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Working Towards A Neonatal Blur Theory Of Common Myopia
Today I asked myself, what would be the newborn's reaction after receiving the irritating, blur-inducing neonatal antibiotic eye treatment? Since they can't move much, after squeezing their eyes shut they probably want to curl into the fetal position. Now, when I want to defeat the blur I remember that, along with using the Bates Methods and everything else discussed so far, I also need to fight the unconscious (now it's more just subliminal since I've made myself aware of it) urge to slightly curl into the fetal position. It is working. 8)
Today, while adjusting my biofeedback cd-in-a-cup devices, I thought, "What if I elevate them by inserting them into a couple of other cups?" This was a great idea, and now the last two lines on my Snellen are becoming clearer. So maybe there is some time length for each level, looking to gradually raise my visual plane to a more normal level. It has been about 7 months. The distance raised is about 2 inches. I am biofeedback-training myself to sit taller, more aligned, and more normal/relaxed. It feels weird because I'm not used to it - but not too weird since I've been gradually improving as well.
Also while outside, especially while walking, I have biofeedback-learned to adjust my head/neck/torso/hips to find the more visually-correct position, and everything is getting clearer. Again, feels weird but works. For instance sometimes it feels like I'm holding my head turned slightly right and slightly tilted. I also keep in mind what I know about neonatal antibiotics, as well as Bates Methods and Air Force dining room etiquette!
Also, I made another connection with my neonatal antibiotics-related common myopia theory: About 15 years ago I realized (sounds dumb now) that the inside corner of my left eye has a small dark spot which makes it look like I need to wash the sleepgunk out of it. I thought it must be a freckle, and that people probably see it and wonder why I don't wash it out. But now I believe it is a stain caused by the improper application of the silver nitrate which is known to cause staining.
My theory fits all the (known) facts and observations.
Neonatal opthalmologic antibiotics are instilled one eye at a time, necessarily resulting in an unequal effect, and thus skewing the newborn's first visual experience, and probably causing one eye to develop worse eyesight.
If the neonatal antibiotics are also administered too quickly (as in my case, within the first minute or two of birth), the normal infant could be prevented from experiencing any of the normal eyesight s/he was born with.
The infant is then usually soothed while experiencing the unequal blurry eyesight. The soothing would probably imprint on the infant the feeling that blurry vision is good and normal. After the antibiotics wear off, the infant would probably still turn away from clear vision because it doesn't seem normal! Since turning away doesn't help the blur, s/he returns to near work/looking which is wonderfully clear.
If the infant then never receives any training to learn the truth and adjust his/her visual orientation/ coordination/ synchronization for distance looking, the child's distance eyesight never clears - until lenses are prescribed, forcing the light into the eyes at the 'correct' angles, and providing an instaneous, magical 'cure'. (I was amazed and delighted to realize at age 11 that my blurry distance vision wasn't normal.)
How do you use the biofeedback cd-in-a-cup devices?
This is still in development, but here are some of my ideas:
1. To use the cd-in-a-cup device, place it on the desk at arm's length, between yourself and the Snellen chart posted an inch or two above eye level on the wall. (My Snellen wall is six feet away.) Now position the cup so that you can see the overhead light in it. If there is no overhead light, position it until the brightest local light source is visible. It will be helpful to sit in an adjustable swiveling office chair.
2. Adjust/turn the cup until you can see as much of the light source centered on the cd as possible. Sometimes I have to wedge a post-it pad underneath an edge of the cup in order to center the light source. You will probably need to add some water for ballast so that it is stable.
3. Now palm for a couple of minutes.
4. Now look at the Snellen and shift your head/torso back and forth, keeping your eyes/pupils moving on the same axis/plane and looking at the same time, same place. Ignore any inequality in blur between your eyes. You want to get the two eyes working together. If you get a clear flash and can read any part of the Snellen better, then the device is 'working'. Hold your head/neck/etc. in that position and relax. Blink. Breathe. Sit up straight. Lean back just a little.
5. Also try unfocusing or crossing your eyes so that you see two images - if they are not on the same plane (one looks higher/lower than the other) use head tilt to try and line them up, then relax and hold them matched up as long as you can. Then relax and gradually bring the images together in your mind/visual field. Hold your head/neck/etc. in that position and relax. Blink. Breathe.
6. Use your nose bone as a visual alignment device. Look across it left, then right, then point it out and look downrange.
7. Leave the cup in position and go about your business - computer work, tv watching, whatever. Who cares?
8. If you get tired of the glare you can turn the cup until the light source isn't reflected. Now it's turned 'off'! Brilliant and unpatentable.
9. Repeat the procedures anytime you want.
10. You can try adding an additional device to the left and right peripheries on the desk at arm's length and adjusting them to reflect the light source(s).
From my picasa photo album:
Simple 16oz styrofoam cup(s) with notches cut across diameter to hold a shiny unlabeled CD at an angle, positioned peripherally, to reflect an overhead or other light source across the user's eyes while seated, in order to stimulate central fixation and improve myopia. Add water or other weight to the cups for ballast. Additional use is while standing, holding the cups in hands, arms outstretched (cf: DaVinci's Man Inscribed in a Circle), and use as above.
I forgot to add another 'use' of the cd-in-a-cup:
After getting it into postion, slowly rotate your head on a level horizontal plane, all the way back and forth, keeping the eyes/pupils working together, and the light reflection visible in one eye, then both eyes, then the other eye. But don't look at the cd, just experience it in your lower periphery.
Today's discovery is that if I purposely keep my head in what feels to me like an exaggerated tilted-back position, and tilt sideways to adjust for astigmatism and the weaker eye, my clear flashing improves and I have more control over it. For instance, at my desk I can now easily distinguish and count the individual sentences on my two National Geographic wall map posters. On the one that is nearer to me (six foot vs eight foot) I can count the individual words and even read some of them. Previously these paragraphs were all blur. Outside, while walking, others' facial features and expressions are much more distinct even from across the street, although even though I can see their eyes now, I still can't distinguish eyecolor yet. Also if I defeat the urge to look down while walking, the clarity is maintained and improved.
Keep my hands visible.
A simple thought.
A clear (yet shadowy) memory of walking down the hall in 2nd grade, and seeing my(?) teacher, tall, thin, brunette (like my mother), laughing and swinging her arms like a -- and then I embarrasingly realize she is imitating me. I resurrected this memory decades ago, but never understood its full implications until today.
Today I'm making a conscious effort to keep my hands visible in my periphery.
They provide a continuous peripheral stimulus.
My eyesight is improving.
As I jokingly mentioned in a previous post about the possible benefits of being hypnotized, regressed back to prebirth, 1-hour neonatal and post-1hour infancy, and then working forward, trying to hold on to the normal vision I believe I was born with, this 2nd grade experience probably resulted in another wrong thing I learned: to keep my hands - a natural peripheral stimulus necessary for normal vision re-stimulation (made necessary by the forced nearsight fixation caused by the neonatal eye antibiotics) - invisible rather than visible.
Keep my hands visible.
Check out the line in Moby Dick where Ishmael catches a glimpse of glare from light reflected off of a sailor's arm.
O0 8) Smile
Today, I noticed that when I uncover from palming, my vision clears better if I first look at some bright light source (or my cd-in-a-cup biofeedback device) before looking at the Snellen, etc.

Then I thought of this song, sung to the Sesame Street tune:
Which one of your eyes is worse than the other?
Which one of your eyes has vision that's worse?
Which one of your eyes is worse than the other?
That's the one the nurse treated first!
Over the weekend I was doing some 'mirror work' in a small bathroom, and happened to have hung a large dark towel on the shower curtain behind me. (The mirror work mostly involves using my observed reflection to learn to adjust my head/neck/torso positioning so that my eyes are on the same visual plane while stationary and while rotating; aligning the ears along with the eyes is helpful.) I had noticed previously that if I tried to see the background details instead of just looking at myself, my vision improved. This time, with the dark backdrop behind my head, there was additional improvement. It made me remember a line from the New Testament where Jesus rebukes Satan for tempting him, and tells Satan to get 'behind' him. He also uses that same line to rebuke Peter. Satan = prince of darkness. Why wouldn't Jesus have just said to get 'away' from him? I then remembered Dr. Bates' recommendation to remember a perfect black period - but he probably meant to remember it 'behind' you, not in front of you.
So it seems to me today that one goal of the Bates Methods is to (re-)learn to follow the light (not the glare), and to get in front of the darkness. (Mentally? Emotionally? Visually?)
:o :Smile O0 8) Smile
Doggerel For Fun:
Follow the Light
Avoid the Glare
Swing your Hands
So you know they're there.
Get ahead of the Darkness
Keep it Behind
Remember the Reason
You're Half-Blind
Look away if it's Blurry
Yawn like Ohno or Murray
Shake off the Illusion
Ignore the Intrusion
Find and Hold Clear Vision
That is the First Mission
Now imagine that each eye is like a bowl of circulating light. Chin up! If you dip your head too far, or turn on an incorrect unlevel axis, the light can leak out and not circulate properly.

The two bowls of light feed back into one bigger bowl of light in our occipital lobe (back of the brain). The two streams of light cross and are mixed together in the optic chiasm after leaving the eyes via the optic nerves, before being fully combined in the bigger bowl of the occipital lobe.

The myopic/nearsighted tendency is to tilt the bowls incorrectly, thereby not keeping enough light in the bowls, and an unequal amount in each. Swinging and shifting sloshes the light around, stimulating more of the foveal cones which have become somewhat 'dried up'.

Keeping the head slightly tilted back tends to slowly refill the bowls with the right amount of light, and to keep the light covering the fovea/macula so that it can be fed back into the bigger bowl.

The light in our bowls is not completely pure; neither is the retinal surface completely smooth. Most floaters then are shadows or reflections or projections of those impurities and nothing to worry about.

Because the retinas are curved, visual perceptual space, especially into the distance (20+feet), is or should be experienced as a spherical curve not a flat plane! (Visualize intersecting circular/oval Venn diagrams as spheres/ellipsoids not circles/ovals.)

It is the projected reverse of our spherical retinas, united in the occipital lobe.

Remembering all of that can help keep the retinal periphery properly stimulated, especially while turning the head/eyes on a level horizontal, vertical or oblique axis.

So, when looking into the distance, imagine an invisible spherical surround and find intersecting/unified clear vision node points.

A big problem is that when each eye experiences unequal blur they are hard to coordinate.

Like the Biblical David, 'my cup runneth over'!
O0 8) :Smile Smile :-X
Today I found (and added bolding and italics) the following after googling neonatal ophthalmic antibiotics and navigating to
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Clinical Trial of Eye Prophylaxis in the Newborn - "The results suggest that prenatal choice of a prophylaxis agent including no prophylaxis is reasonable for women receiving prenatal care who are screened for sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy."
Some midwives suggest prophylactic eye ointment for babies born in the hospital, even if they wouldn't make the same recommendation for a birth that takes place in the home or birth center. The logic is that hospitals are full of more and worse germs.
From a mom: My midwife initially tried the same stuff on me this last time (there are other bacteria in the vagina...) Well, there are other bacteria in the vagina- good ones. Is there any proof that this bacteria causes infection in a newborn's eyes? I kept asking for proof, for medical references, and finally she broke down and admitted that the real reason Dr.s and midwives tell you it's for other reasons than STD's is because *they* can get in trouble for not administering it, not because there is truly a medical need. So I suggested if it would soothe her conscience, she could let *us* administer the drops. And we would miss.
You might try this with your own health care professional. My last two did not have the eye drops, and there was an amazing difference in their ability to focus on my face compared to the others. I for one found that the weeks of deep, soul-searching gazes exchanged with these children in their early days and weeks is too valuable to trade for some unnecessary goop in their eyes for no valid reason.
Quite a high number of woman who have gonorrhea have no symptoms of it (20%?). They are the main reservoir of this illness in the population. That's why it's not exceptional pregnant woman are tested on STD during their pregnancies. Testing during pregnancy is however not a proof at all there won't be pathogen germs in the vagina by the time of the delivery.
The use of ointments and AgNO3 is in this perspective obsolete that nowadays eye infections, caused by gonococci or other germs, easily can be treated and cured from the moment of onset. In the rare occasion the eye infection is caused by gonococci this approach will reveal which woman have gonorrhea but not the symptoms. Both mother and baby and likely the partner(s) too then can be treated and cured. This approach is safe and effective. It will too safe clients and health care a lot of unnecessary costs (imagine the pool of silver nitrate or the pile of ointment (or the $$$) used to treat something that wasn't there!!). The use of AgNO3 and ointment is no full guarantee an eye infection won't occur. Quite often AgNO3 causes some eye irritation itself.
Historical Perspective on Eye Infections
I couldn't find numbers, but all authors agree that it used to be a primary cause of blindness -- 1965 Universal Home Doctor
gonorrhea It has been calculated that this disease accounted for one third to one half of all the persons in blind asylums, so destructive of sight it is; but now that it is more vigorously dealt with and is notifiable by doctors and midwives its incidence has been kept down. [This was written in 1930.] It was a very obvious infection and very difficult to treat.
Handbook of Pediatrics (1975: post-penicillin)-- "The prognosis with treatment is generally very good, and cure should result within two to four days."
I frequently send up a prayer of thanks for the discovery of antibiotics.
The whole notion of gonorrhea causing blindness in this day and age is ridiculous. GC in a newborns eyes is supposed to cause an outrageously awful infection. They go blind from abscesses and ulcerations - not a silent destructive subclinical infection. Nobody would miss it. It's like other pathological conjunctivitis's: if the eye is extremely purulent, swollen, and red they need antibiotics. Even if the babe developed the beginning of a GC positive eye infection the treatment would still prevent blindness. Nobody would be home with a lavender and saline compresses, mistaking it for a plugged duct. I saw a film once of the treatment before antibiotics, when all they could do was irrigate the eyes with who knows what. I was impressed.
How about chlamydia and blindness? Is that symptomatic as well?
Washington State Makes a Mockery of Informed Consent for Eye Ointment
I am required by law to administer erythromycin to the NB's eyes. I made an informed consent sheet my clients could sign if they refused the treatment. When I was given a routine QA review by my malpractice ins they said I could not offer the informed consent. They said the only way I could not legally administer the treatment was to be physically impeded by the parents from doing so and then my obligation was to inform CPS of the incident. Needless to say, I quit offering the informed consent but I have not called CPS on any parents. I believe this to be a no win situation for me.
Though the erythromycin doesn't burn, it is an antibiotic which I suspect will enter the bloodstream through the eye, thus it is my assumption that the potential for candida diaper rash, thrush, digestive problems and antibiotic resistance are raised when eye prophylaxis is administered.
I don't know about those problems, but I have noticed that we tend to see more sticky eyes in babies who have had the erythromycin. My thought on that one is that there is likely some kind of local irritant reaction to the ointment, which causes swelling of the tear ducts and blockage. With improper drainage, a breeding site for bacteria develops and, voila, a sticky eye (almost always just one, we've noticed).
Would be good to see a clinical trial on this. I think mandatory eye prophylaxis is a stupid notion, frankly. For all the reasons cited, thus far.
Great! Shame this topic hasn't become sticky yet but I think it just might now. Just make sure you have other members in for discussion too.

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