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A strange experiement in shortsightedness
#1
Can someone answer this please...?

I stand ten feet from the snellen chart and I look at the letters. Nothing is in focus and little is made out. The big C is a very indistinct blur. Still looking in as relaxed a fashion as I can at the letter I raise my index finger to about six inches from my eye. I can see that with out refocusing my eyes that the finger enters a point of absolute sharpness, yet I haven't refocused my eye. I move it away and continue to look at the snellen chart. I repeat several times bring my index finger across my field of vision at this very close range and each time the finger is in perfect  focus.

So I conclude that my calibration in my eye has gone haywire. It like a camera lens that has been manually set and  permenantly stuck in close up  mode, reducing the depth of focus as you might if photographing a flower.

So no matter how much I relax and look into the distance, the eye never focuses any further than six inches with the distance completely blurred.

Curiously, I repeat this experiement with my glasses on and I find the finger doesn't come into focus unless I refocus my eye onto it!

So - how do I adjust the 'focus ring' on my eye so that i can again focus further than the six inches that it is currently locked at, without resorting to supplement lenses, (i.e glasses)?

Vobes
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#2
Would it be safe to paraphrase your question as:

"I'm myopic.  What natural cures for myopia exist?"

Is that a fair re-statement?
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#3
I am sure that is a fair re-statement, if this is how myopia manifests itself.

I think Paul or Dave said there would be times of frustration with the natural vision approach and I think my previous post was one said times!

Vobes
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#4
Hi vobes,
I read your post and it seems that you described that every myopic person experiences.  I noticed that too.  What you measured with your thumb is the far-focus clearing point.  Anything beyond that appears blurry, and the idea is to move that point to much father than it is now.  Ideally, a "perfect eye" has the far clearing point at infinity, and it is our goal to move it to infinity.  (BTW: One method of measuring eyesight progress is to measure this far clearing point - like the distance where the letters appear blurry on the computer screen.  This gives you a relative measurement.  A lot of people here would advise you against measuring your eyesight to prevent discouragement, but some people need it - like me.  It's up to you.)
You also described that point as static and stuck at one point of focus.  That's not really the case because the movement of the point of focus from near to far is called accommodation.  I'd like to think of it as an accommodative range.  When you put on your glasses, the size of the range does not change, it is merely displaced.  In individuals with presbyopia, the accommodative range narrows, creating poor distance and near vision.  The glasses cannot correct that, which is why most people revert to bifocals.  One lens helps focus far and the other helps focus near.

As you observed with your glasses on, your accommodative range is fine because you can see both far and near with your glasses without problems.

For many people vision improvement is a fad.  It becomes very popular, they get very interested and overly confident, but then they lose interest.  Having not noticed any improvement they lose the last thing moving them toward their goal - confidence.  I would recommend for you to integrate the Bates method into your life, and don't let it become a fad.  Keep looking into new texts, as well as rereading the old ones.  Each time I read the Bates book I find something I have not noticed before, and most of the time it helps move me forward.

Best to you,
Paul

PS: the accommodative range is just one way to look at refractive errors.  If someone has any comments, or different views, please share them.
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#5
Hi Paul

I understand exactly what you mean about a fad. I have for the past two weeks taking my glasses off and tryingt o fumble around the world as best as I can, but seeing as I have to be less that six inches from the screen to make out the text, it has become extremely tiresome and I question what I am doing. All the time I have not got my glasses on I am aware what I am missing from the world of vision - the detail in the distance, even in objects and things within a foot or too.

Then I think, well if it worked, would we all be doing it and instead of opticians in the highstreets there would be national vision shops. I do understand the logic and theory, but life is such a pace and the need to see is so essential in life.

also I have started to question the idea that wearing glasses is always going to be bad. For example, if people's eyes went continuously worse, then there would be millions of blind people in this world instead of people with glasses.

My eyesight prescription is about -6 which is pretty bad. I woul dlike nothing better than to dispense with the glasses, but realistically is it possible?

Why also isn;t there more success stories and actual time frames stated here? Are we talking a year or five years? A month or 6 months?

Glasses give us clear sharp sight immediately - its a tough thing to fight against that regardless of all the posstive aspects that natural vision improve offers.

I feel wobbly at the moment and need more assertive encouragement.

Richard
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#6
Dear Richard,

What you say here is true.

1.  The minus is very easy to use -- and impressive.

2.  Why would anyone want anything else?

3.  Only the Bates people believe there is
a better (preventive) alternative.

4.  If Bates works so well -- why does main-stream
optometry ignore it?

5.  Why does the public reject Bate's preventive methods?

Perhaps we should think about the reasons
an OD will only apply a minus, and will not
discuss preventive alternatives.

Otis
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#7
Hi Richard,
I understand that it is very difficult to cope without your -6D glasses.  If you like, you can get a reduced prescription.  A -4 perhaps? something to get your focus to a livable degree.  I'm not sure what to reduce it to, perhaps someone here can give you a good opinion.  What is the smallest line you can see on the snellen with your current prescription? 
You can also take your glasses to any store that sells reading glasses, and fit different degrees of plus lens onto your current prescription (plus glasses on top of the minux ones).  The plus lens should cancel out, so if you put a +2.0D on top of your current prescription, you'll have -4D glasses.  Try different ones, and look around to find the lowest minus prescription that would allow you to move on with life.  Then you can either ask your OD, or order them online.  There was a discussion a few months ago in the Bates method forum on how to get a reduced Rx; thread titled "getting a reduced Rx" I believe.

Why isn't everyone doing it? because it's hard.  It is very hard and requires a lot of will-power.  How can you make a study on the effectiveness of the Bates method?  How can you draw 50 test subjects randomly from the population hoping they have the will-power, self-confidence, and understanding required to pursue clear vision?  Sadly, chances are that none of those 50 test subjects will have those qualities. 
Clearing vision is difficult, it really is.  My eyesight was 20/70 when I started, which is classified as mild myopia.  When I started, I've seen almost no improvement for a few months performing palming for 20 minutes each day.  It was very frustrating, and I can understand why most people quit at this point.  However, I went back to the Bates book and read it again.  In the following few months I focused on a different aspect of the method: imagination and memory.  This helped me clear my eyesight to 20/30 in about 2 months.  Looking back at my frustration, I cannot even imagine how discouraging it would be with someone with moderate and heavy myopia. 

Attached is the chart of my progress for several weeks.  As you can see, the improvement is very slow and gradual, but the important thing is: the improvement is there.  I've also heard stories that some people improve in bursts. 

I'll be honest, with your degree of myopia, it may take some time.  Perhaps one or two years before you can clear 20/40.  I believe Tom Q cleared himself from -10D, but his method consists of a subsection of the whole Bates idea.  I would go through the Bates methods, try various things until you stumble upon the one that helps you.  It will take time, which is why I would encourage you to perhaps get a weaker prescription, which would help you cope with life.  Threat it as part of your daily life, and not as something that you have to do for 20 minutes each day.  In the same way two years from now you can ask yourself "damn, why didn't I go through with the Bates method, my eyesight could have been clear right now", I know I have.  Big Grin  Don't treat it as a fad or something that you have to do to clear your eyesight, treat it as a hobby - a hobby with a purpose. 

To improve, I took 15 minutes or so each morning to practice with the eye chart in a sun-shine lit room (eye chart practice is usually performing central-fixation, shifting, imagination, and memory on the letters of the eye chart). Play around with different methods, see what works best.  The big ones are palming, sunning, shifting, MEMORY, and IMAGINATION (caps are the most important ones).  Unfortunately nobody really understands memory and imagination, which is why not many Bates method books, except the ones written by Dr. Bates himself, talk about it.

Whether the method works is not a matter of the condition of your eyes, it's a matter of will and value.  How much do you value clear vision without glasses/contacts/surgery?  Most people don't give a crap, why bother -- just wear your glasses.  This is why there haven't been many successful studies on naturally clearing vision.

If you wish to go through with it, we can help you answer any questions you may have about the methods.  The decision is yours Richard.

Best,
Paul
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