyeball length or any other part of the eye - but instead what actually happens is that the Bates student subliminally learns to repostition him/herself and his/her visual apparatus/system such that instead of unknowingly looking slightly away or askance or not directly looking at objects in their visual field which can be seen clearly, they begin to do the opposite, and doing that results in object-reflected light rays being directed onto the fovea/macula and s/he attenuates to them so that s/he begins to learn to point themselves and to be pointed at clearly visible objects and points on the objects, and to begin thereby to see clearly? What does it take to stimulate the foveal cone cells and the corresponding cells in the occipital lobe/visual cortex? Is it possible that myopes simply don't know how to correctly position themselves and to use their eyes correctly rather than needing any physical change in the shape or construction of their eyeballs? Or am I being redundant and Bates methodologists already subscribe to this idea?
For instance, recently I have noticed a great difference in clarity when I simply stand/sit tall and tilt my head back ever so slightly. Obviously this would slightly change the position of the eyes/lens/fovea/macula and their alignment to the visual field (as well as perhaps provide for any vitreous debris to settle below the line of the macula). This would coincide with such expressions as 'a snob with his nose in the air' and Mary Corbett's description of the old American Indian who could count the little beads in his hand, and then tilt his head back to see far into the distance.

otis Wrote:Dear John,
Since the time of Bates -- there has been a problem. The 'conventional" OD would OVER-PRESCRIBE a person. Then Bates would "cure", and take the minus lens OFF the face. Then the "conventional" MD would "over-prescribe" and put the minus back on the person. Since the person did not know what to do -- he just wore the excessive minus all the time. That is what "converts" pesudo-myopia into permanent (eye-length) myopia. This is why Bates considered that the Snellen must be restored (1913 study) before that minus converted "eye strain" myopia into permanent myopia. With this issue understood, then let me answer your questions.

John> Sorry for all the questions, but I have been reading around and have a couple more:
Otis> Always glad to clarify the intent of Bates 1913 study. Please read it.
John> (1) When doing close work with plus lenses, should the work be at the furthest distance away at which it is in focus, or just at the point at which it is just out of focus?
Otis> Just get about a 2 diotper lens off the shelf. Then take some reading material and hold it at 20 inches. If it is clear then push away. If not clear then pull slightly nearer. It should clear about 16 inches. If that is comfortable for you then read at that distance (or slightly greater) -- to show you are right at the "edge". Also, always glance at your Snellen on your wall to confirm your Snellen at 20/30 as you stated.
JOHN> (2) It would appear that recovery (i.e. a decrease of myopia) is potentially possible when it is caused by a stiff muscle/spasms,
Otis> This is what the "plus" i intended to reduce as much as possible.
Jhn> but not when it is caused by a lengthening of the eye.
Otis> If you don't STOP IT -- as per 1913 study, then pseudo-myopia "converts" to eye-length myopia as Bates stated.
John> Is my understanding correct, and if so, is a optician able to diagnose from an eye exam the cause in each case?

Otis> The OD is only prepared to make your Snellen very, very sharp. He has NO CONCDERN other than that.
Otis> Your desire to clear your SNelln is no concern of hit -- at all.


Best,

Otis
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#11
I'm pretty sure Bates subscribed to that idea. When we try to see an object we look slightly to one side of it, so that it gets picked up by the rods or less sensitive part of the eye, not the cones/fovea, and is seen blurry. Our eyes do not know how to point directly at an object of interest. That is probably part of the reason why pinhole glasses work so effectively - by looking through the holes in the we're literally forcing the center part of our eyes to look at points of interest. I think a lot goes into seeing clearly, not just whether the eyeball is too long or short. It also has to do with the lens shape as well; in myopes it's supposed to bulge forward. If the ciliary muscle is allowed to relax, possibly it can flatten and hence vision can improve also (here I'm just guessing and only going by a fairly elementry understanding of the eye and visual system; I don't know what Bates teachers would say about this.) Also to see something clearly we have to be able to judge how far away it is in order to accomodate our eyes on it correctly. As the Ornish article that Otis just posted states, minus lenses compress our visual field (make everything smaller) so that when we take them off we get worse at looking far because we expect everything to be closer than what it really is. I believe Bates himself said a similar thing.

Cheers, JW
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#12
Very interesting posts here!
Theres a lot more happening in the eye than just its shape/length.
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#13
Definitely some interesting posts. In my case I am looking for some improvements that can be objectively verified from standard testing, rather than learning methods/techniques that will allow me to see better, but only outside the testing environment.
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#14
Are you aware that most tests in optometists office block normal eye function and result in temporary increased blur?
+ pressure to hurry and read chart, see it clear.
+ limited eye, head/face, neck, body movement when looking at chart, into machine...
+ there are others but I am too tied to list them.
Otis is right: use your own test on your home eyechart.
Practice on distant signs... keep glasses in your pocket in case you need them for safety if you have a day when vison is not perfect when driving.
When you get to 20/20 and clearer with bates method, natural fluxuations to a little lower than 20/20 will still be legal, safe.
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#15
Dear Friends,

Subject: Keep "focused" on what Bates and "Imagination" are all about.

Re: The need to UNITE behind a specific "cause".

I always start by stating that OBJECTION to the minus lens is the second-opinion. I think that is fair to all concerned.

Under that "heading" you then have Dr. Bates and Dr. Prentice.

It is obvious that Dr Bates thought that his methods could be used for prevention (1913 study) in that "pseudo-myopia" would never be "converted" into "regular-myopia". For this reason he insisted tha the kids clear their Snellen back to nomral before any minus was applied.

I think that if we would "stick" with that concept we would do better.

I hate to see the arguments BETWEEN Bates supporters. They argue about who "correctly" understand "stress and strain" and who has the "right" Bates idea.

I greatly respect Bates for his 1913 study -- and wish to repeat it by 2013. But some of this "bickering" would have to be resolved before such a study could be atttempted -- in my opinion.

So, read Bates 1913 study, and plan for the day when your children will be part of such a preventive study.

Best,

Otis
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