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Dedicated to the one I love
#1
I started to research and practice bates method while pregnant with my son December 2005.  I wasn't regular about it, but I could still produce clear flashes.  Then my son was born and work got busy and I slacked on the few exercises I was doing.  At night, while rocking my son to sleep, I would try to relax my eyes and face.  One day, I noticed my son copying me.  While holding him, I would tilt my head back to see him clearly below my glasses, so he started titling his head back to look at me.  While it was very cute, it was also very concerning.  I originally started trying to correct my vision after learning that children copy their parents in every way possible, even the subtle ways we don't notice.  Therefore, the fact that glasses tend to run in the family can be attributed to children learning to see poorly from their parents, not genetics.
I got more serious about correcting my vision, glasses are a curse, and so is not being able to see.  My prescription was at -5.5 and -5.25 (left adn right) with cylinder -0.50 in both eyes.  The first thing I did was buy pinhole glasses, around January of 2007, since I am not comfortable with being unable to see while watching a curious infant that mouths everything.  Those were a complete bust.  We lost them almost immediately, mostly because we couldn't see through them.  We called the manufacturer and they said it could take up to a month to adjust.
So I went back to the computer and did some research.  The exercises I had been doing up to this point were just to relax my eyes and face, there was/is a tremendous amount of tension that I carry around in my face.  I would look at the eyechart hanging next to my computer and relax.  I also did palming on occasion.  After research, I decided to start swinging and also doing circles wtih my eyes.  At first, to make a circle with my eye hurt, my eyes were stiff and not used to the exercises.
I then bought a pair of reduced prescription glasses from zennioptical.com around February 2007.  I reduced my prescription to 4.5 in both eyes.  I was surprised when I put them on and could still read 0/20 on the Snellen, just not as clearly.
Then I discovered a book by Meir Schneider called Movement for Self Healing.  It was recommended to me on anther thread on this website.  It was a wonderful and inspiration book.  It has helped me in so many ways, not just my eyes.  I have realized I carry a lot of tension in my entire body, and I have noticed an increase in energy since practicing relaxing that tension.  I began to practice more and better.  I would come home from work and sit in the back yard while my son played in the dirt and look at a distance.  Shifting from 3 or 4 distant objects.  Then gradually decreasing the distance and shifting back and forth again.  I also added some other exercises from the book for other issues in my life.
In March I purchased the Visual Improvement kit by Meir Schneider, I have only made it to the first exercise.  Which is the same as before, looking into the distance.  But now I take a break twice at work to go outside and look into the distance.  Usually the sun is too intense, so I will rotate the looking with sunning.  After sunning, I can sometimes see easier, the bright sun isn't as bothersome.  then I return to my desk and palm, it only takes a few minutes for the bright colors to dissipate.  I can relax my eyes at a much quicker rate now than I could before.  I also rotate my eyes in circles, swing, and stretch my neck, shoulders and back atleast twice a day, usually at my desk.  And I try to look away while in my office, I hung some pictures up on the further wall, my inspiration, my love, my life, my son.
I can now see that there is a letter at the top of the eyechart, whereas a year ago I could not tell where the eyechart was at if it was on a white wall.  I have also had clearer flashes lasting several minutes.  After waking up one morning, I went into the closes to get my clothes and thought the clothes hangers looked clearer, so I looked and my alarm clock and was surprised to see the numbers.  I now go without my glasses more often, which is also easier to do now that my son is 1, though still very troublesome.  I can now see my computer screen without glasses, even though it is setting on the edge of my desk and is set on the high definition handicap accesibility.
Every afternoon I go for a walk and practice relaxing my face and looking into the distance.  I also pay attention to how I walk and hold my body, relaxing unnecessary musckes, keeping my center of gravity just below my belly button, and spreading my weight evenly on my feet.  I am ready for an even lower prescription.  This time I think I will decrease it to -3.5 and reduce the cylinders to -0.25, which should have an overall effect of changing my prescription by 1.5 points (cylinder is twice as strong so, decreasing it by 0.25 actually changes the script by 0.5).  I'd rather change it too little than too much.  I'll keep you posted, I don't wamt to get too long.
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#2
Quote: One day, I noticed my son copying me.  While holding him, I would tilt my head back to see him clearly below my glasses, so he started titling his head back to look at me.  While it was very cute, it was also very concerning.  I originally started trying to correct my vision after learning that children copy their parents in every way possible, even the subtle ways we don't notice.  Therefore, the fact that glasses tend to run in the family can be attributed to children learning to see poorly from their parents, not genetics.

That's very good, I never thought about that.  I didn't believe refractive errors were genetic because nobody in my family has ever worn glasses.  Same was true with some of my myopic friends.  I think that's a very good reason why the eye deficiency studies showed some genetic correlation.  in reality, the children can subconsciously learn your visual habits during their years of development.
Thank you for sharing it with us, it's amazing how much strain can do.  Keep it up!

Paul
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#3
Hi,

Research has shown that habits can propagate genetically, There is a mecahnism in the body that changes the genes according to the habits gained, so I think that the mental state can be propagated by genetics too, That is why we sse people with glasses more and more everyday.

The mental states gets in to the genes and your child will aquire the same habits you had by genetics. The tendancy to get vision problems thus increases in children whose parents have defective vision.

Elias
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#4
cheletwin,

That's a good observation with your son. They pick up and copy all kinds of things that you aren't necessarily aware of. And prenatally they don't have much else to do but pick up on the mother's energies.

I get the sense that you're on the right track and will continue to improve. Also try shifting as described in the Method of the Week section, and if you don't get anything out of it, try again a month later in a different way. Especially if you do palming or something beforehand to relax a bit, it can be very powerful, because then by practicing shifting you're in a better state to directly practice using your eyes better and consequently have a better chance of nailing it.

You're handling the glasses issue well too. I always suggest to reduce the lenses only if you feel like it makes a difference for you as far as how they feel or something, and otherwise go without them entirely as much as possible to acclimate yourself to the "real" visual environment out there and provide motivation to keep up the work.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#5
I am ordering a reduced prescription today.  One thing I wanted to comment in, I am now at a point of being able to function without my glasses, it is such a wonderful feeling.  Now that I am making an effort and doing the 'exercises' regurlarly, my vision is increasing so rapidly.  I am now working on my computer without glasses, even though my monitor is on teh edge of my desk.  Previously, even with the high definition ssettings, I had to make the font so large that I could only see a few words at a time and it was impractical for the large reports I was working on.

I also wanted to mention that children can pick up habits from their teachers.  In Dr Bates book, he suggests that no one should be allowed to be a teacher if they wear glasses because they are teaching children to wear glasses.  This may be one reason more children are wearing glasses, even though no one in their family ever wore glasses.

The first time I reduced my prescription, it was an act of necessity.  My glasses were giving me such headaches when I was working on teh computer.  I couldn't wait to get home and take them off.  Yesterday I stayed home with my son because he was sick, Ididnt' wear my glasses all day.  That night, while watching TV, when I would try to relax my face and eyes, they were already relaxed.  Also, I would get clear enough flashes to see the TV clearly.  At one point I sat  right in front of the TV (we don't have a remote control) and I found it uncomfortable and my eyes were straining.  Previously, sitting that close was the only way I could make anyghing out when not wearing my glasses.  I am so excited about my progress.
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#6
Dear cheletwin,

Getting clear flashes to see the TV is great.

Do you know what your "prescription" is at this point?

I suspect about -2.5 diopters.

Kids do pick up some "habits", from their friends,
and they have some habits of their own.

Best,

Otis
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#7
I also hope to model healthy vision habits for my children partly because I think myopia is a mode of being that is picked up from others easily. 

I only wanted to mention to you that I think I set the best example for my kids, not when I think about Bates and my eyes, but when I do not think about my eyes at all and just think about doing things that will make me happy.  To model "normal" eyes it is necessary to function normally, which means not to think about vision at all, except perhaps in an occasional pat on one's own back.  I think children are almost magnetically attracted to the objects of our obsession, even those that remain unspoken, and if we think about our eyes, our children will unconsciously focus their own energy on theirs.  Someone quoted Bates's wife in this forum on the relationship between merely thinking about one's vision and eyestrain...

Also, I find I need to be careful with successively weakening my prescription because having things a little blurry all the time inclines me toward thinking excessively about my eyes in the course of a day.  I think the constant minor blur is intensified by the presence of minus lenses, even "weak" ones, and it is diametrically opposed to the condition of people with normal eyesight who see everything in focus immediately, constantly, and of course effortlessly. 

I tried wearing a full correction contact lens in one eye and switching the eye every day.  This was an interesting experiment because it allowed me to see things with an immediacy, but also stay constantly attuned to my actual vision.  I also wore +3 for reading on top of the lens.  The progressiveness of my myopia stopped, but it did not prevent the contagiousness of my condition and brings on a range of issues resulting from monovision.  (There was an article on these issues in "The New Yorker" last summer.)

In any case, I am very happy for you that you can function without any lenses at all because I think that is the answer, in combination with focusing on the pursuit of happiness, calm, satisfaction, and an internalized understanding of "I can see perfectly, nothing to it," instead of Bates.  I actually think some people who wear glasses without ever questioning them are less contagious to their children than people obsessed with their vision improvement.  Bates offers observations, not obsessions.

In any case, I know how being a parent adds a whole new dimension to myopia.  Please keep us posted with your story (even though we do not think about our vision).

Let's do a Bates version of the limbo dance together: "How normal can you go?  How normal can you go?"

Thanks.
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#8
Otis,
The last glasses I purchased are -3.5 with no cylinder (down from my original -5.5  with -0.5 cylinder for a total of -6.5).  I can't see well enough to drive with these glasses, I'm down to about 20/30 now ( not sure what that translates to), which is still an improvement.  The glasses I wear to drive are -4.5 with -0.5 cylinder (total of -0.5), and I can see 20/20 with these, sometimes 10/20.

I haven't seen as much improvement recently as I would like to have.  I've had a few setbacks with the weather, high work load, and illness.  I haven't been able to go on my 1/2-hour walk or backyard exercises first because of the smoke, now because it rains every afternoon (typical Florida weather pattern).  I was actually logging on to find some encouragement to help get me motivated again.  My work load has once again lightened up, however, now I have to put my nose to the grindstone and do some studying for my geology license exam.

As for the medical setbacks, I had my thyroid removed and am still in the adjustment phase.  When it is time to increase my medicine, I get very tired and sick feeling.  My thyroid is part of the reason my vision has gotten so bad, they thyroid levels have an affect on the health of the eyes.  My prescription was stable at about -3.5 for over 3 years, then, in less than one year, it dropped to -4.5 before having my medicine increased again.  Then I saw a lousy eye doctor that put me in -5.5, which constantly gave me headaches and I just couldn't get used to it.  The headaches are what prompted my search for a better solution to my glasses.  That and I couldn't read or see my computer well at all with them on, which made work even more stressful.  As soon as I put on the lower prescription glasses, the headaches went away.  Now I only get a headache shortly before my vision improves, usually about 3 days.  If my head and eyes hurt for three days, then you can bet money that the next time I look at the eyechart, I can see another line lower.  I'm actually at that headache phase right now, making my concentration on work difficult.
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#9
Dear Cheletwin,

Subject:  Vision improvement from -6.5 to -3.5, or 3 diopters.

I assume that you are seeing 20/30 THROUGH though the
-3.5 diopter lenses.  Is that correct?

20/30 vision will PASS almost all DMV tests.  Florida
has the printed requirement of 20/70 visual acuity.
Click here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.lowvisioncare.com/visionlaws.htm">http://www.lowvisioncare.com/visionlaws.htm</a><!-- m -->

A strong minus will ALWAYS make your distant vision
much sharper.

There is a "habit" to always over-prescribe a minus.
That is why I ask a person to read the IVAC Snellen.
(Most REFUSE TO DO IT!!!)

Re:  Your vision clearing of +3 diopters. 

Amazing, to 20/30.

If you take a person with 20/30 vision, and place
a +3 diopter lens on him, his distant vision
would be about 20/200.

So that is the effect of a 3 diopter lens on the
normal eye.

Count you blessings.

Otis


Otis,
The last glasses I purchased are -3.5 with no cylinder (down from my original -5.5  with -0.5 cylinder for a total of -6.5).  I can't see well enough to drive with these glasses, I'm down to about 20/30 now ( not sure what that translates to), which is still an improvement.  The glasses I wear to drive are -4.5 with -0.5 cylinder (total of -0.5), and I can see 20/20 with these, sometimes 10/20.
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#10
Without my glasses, i can't read the top letter.  with my lowest strength glasses (-3.5) I can read the 50' line.  Florida driving laws require the ability to see 20/40
Quote:Vision - Vision testing, using an eye machine located on the counter, is conducted in all driver license offices. Visual acuity readings worse than 20/40 are referred to an eye specialist. Color blindness will not cause any special condition for licensing.
http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/ddl/geninfo.html
though I just got to where I can read the 50' line after 2 weeks of sitting at my desk bored with nothing to do but go without glasses. Wink
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#11
Dear Cheletwin,

Thanks for the Florida information of 20/40.

It is my PERSONAL judgment that the Bates methods
should be STARTED before the Snellen goes
below 20/60 -- thus avoiding the use of the
minus for the most part.

Since the person can himself check his Snellen, he
can confirm that is vision returns to normal by
his own efforts.;

Just one man's opinion.

Otis
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#12
otis Wrote:Dear Cheletwin,
It is my PERSONAL judgment that the Bates methods
should be STARTED before the Snellen goes
below 20/60 -- thus avoiding the use of the
minus for the most part.

I would like to point out that Otis is the only person on this message board who believes this.  Despite the fact that a large number of people cured themselves from 20/400 and worse, he is adamant that it can't be done.  As he didn't have the will and patience to research and go through with the Bates method, he concluded it's impossible and nobody can do it.  He is just making up excuses for himself..."If I had 20/60, I could cure my eyesight, but since I am -6 D, I can't "    Don't listen to him cheletwin2, I'm 100% sure you can do it have you will and patience.

Paul
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#13
Dear Chele,

Subject: The expression of PERSONAL opinions.


Paul>  I would like to point out that Otis is the only person on this message board who believes this.  Despite the fact that a large number of people cured themselves from 20/400 and worse, he is adamant that it can't be done.

Otis> I did not say this. 

Otis> What I said is that it would be WISE to start these
preventive methods BEFORE your Snellen goes below
20/70.  I SUGGESTED that great success could be obtained
AT THAT POINT by these methods.

Otis> But I have NEVER denied the fact that people
clear their vision from -3, -6 and -9 diopters.

Otis> What I suggest that it would be wise to
start before you get down to those levels.

Otis> But I have NEVER DENIED any recovery
method.  EVER!

Just one man's opinion.

Otis
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#14
But every time you say that you discourage the individual. 
When a newcomer comes to the site unsure and curious, and perhaps upset that their myopia has got down to -6 D or so.  They wonder whether the Bates method could possibly help rid them of myopia and see any encouragement and hope they can find.  Then they read this:
Quote:Bates methods
should be STARTED before the Snellen goes
below 20/60
When a newcomer reads that they just give up before they even start.  I realize that it's a lot easier when your eyesight is 20/60, I think it's obvious and everyone realizes this.  It's even more easier when your eyesight is 20/20  Big Grin.  However, that doesn't help those whose eyesight is worse than that. 

Paul
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#15
Dear Paul,

I agree with you.  I think our friend is doing it RIGHT.

She is reading her Snellen, and knows what she is doing.
That is all we can do for her.  We do express our
opinions freely, as you express yours, and I express
my opinion.

Everyone is encouraged to read BOTH our messages
and sort out the wheat from the chaff -- and
proceed with the work of clearing their vision
with the best judgment possible.

And that must be a composite of all advice,
suggestions and ideas posted here.

Let us help as best we can.

Otis
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