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What "doctors" do for their own children (in terms of prevention).
Dear Prevention-minded friends,

Subject: What science says about the eye's behavior,
and what ODs do for their own children.

Are there second-opinion ODs who are CONVINCED
as to preventive method?  And if so, who are they?
And how successful are they.

No man wishes to see his children's vision go "down", and the
child become permanently myopic. Yet some optometrists truly
"believe" in that minus lens.

But just remember, there are others optometrists who finally
realize that while the minus is quick, and effective, it truly has
a serious and bad secondary effect.

The issue for you (and I hope you are not to deep into myopia
yet) is to know this, and at least consider the second-opinion as
presented here.

1. Majority-opinion ODs put their own kids in a strong minus --
and no problem is solved. Their own kids vision goes DOWN
from that point onward. The rate is -1/2 diopters/year.

2. Second-opinion ODs, seeing their child's vision at 20/40,
(about -3/4 diopters) insist that they begin wearing a +2.5
diopter lens for all close work. Their vision clears on the
Snellen, and their refractive STATE moves positive.

I do not consider the goal of keeping my distant vision clear
for life, nor the science that supports is a "silly debate",
as the majority-opinion OD insists it is.

This is an issue that you must decide for your self.

Here is the discussion:


Otis> And I would suggest you re-examine your beliefs, that a -3
diopter lens has no effect on the refractive STATE of all
natural eyes -- on a scientific level. Clearly, as a matter
of pure science, the natural eye does change by -2 diopters
in six months, when the experiment is conducted correctly.

Otis> This suggests that great care (i.e., no over-prescription)
should be considered, with the parent reviewing the relevant
scientific facts. The "un-intended" results of an
over-prescribed minus lens will most probably be stair-case
myopia -- which can not then be "reversed" by preventive


DrG > Once again you have confused cause and effect. People get
eyeglasses because they are myopic, not vice-versa.

DrG > Now, let's put an end to this silly debate.


DrG is confused. What I stated is that the natural eye's
refractive STATE FOLLOWS the applied minus. There is no "cause",
as such, just ignorance.

Keep the natural eye in the "open" and the refractive STATE
is positive and distant vision will be clear.

Place that SAME EYE, in a -3 diopter lens, or a long-term
NEAR environment, and the NATURAL EYE will simply change its
refractive STATE from plus-to-minus, and you will have blur at

Thus the second-opinion OD gets is "right" for his own

But that is the true nature of a preventive second-opinion.

Be wise about this.

Maybe the difference between primates and humans would account for this differential, however I thought that 4 months was enough: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Another thing I would be interested in is seeing if placing say a +3 diopters lens before a myopic eye would yeild the same results, moving towards the lens, or if it is more difficult to correct the refractive error than it is to produce it.

I think it would be very interesting to read the rest of that conversation.
Russian eye doctors may be more advanced than the U.S. eye doctors. They may or may not be correct, but based on information I have read, very few people in Russia wear glasses compared to people in the U.S.

Read the postings of Andrey Durasov, a Russian eye doctor, who explains why plus lenses are put on myopic schoolchildren in his country. I'm not sure if Russians still do it today.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... 3c0a2ce602</a><!-- m -->

No one responded to him. But you get a detailed explanation of why they believe plus lenses are efficient. The Russians make a distinction between myopia and pseudomyopia... the explanation may or may not be true.

There are other factors I do not know about like:

1) Do most Russians have the money to afford glasses? How much do glasses cost in their country?  (this could explain lower number of people wearing glasses?)
2) What is the myopia prevalence rate there compared to the U.S.?
3) Do they prescribe plus lenses for myopic adults?

Regardlessly, in the past (and perhaps even now) they have used plus lenses on myopic schoolchildren.
I know less about most foreign affairs than most dogs, but isn't Russia on a govt-funded free health care system, including eye care? But I also don't think Russia ever really recovered well from the communist collapse, which suggests that the health care system isn't as well-together as, say, Canada's, which would mean that there aren't nearly enough hospitals and doctors to go around. So most people probably don't get to see an eye doctor on a whim.

And if eye doctors are paid by the govt, then they don't have any financial desire to bust through patients like on an assembly line and keep them coming back for more, and they would be more open to idly exploring alternatives to glasses to see if anything will help keep some patients from bugging them again. And it's not that most U.S. eye doctors are just out to do whatever gets them the most money, but it's hard to deny that money factors will affect the way they make decisions.

So it would make sense if they experiment with things like plus lenses for myopia more than in the U.S., but something like Bates is a little too off the charts for an analytical person whose main interest is the science of optics to take an interest in.

Of course, someone from Russia would be better able to say what the deal is.

Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
Dear Spock,

I received this type of "Russian" information from
a young woman who had induced pseudo-myopia
in her eyes.

She was offered the preventive plus at that point
of 20/60 (-1 diopter) and turned it down COLD
with the judgment that it was "not necessary".

After that, her refractive STATE simply went down
at the standard rate of -1/2 diopter per year, and
she had no choice but to get a strong minus lens
and wear it all the time.

Some further commentary:


There are other factors I do not know about like:

1) Do most Russians have the money to afford glasses?

Otis> (This was the Ukraine, part of the USSR.)  Glasses
were FREE, as was health care.  There was no
attempt to "sell" anything.  The offer of plus-prevention
was made as "take it or leave it".

How much do glasses cost in their country?  (this could explain lower number of people wearing glasses?)

Otis> Free health service.  Glasses (plus or minus) are
free as part of this service.

2) What is the myopia prevalence rate there compared to the U.S.?

Otis> No figures are available from USSR. In Hong Kong the rate
is 88 percent of ENTERING University students.

3) Do they prescribe plus lenses for myopic adults?

Otis> Not to my knowledge.  The only practical use of the plus is for prevention
at the 20/60 level.  After that the plus can not be used

Regardlessly, in the past (and perhaps even now) they have used plus lenses on myopic schoolchildren

Otis> If you describe myopic school children as Bates
did in his 1913 study, then yes, they do.  But there
is a recognition that the results must depend on
the motivation of the child to use the plus correctly
at the 20/60 level.


Dear First Officer Spock,

Try this link for more information on plus-prevention
in Russia.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... 11ddc2cdf0</a><!-- m -->

If this link fails, then go to

and look for,

"From Russia with Love",

about three weeks ago.


Captain Kirk
Dave, I agree that Bates may be a little too off the chart for anyone with a mechanistic view of the eye. However, there are way too many complex underlying factors that go into eyesight and only the tip of the iceberg is known about how the mind works. Unless the mind is understood in its entirety, the mechanism of eyesight may not be fully comprehensible. Neither one seems likely any time soon.

I know little about Russia's current economic situation let alone anything about their health care system; need to study more about world affairs. But I found this link from 3 years ago regarding Russia's medical situation: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=";"> ... 92-b&nbsp;</a><!-- m --> (2004)

And <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=";"> ... .cfm&nbsp;</a><!-- m --> (2006)

It seems pretty bad even now. But whether they found plus lenses to really work for myopes, I'm not sure. Perhaps it did work for low myopes.

Alex Eulenberg mentioned at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... sage/15026</a><!-- m --> :
<< Avetisov (1979, 1990a, b)
reported reduced accommodation at the onset of myopia in children and
recommended use of visual training with minus and plus lenses for
"physiological massage of the ciliary muscle". According to his
report in the proceedings of an international symposium on myopia
(Avetisov, 1990a), this therapy regimen was effective in preventing
or postponing the onset of myopia in almost 2000 Russian
schoolchildren. The finding, however, has not been confirmed.>>

He also brought up a very strange study: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

There might be a relevance to plus lenses working for myopes based on those studies.

Nevertheless, I feel the eye's too complex since the mind has too much power over how we see, and the eye may be there mostly as the mind's own projecting tool - in a manner of speaking, the physical eye is the mind's figurehead for eyesight. The physical eye serves a purpose - to serve the mind... the physical eye is there simply because it needs to be there, we don't see through our ears or mouth - but there has to be a physical opening somewhere where we can see - and that's the eye - but the eye is less responsible for our eyesight than the mind. It's so hard to come up with the correct way to state all this, but it seems conventional scientists are giving the physical eyeball too much credit for the vision mechanism.

Otis, Yep, I saw that more recent thread earlier. Thanks for answering my questions. Sorry for not posting more in answer to you but currently I need to take a break from the computer.
Dear First Officer Spock,

The issue for me is to find out what the
second-opinion OD THINKS about these
issues, and what methods he uses
for his own children -- AND WHY.

[As an engineer, you always what to know WHY,
because these preventive methods do not
make sense -- at first.]

A man has his own opinion.  An expert
(optometrist) will have to deal with
the public (as they are, not as he
might wish them to be).

And so he might determine that Bates was
best for his kids, or "Plus", or a combination
of BOTH these methods.

From what I know (from the grape-vine) there
are considerable number of S.O. ODs who
give up on the minus, and are useing these
preventive methods. 

I think that is a MAJOR step forward.

Captain Kirk

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