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Question about Clear Flashes
#1
Recently I have lots of Clear Flashes, and in the morning I have a big one (which I measured and improve my vision from 20/70 to 20/60!) which lasts for about 20 minutes and then it fades away like all of those flashes.

So my question is how do I make them permanent? because its been like ten days since I had those non stop clear flashes but they always fade; so I am not able to improve any further...
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#2
Be consistent. keep practicing the Bates method and the clear flashes come on their own when you are not trying.

Accept your vision as it is. If you get over excited about a clear flash, that immediately leads to doubt that it will stay, which leads to the clear flash going away. If you are overly focussed on the fact that you don't get clear flashes, you are focusing on negative thoughts that don't help. Remember perfect vision, and it will come back to you. Seek the conditions for relaxation, and it will come more easily each time.
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#3
Aquila Wrote:Recently I have lots of Clear Flashes, and in the morning I have a big one (which I measured and improve my vision from 20/70 to 20/60!) which lasts for about 20 minutes and then it fades away like all of those flashes. So my question is how do I make them permanent? because its been like ten days since I had those non stop clear flashes but they always fade; so I am not able to improve any further.
Personally, I don't think a temporary improvement of 20/70 to 20/60 even qualifies as a 'clear flash'. I always thought a clear flash was a temporary improved visual experience of near 20/20 or better. Otherwise it's not really 'clear', is it? 'Clearer' maybe, but in this case I'd say not by much. But I'm an old fogey who didn't remember ever seeing clearly into the distance without lenses until I had an accidental clear flash in my late teens. In trying to recreate that event I began performing certain actions which I later discovered were very similar to some of the Bates Methods. So then I started doing the Bates Methods. That's what I recommend you do. Smile
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#4
I have been reviewing several sources lately and it seems that many people believe that some instances of clear flashes can be explained by moisture forming on the eye - effectively acting like a contact lens. Could this explain timing inconsistencies (moisture will not have a constant "dry rate" depending on many conditions) of temporarily improved vision?
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#5
astroguy Wrote:I have been reviewing several sources lately and it seems that many people believe that some instances of clear flashes can be explained by moisture forming on the eye - effectively acting like a contact lens. Could this explain timing inconsistencies (moisture will not have a constant "dry rate" depending on many conditions) of temporarily improved vision?
Yes and no, unfortunately. It's all connected: all the parts of the visual system are connected to each other and to the central nervous system, the brain, and the mind. And that visual system is connected to the outside world of light. It's all a unified whole - or should be. The tearfilms are a small but essential part of the whole system.
People - almost always children or young adults - DEVELOP ordinary myopia, or nearsightedness, or nearpoint fixation disorder. They are not born with it. It's not a disease caused by any parasitic organism. It's not caused by genetic mutation. It is a learned developmental disorder. It is related to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development. It is actually a result or a symptom of incorrect learning or incorrect, 'stunted' development. And worse, it appears that those with better intellect, memories, and sensitivity are more susceptible.
One result of stunted, incorrect development is a degraded tearfilm. Another is a bulging cornea. Another is an overdominant better eye or a dominant worse eye. Another is misalignment of the whole system. Which came first - the misalignment, the bulging cornea, the incorrect eye dominance, or the degraded tearfilm? No one knows. Science doesn't care. Yet.
Unlike other somewhat similar problems which have been around as long as humans (e.g., male pattern baldness), myopia ('closed eye' as described by the ancient Greeks) is known to have begun gradually increasing in prevalence and worsening in progression worldwide around the early to middle of the last century. Again, no one knows why. Science cared for a while, but seems to have given up on trying to understand, arrest, or prevent the epidemic, and has decided that lenses and surgery are the only recourses - basically throwing the human visual system to the dogs. We stand on a precipice.
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#6
astroguy Wrote:I have been reviewing several sources lately and it seems that many people believe that some instances of clear flashes can be explained by moisture forming on the eye - effectively acting like a contact lens. Could this explain timing inconsistencies (moisture will not have a constant "dry rate" depending on many conditions) of temporarily improved vision?
How would an accidental 'moisture-effect' contact lens which produces near 20/20 eyesight be spontaneously created over and over and over again? This argument is based on facts which defeat the argument! The argument that clear flashes are an accidental result of moisture on the eye is defeated as soon as the effect happens more times than could be expected in any set of random trials. There may be something 'accidental' about the first event, but thereafter it can't be called 'accidental'! It is the person gaining control over one small part of their visual system. But the so-called scientists are dogs in the manger who want to convince the person otherwise and protect their worthless lenses and surgery solutions.
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#7
astroguy Wrote:I have been reviewing several sources lately and it seems that many people believe that some instances of clear flashes can be explained by moisture forming on the eye - effectively acting like a contact lens. Could this explain timing inconsistencies (moisture will not have a constant "dry rate" depending on many conditions) of temporarily improved vision?

There are two types of clear flashes.

The clear flash you talk about is caused by a "hard blink".
When you blink hard the moisture flattens the cornea.
However if you should make this as a habit your vision would get worse in the long term,
because of the strain in the blinking.
If you blink naturally like a butterfly this clear flash disappears, thus it is possible to check if the clear flash is real and natural.

The natural clear flash is something different.
If you blink naturally like a butterfly the clear flash thus shall still last.
In my opinion the clear flash is caused by a temporary relaxation of the ciliar muscle.
I base this fact on this article:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.oepf.org/jbo/journals/10-4%20Trachtman.pdf">http://www.oepf.org/jbo/journals/10-4%20Trachtman.pdf</a><!-- m -->
At page 89 you can read about the results of the biofeedback training.
There is no doubt that the biofeedback training can relax the ciliar muscle.
Then if this biofeedback can relax the ciliar muscle, then you actually can do it on your own without any expensive equipment. It is not easy, but it is possible.
It is not easy because the vision is holistic, every part contains the whole.

I think I am actually 99% sure that I am right,
but anyway it could be interesting to get your comments.
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#8
Thank-you very much for your responses! I am a physicist by occupation, not a biologist/optometrist, so I saw the "moisture" explanation and my mind just jumped to lenses and refractive indices (things I understand) to try to explain the phenomenon. I am now learning more about visual systems and how all the pieces work together, and I am excited to continue! Thanks for taking the time to respond Smile
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#9
Quote:In my opinion the clear flash is caused by a temporary relaxation of the ciliar muscle.
I base this fact on this article:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.oepf.org/jbo/journals/10-4%20Trachtman.pdf">http://www.oepf.org/jbo/journals/10-4%20Trachtman.pdf</a><!-- m -->
At page 89 you can read about the results of the biofeedback training.
There is no doubt that the biofeedback training can relax the ciliar muscle.
Then if this biofeedback can relax the ciliar muscle, then you actually can do it on your own without any expensive equipment. It is not easy, but it is possible.

Hammer, thanks for quoting that article, very useful! Do you have more like it?

I'm slightly confused, though, that you referenced this paper in terms of the role of the ciliary muscle. The focus of the article is on the fact that biofeedback can be used to help reduce myopia in patients, and that this was associated with relaxation in the brain (presence of alpha waves). I didn't see anything suggesting that they concluded that the ciliary muscle has anything to do with this. Can you quote the sentence that suggested this to you?

For anyone who doesn't feeling like reading the whole article, I'll summarize.

This article is a great scientific validation (without intending to) of some of the main principles of Dr. Bates's method: namely the role of strain and fatigue in eye disorders, and the role of relaxation, positive association and memory in eyesight improvement. The following outlines some of the highlights from the paper that I found most interesting:

During bio-feedback, the patients were asked to be aware of how their eyes felt when the feedback device indicated with a sound that they were improving. They also emphasized that the patient had to learn to use their eyes in a new way in all situations. Without the bio-feedback device, they had the patient close the eyes and recreate the feeling that they experienced with the biofeedback device. When they feel relaxed, they open their eyes. This was done under supervision with an eye chart. For home practice, the patients were instructed to practice at least 30 minutes per day, spreading it out across the day in 5 minute segments. This practice involves similarly remembering the feeling of relaxed better vision and associating it with the memory of the sound of the bio-feedback device. They were also instructed to mind their posture, get reduced prescriptions for driving and otherwise use glasses as little as possible. The researchers found that patients did not improve when they used too much effort, when fatigued, or when too bound by blurred images (just as Bates suggested: strain makes sight worse, not better).

The whole bio-feedback process described above is similar to Bates instructing patients to associate perfect sight with good memories, and to constantly use these pleasant associations to remember perfect sight. He also constantly reminded patients that they needed to practice consciously every day and to use their eyes properly at all times.
Just as Bates instructed, vision improvement is not about 'eye exercizes' but about learning to use the eyes correctly.

the article is 10 years old, and I guess the reason it didn't cause a revolution is because about 1/3 of the references are written by the lead author, who also happens to own the bio-feedback device company in question. Too bad, an independent study would have been much more convincing, but who will pay for it?
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#10
Sorrisiblue,
I referred to that article because of the statistical results that were presented in it.
As you know the AVT method is very old and I actually remember that I have read an other article by Hans Richter a long time ago (cannot find it anylonger) that described that it was about controling (relaxing) the focusing muscle (ciliar muscle), and thus learning how to do that by sound.
It might be my personal conclusions that it must be the ciliar muscle that is to be relaxed in the end.
Exactly how the ciliar muscle is relaxed is another question.
It could very well be that strain in the extrinsic eye muscles will cause the brain to compensate for that strain and strain the ciliar muscle as well. So when you relax the extrinsic muscles I guess the ciliar muscle will relax as well. The vision is full of these kind of compensations that all aims to stabilize the focusing mechanism.
For instance it has been found lately that strain in the ciliar muscle causes strain in the neck and the shoulders, because the brain tries to do these compensations in order to stabilize intense focusing on details on for instance a computer screen.
There is a video on youtube that describes the AVT:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZX7plYLy4A">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZX7plYLy4A</a><!-- m -->

I think also that it is strange that this AVT method has not been a more success, maybe it is expensive and I guess it was developed for military purposes from the begining and thus was not really intended to be commercial in the context of improving myopia.
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#11
hammer Wrote:Sorrisiblue,
I referred to that article because of the statistical results that were presented in it.
As you know the AVT method is very old and I actually remember that I have read an other article by Hans Richter a long time ago (cannot find it anylonger) that described that it was about controling (relaxing) the focusing muscle (ciliar muscle), and thus learning how to do that by sound.
It might be my personal conclusions that it must be the ciliar muscle that is to be relaxed in the end.
Exactly how the ciliar muscle is relaxed is another question.
It could very well be that strain in the extrinsic eye muscles will cause the brain to compensate for that strain and strain the ciliar muscle as well. So when you relax the extrinsic muscles I guess the ciliar muscle will relax as well. The vision is full of these kind of compensations that all aims to stabilize the focusing mechanism.
For instance it has been found lately that strain in the ciliar muscle causes strain in the neck and the shoulders, because the brain tries to do these compensations in order to stabilize intense focusing on details on for instance a computer screen.
There is a video on youtube that describes the AVT:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZX7plYLy4A">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZX7plYLy4A</a><!-- m -->

I think also that it is strange that this AVT method has not been a more success, maybe it is expensive and I guess it was developed for military purposes from the begining and thus was not really intended to be commercial in the context of improving myopia.

Regarding the alpha waves it is quite interesting to know that attention is a key in order to relax, you can watch this video if you want, but watch after 2 min 20 seconds because the introduction was very long. It is about Les Fehmi that explains how attention affects alpha brain waves:
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp7Ip18hsv8">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp7Ip18hsv8</a><!-- m -->
I have to learn concerning this open focus matter, because it is not obvious to me, but I see the connection between the AVT, alpha brain waves and the open focus, so I appreciate if someone have some comments to this.
Maybe you Sorrisiblue already knows what attention (feeling) that shall be applied in order to get similar biofeedback effects ?
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#12
First I'd like to say that the interesting part of this discussion is mostly scientific. I don't think it's necessary for people trying to improve their eyesight to understand anything about alpha brain waves, and so on, because when done correctly, the Bates method takes care of that. The Snellen chart and positive memories that Dr. Bates suggests are the bio-feedback device. It isn't necessary for anyone to delve into these scientific papers or to worry about what they are doing to regulate their alpha waves in order to improve their vision. I just find it interesting, because I am a scientist. I've been collecting scientific research that aligns with or supports the Bates method in various ways, because I hope someday to collect this and form it into a research proposal.

So, if you're still interested Smile let's talk about alpha brain waves

scientifically speaking, you can improve your regulation of alpha brain waves (so achieve what Fehmi is talking about) with mindfulness meditation. There are lots of different forms of meditation, some good for vision, some not so good in my opinion. I have been practicing mindfulness for some years now to expand my awareness and that has helped my vision improve. I didn't realize it was meditation until I became familiar with Jon-Kabat Zinn's meditation work. He's used it in a clinical setting to help people reduce blood and anxiety among other benefits, and he has published a lot of work showing the effect on brain waves. There are lots of parallels between his work and the principles of the Bates method.

Mindfulness meditation is not what a lot of people think when they think of meditation - it is not about sitting around staring at a candle and humming 'om'. It is simply about expanding awareness of the present moment. It can be done anywhere at anytime (sound familiar?).

Since I've been practicing the Bates method and mindfulness for many years now, I realize that these practices, along with meditation, all do the same thing - they expand our awareness. This can occur in many ways. For example, I'm more aware kinesthetically about how my body feels. I'm more aware mentally about my thoughts. The advantages of this are pretty obvious in the Bates method, where pracicing without a teacher requires the self awareness to understand what I am doing that is helping or hurting my vision at any time. If I'm aware of discomfort in my body, I can do something to relieve it. If I'm causing tension with my thoughts, awareness of this helps me to channel these thoughts in a more positive way that stops the worry.

So, since experiencing very definite periods of calm induced by mindfulness meditation (that have been shown by science to be an effect of alpha wave regulation), I could perhaps suggest that other things I do that cause the same feeling also do this.

Quote:Maybe you Sorrisiblue already knows what attention (feeling) that shall be applied in order to get similar biofeedback effects ?

To answer this, then, here is a list just based on my own experience. I can't describe the feeling that you need to have to get similar effects, but I can tell you things that you can do, and if you pay attention to your body while doing them, you will gradually increase your awareness of what is going on. This is a process that takes practice, so don't expect anything the first few times.

- deeper breathing, just pay attention to breathing in and out, and relax more and more on each out breath. The next in breath will automatically get deeper.
- if that is difficult, try to get there by practicing autogenics (there is a link on my blog to instructions)
- yoga, when done mindfully. After each pose, pay attention to how you feel, and how that is different than before the pose
- palming, when done correctly, such as with positive thoughts, or by remembering something positive perfectly
- mindfulness meditation, which is simply paying attention to what you do, as you do it (see JKZ)
- paying attention to the universal swing, especially outdoors with nice surroundings

The Bates method overall is a form of mindfulness (in my experience), so please don't stress out and think you need to now practice meditation, autogenics, and yoga in addition to the Bates method. They are things that might supplement it, especially for people that need a teacher but can't find a Bates teacher. It's a lot easier to find a good yoga teacher than a good Bates method teacher!

The above list are things accessible to most people. But also, you can increase your awareness by doing any activity that requires awareness to improve. Playing the violin mindfully, or running or swimming mindfully, are good examples. A lot of what is mindful about them is paying attention to how you do it. For example, you can play an instrument with strain or at ease. Every time you practice the instrument, you can practice paying attention to a different muscle, and whether that muscle is straining for no apparent reason. If you are not a musician you might think that is funny, that practice is just about hitting the right notes, not about paying attention to muscules. But look at a beginning violin student. So many muscles are tense that don't need to be, and as a result the student appears stiff and has less control over the bow. With practice, the student learns to control more specific muscles, and plays better because of that. If the student develops into a professional, it becomes even more important to play with awareness and at ease, or else injury will result. That is why the Alexander Technique (which could also be added to the above list) is so popular with musicians.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that what the Bates method, mindfulness, Fehrmi's open focus, meditation, and yoga all have in common is that they are ways of being, not something that is just done. Each one of those things is split into two types of practice: formal and informal. The formal practice is important to do regularly to 'remind' you with bio-feedback (whether that is a Snellen chart or your own breath) of what is the way to see, or move, or just be. The informal practice can be done at any time of day, and is important because it improves the quality of life. As Dr. Bates said, there are as many hours in the day to use the eyes correctly as incorrectly. Similarly, one can be mindful no matter what the task, and the principles of body movement and attention learned in yoga are just as applicable to posture while working. I could go on forever on this topic! I'm afraid this message is already pretty long though. I hope something made sense! I'll be traveling for the next two weeks, sorry to disappear in the middle of the discussion.
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#13
Sorrisiblue,
Thanks for you really good comments and advices.

I do completely agree with you.
I see the Bates method much as a meditative approach so I am much aware of what you experienced.
What I can conclude though is that I have to remember positive memories and the feeling of perfect eyesight much more than I have done. I will try that out.

One bio-feedback method I have done is to remember what really black is when I palm,
and also to remember what relaxed eyemuscles feels like in order to be able to control relaxation,
I think that bio-feedback really works in a similar way to the AVT actually.
I think that if I learn better to relax my extrinsic eyemuscles then the brain automatically will relax the ciliar muscle,
and in this way I can control the ciliar muscle despite that it is part of the autonomic nervous system.
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