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Please help! Am I understanding?
#1
First a bit about myself and situation. I am 20 years old, and have been wearing corrective contacts since the age of 11. Currently I am -4.25 in my left eye and -4 in my right eye. I also am an English major so close reading and lots of time on the computer typing are a part of my life. Also, I feel completely blind without my glasses, I wouldn't be able to see my computer at work, notes on the whiteboard, or people's faces. I'm desperate for a way to fix my eyesight which has just continued to get more and more terrible. My bad eyesight really frightens me and I don't want to get lasik if I don't have to.

My understanding of Davd's method is that I first learn to relax my eyes, through the use of palming and soft blinking, secondly that I don't wear my glasses (but I really can't see without them) thirdly that I visualize objects, and fourthly that I pay attention to detail when I look at things.

Is this all I need to do to improve my vision? I see other people mention things like shifting and using eye charts/tests and something about central fixation? I just feel like I need a set of steps to practice. I really want to cure my eyes. The fact that I feel blind without glasses really scares me.

Please Help!
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#2
There are a lot of ways to approach it and other things that might help, but yes, those are pretty much the important things in my opinion.

I have never worked out a good set of steps to follow. I tried, and I wrote out a few in some blog posts, but nothing made enough sense to me for long. So I've kind of given up on that unless something presents itself to me. People are so unique that it's hard to know how people will react to each step, when it depends on their personalities, challenges, environment and interpretation, all that and more. So that's why I now have it presented as a set of principles, and I try to make it clear why each one is important to remind yourself of. You can decide how you need to apply each one, either like the examples or make it your own.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#3
Collegeye, David's right of course -- some people need to just spend more time outdoors without their face in the computer to start improving, or go for longer periods of time without their glasses. Others may need a dedicated eye chart practice for at least a few months to start softening the habits of using their eyes incorrectly. Observe yourself, what is difficult for you surrounding your vision, and what is easier. A major piece of this work is about becoming more aware, since if we don't know what we're doing that's destructive to our clear sight, we can't change it!

The first thing I noticed in your post was the pessimism and anxiety about your vision, saying you feel blind without your glasses and that your eyesight is "getting more and more terrible". I'm suspecting you'd approach any suggested relaxation exercises like palming with a trying straining attitude, so they'd be of limited benefit to you. This was me about 10 years ago which is why I recognize it. If I'm right, although it may seem counter-intuitive right now, I'd focus on having fun, playing, and just enjoying what you see. Vision improvement shouldn't be drudgery, or one more task on your already too-long to do list! Seek out relaxation activities like meditation or yoga to calm yourself, and this will help your eyes too. Once you're a bit less anxious, you can slowly add vision improvement practices to your routine, like palming. There's no rush.
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#4
(05-04-2014, 09:27 AM)Nancy Wrote: Collegeye, David's right of course -- some people need to just spend more time outdoors without their face in the computer to start improving, or go for longer periods of time without their glasses. Others may need a dedicated eye chart practice for at least a few months to start softening the habits of using their eyes incorrectly. Observe yourself, what is difficult for you surrounding your vision, and what is easier. A major piece of this work is about becoming more aware, since if we don't know what we're doing that's destructive to our clear sight, we can't change it!

The first thing I noticed in your post was the pessimism and anxiety about your vision, saying you feel blind without your glasses and that your eyesight is "getting more and more terrible". I'm suspecting you'd approach any suggested relaxation exercises like palming with a trying straining attitude, so they'd be of limited benefit to you. This was me about 10 years ago which is why I recognize it. If I'm right, although it may seem counter-intuitive right now, I'd focus on having fun, playing, and just enjoying what you see. Vision improvement shouldn't be drudgery, or one more task on your already too-long to do list! Seek out relaxation activities like meditation or yoga to calm yourself, and this will help your eyes too. Once you're a bit less anxious, you can slowly add vision improvement practices to your routine, like palming. There's no rush.

Hi Nancy,
You're right, I do feel anxious about my eyes, maybe I really do need to approach it from a more positive mindset. On a lot of blogs people say "no contacts, ever!" or "no glasses". Unfortunately for me, I do need my contacts to see and get around in everyday life. If I keep wearing my contacts but practice the relaxation principles is there a chance my eyes might improve. Or if I just wear my contacts during my work day? I see in your signature that you had similar vision to me before, did it take you those ten years to improve it? Thanks
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#5
Collegeye, my vision was more than twice as bad as yours if you're measuring in diopters, and now I only use glasses for night driving. You can search my personal blog (close to 800 posts, mostly about my vision), or see my blog posts here, to get a flavor of my story. Once I got my prescription down from -10 to about -6 working with a behavioral optometrist, it was obvious to me I had to reduce my anxiety, or I wouldn't go much further. I recently told someone that for most of my life I was a highly functioning nervous wreck!

There are no absolutes in this work. Yes, contacts will slow down your progress, but "no contacts ever!" isn't practical if you can't see well enough to drive or do your work without them. Do what you can, and keep living your life. One of my students wore glasses and contacts of more than -8 when he came to me last year, and is now hardly wearing his contacts at all, and taking his glasses off when he doesn't really need them, surprised at how well he can function without them. He goes to the gym and doesn't even bring them now! Ideally, work with a behavioral optometrist to get a 20/40 prescription and to make sure your eyes are OK otherwise, and a personal Bates teacher who can guide you and encourage you and help you tailor these practices to your own life and habits so you can progress to weaker and eventually no glasses. And there are a lot of free resources available, like this forum. Keep us posted.
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#6
(05-04-2014, 04:08 PM)Nancy Wrote: There are no absolutes in this work. Yes, contacts will slow down your progress, but "no contacts ever!" isn't practical if you can't see well enough to drive or do your work without them. Do what you can, and keep living your life. One of my students wore glasses and contacts of more than -8 when he came to me last year, and is now hardly wearing his contacts at all, and taking his glasses off when he doesn't really need them, surprised at how well he can function without them. He goes to the gym and doesn't even bring them now! Ideally, work with a behavioral optometrist to get a 20/40 prescription and to make sure your eyes are OK otherwise, and a personal Bates teacher who can guide you and encourage you and help you tailor these practices to your own life and habits so you can progress to weaker and eventually no glasses. And there are a lot of free resources available, like this forum. Keep us posted.

Thanks for the advice Nancy! I think that I will focus on becoming more relaxed and less anxious for now. I do tend to get worked up about things. Also, when I'm reading I will start taking out my contacts. I know that reading with them in is bad anyway.

Do you think that this is an okay place to start? I read your vision history blog and saw that it took you more or less ten years to get where you are today, depending on how you look at it. So I can tell this isnt an immediate process.
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#7
You can use me as one example, but you may move much faster than I did, so don't limit yourself. In retrospect, I wish I had started reducing my anxiety earlier, and also worked with the eye chart earlier, and I might have made faster progress. Be careful of measuring yourself too often, as if every vision practice session is a test. You are learning, like a little kid learning to walk or tie shoes, so remembering every time you "failed" (noticed you were straining and things were blurry) will just get in your way. Plus it doesn't feel good -- vision improvement should be fun, a grand adventure!

It was a big step for me when I stopped wearing contacts and moved to only glasses, which I could easily take off when they weren't needed. I like the idea of reading without your contacts, but try it out and see how it feels to YOU. Just start easily noticing yourself: maybe you don't really need your glasses to vacuum the floor, or go for a walk in the neighborhood which you know so well. Good luck and keep us posted.
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