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Beat Cancer Naturally...and now my Eyes (:
Hi Everyone!

I have been browsing this forum since December when I started reading Tom Quackenbush's "Relearning to See." It took me 5 months to read his entire 500 page book, but now I feel pretty confident in the Bates' method. Now it is just a matter of becoming "fluent" in its practice and application.

My journey into holistic health began 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I document my journey on my blog (I tried to link to it but I don't have permission- if interested you can google my user name) but to summarize, I used nutritional methods to put my cancer into remission within 6 months. This encouraged my belief that the body can heal itself, but it is a systemic overhaul and it must be a lifestyle change.

I don't believe I would have ever even thought to research holistic vision methods until my eyes began to become severely dried out after having my daughter in 2009. I could no longer wear my contacts and even without them my eyes were painfully dry. I visited my eye doctor immediately and over the next year tried 9 different brands of contacts. I finally gave up and have been wearing exclusively glasses for the past 2 years. I feel in "prison" to them at times..and my eyes are still dry.

Since beginning my practice of the Bates' Method, I go without glasses most of the day, although while teaching my 4th grade students (I'm a public elementary school teacher), I feel quite overwhelmed without them.

My current prescription is -3,00 in my right and -2.50 in my left with a slight astigmatism in my left eye only. I can currently see 20/100 on my Snellen chart in dim light, 20/70 in bright noon light. My vision blur began when I was 14 years old and developed anorexia and bulimia. I also have struggled with anxiety until going through a program to learn to cope in my mid-twenties. This was the best thing I ever did, but I still struggle with speaking confidently and looking people in the eyes, and notice that when I don't have my glasses on and can't see people's eyes, I tend to feel more comfortable. I love these realizations and moving forward to deal with them! (:

I just wanted to introduce myself to the community, and guess if I had one question to ask you, this would be it: I have an eye doctor appointment on June 19th and have already checked with my eye doc if he's ok with under-correcting. He is. (: So...what would be a reasonable reduction? I need my glasses when I am teaching for the safety of my students. I am thinking reducing to 20/50? I don't even know how this aspect works. Any advice from you guys would be wonderful. (:

Atlanta, Georgia
Welcome courtney

I had the same problems with dryness also. Its funny my eye doctor said I had plenty of moisture in my eyes. I went to a few specialist who all same the same thing. Finally got to finding bates in 2010 and here I am today without any more dryness feeling in my eyes.
Dear Cortney,

Hi and welcome to the forum. =)

I'd recommend you get glasses that will give you 20/40 vision. 20/50 is pretty blurry.

If your current glasses give you 20/20 vision, I would not personally bother getting another eye test. I'd order an uncorrected pair of glasses using half your current prescription from an online store like Zenni Optical. If you need any help with this, I'm sure someone on this forum could help you. I believe Tom Q covers reduced prescriptions in Relearning to See.

But whichever way you prefer to go ... I think going 20/40 is your best option.

Cheers, JW
20/40 sounds good because you are legally allowed to drive with 20/40 or better vision. I'm not remembering exactly, but the Georgia DMV might offer an option to have a daytime driving only restriction if a waiver is signed by your eye doctor that says you can see at least 20/70 during the day. I'd wait a few months to get that waiver though if you actually want it and just remove a half diopter or so from your prescription (and no astigmatism correction) for now.

Given enough time with the Bates method, you can say bye-bye to dry eye. I also had some amount of dry eye before I started the Bates method last December (I did a little bit of other eye improvement methods starting around July/August). In fact, it was enough that I took some eye drops my optometrist gave me for that purpose whenever my eyes got dry. Now I often times look in the mirror and see incredibly moist eyes. Just like they should be! I think I stopped being bothered by dry eyes maybe 3 months ago. 

Although I have noticed a sensation almost like dry eye during some clear flashes or occasionally during palming. We actually have a thread on here talking about this sensation. But you know it's different because your eyes feel moist, they're watering, and the stinging is slightly different.
Cortney, welcome. I can identify with your feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and not wanting to look people in the eye, which for me is also about being seen (judged!) myself. Good advice here already, and I just want to add that when you put your glasses on, remember you can put them on top of your head if you don't really need them, working toward "no glasses" being the default rather than the exception. If you're worried about the kids' reaction to this unusual behavior, just say your improving your vision, learning to do without glasses, that sometimes you need them and sometimes you don't. They're young enough to take your word for it, and you'll be a good example.

Maybe you could practice seeing people's eyes with your kids, less threatening than another adult, whose "I have it all together!" mask is usually more fully in place.

It feels like the dry eye and your eyes' rejecting the contact lenses was the first step to pushing those myopic habits and patterns out of you, now more visible with glasses and more obvious to you (not denied), on the way to getting rid of the glasses too. Nice work!

I haven't googled your site yet but your story seems similar to Martin Brofman's - he wrote an excellent book about improving your sight based on his own experiences.
Thank you so much, everyone! This sounds so weird, but I am SAVORING the interaction of your response. I have only been practicing the Bates Method for a few months, but it is easy to get discouraged and wonder "will this really work?" I felt the same way when I decided to treat my cancer holistically. You are right though Nancy about the dryness being a catalyst for change. It led me down this new road. (:
Just wanted to post my update after visiting my eye doc. He was AWESOMELY open to what I shared with him regarding natural vision improvement. He reduced me from my last prescription of -3.00/-2.50 to -2.25/-1.75.

He also brought up the point that my exam showed that I was seeing 20/15 with my old glasses from 7 years ago (that I had already reduced down to on my own about 2 months after starting Bates' method. I'm guessing they were probably. -2.75/-2.25.) The -3.00/-2.50 (my glasses from 5 years ago) became too strong for me several months ago, so the reduction in diopter is not really as drastic as it seems.

Sorry if this is confusing...point is that I am seeing progress! (:

Cortney, congratulations! Keep it up, and I love that your eye doctor is so open to what you're learning.

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