I am really excited to post a review of the first part of my new and improved eyesight!! When I first started reading about the Bates method and improving eyesight naturally, I was very skeptical. Now, I can firmly say it is possible to improve the eyesight. It takes dedication, belief in the process, and patience. It is not a linear process (at least in my case). That is what I have learned so far. I don't have a lot of time, so what follows is a fairly unorganized look at my progress and what I think I did to get it. Later I will write a more organized review and post it to my blog (address at bottom).
I started with -8.00 diopter glasses with a 0.5 astigmatism correction. Contacts at -7.00. Shortly after starting to relax and wear my glasses less, I measured my eyesight on a Snellen chart and found it to be about 20/800 in November 2007. From 10 ft, I definitely could not read a single letter on the chart, much less recognize where letters might be. I dreamed of being able to see the big C at the top and considered the ultimate success having eyesight at 20/200.
Now, January 2008, I can see the 3rd line of the Snellen chart (the 70 ft line) clearly from 10 ft! This is about 20/140 eyesight!!!! Without my glasses, I can see most objects quite clearly, it just looks a little bit smeared out. I'm certain that they will improve further. I highly recommend recording progress with a Snellen chart at home. I can see so so much better, and can tell a huge difference in what I see. This is then verified with my Snellen chart. Yet, I can still put on my glasses and they don't seem to be too strong. Glasses are just a different way of seeing, don't be fooled into thinking that if you can't see better out of your glasses, that your eyes aren't getting better. That is why I recommend to record your progress WITHOUT glasses. Otherwise reduced prescription glasses can be frustrating if you expect to see better out of them. What can be seen with glasses is an illusion (I think). For example, there are many objects that I can see at distances of 10 to 50 ft away better without my glasses than with my glasses! Yet, in order to read writing and such, I need my glasses in order to see the words correctly. The way the eyes see and the way the brain processes this information is complicated, trust that it can do it if you give it a chance. I don't know how it works. What I do know is that my eyes have two modes. One where they are relaxed and I can see pretty well without glasses, well enough to do almost anything! The other mode is where I just need to do work and get on with my life and wear my glasses. I'm hoping soon not to have to wear my glasses! We will see, in the mean time, I am content with my progress thus far. What follows are some more notes about what I have done that I think contributed to my eyes getting better.
The very first thing I did when I found out about natural eyesight improvement was to go to an optometrist and get a reduced prescription lense. First I tried reduced prescription contacts to see what it was like. I went from -7.00 contacts to -6.50 contacts. I was surprised and pleased to find I could see almost just as well and that I didn't get any headaches from wearing these lenses. In fact it was the opposite, I felt more relaxed. After a few days, I even noticed I could see better out of these contacts! Convinced, I got reduced prescription glasses a couple weeks later (-7.00 with astigmatism correction). Through these I could see 20/20. Reduced?? Even if you don't want to take the trouble to try to improve your eyesight, at least spread the word that glasses are overprescribed! You don't need to see razor sharp, I am completely happy with my 20/20 glasses, in the night I am sure I can see better than 20/40, so they are completely safe for driving. Overprescribed glasses will just make your eyes continue to get worse even faster than just wearing glasses, so just ask for a 20/40 pair and you will probably find that you can see 20/20 with them.
The next thing I did that I saw recommended from every Bates method teacher was to breath more (better) and to blink more. Since then I have learned that breathing correctly is very important. Read up about it. Most importantly, don't 'try' to breath or it gets harder. Just consciously think about exhaling slowly and relaxing at the end of the exhale. Then the inhale takes care of itself. Let the inhale take care of itself. By doing this, I have even cured my hiccups now! I used to get hiccups every day, and more than once a week they would continue for 15 minutes to an hour! Now I only occasionally get one.
Just the same with breathing, blinking must also be done correctly. I think there are some good posts about this in the method of the months section of this forum. You can feel by lightly resting your fingers on the skin around your face near the eyes if you are twitching when blinking. I can immediately improve my eyesight just by blinking correctly for a few seconds.
The other thing I have done is to do autogenics training (link on my blog) 1 to 3 times a day. Through this I learn to relax and it was by doing the breathing warm-up recommended by this website that I learned to breath correctly.
I also try to do yoga a few times a week. It's relaxing. Maybe it also helps with balance and coordination. Whether it helps or not, I am not sure, but it helps me to relax. I think whatever a person does to improve their vision, it should be something natural to them. Something that they find relaxing and fulfilling and that they have always wanted to do anyway.
The last week and a half I also ate much healthier (because my fiance's mother was doing all of the cooking!) I don't know if it helped, but I can say that over the holidays I didn't do yoga, I did the minimum of autogenics training, and still my eyes drastically improved. In fact, it was the best improvement I have seen so far. It was probably a combination of eating healthier and not working on a computer (which isn't bad normally, but I still wear glasses that correct my eyesight to 20/20 or 20/40 to work on a computer. Optimally, I should be wearing 20/80 correction to do computer work). We ate more vegetables and more fish. Both of which I have read should be good for vision (and overall health!)
In summary, my eyes are better and I am happy! I will continue to try to eat better, and I think the most important thing I can do is to get my second pair of reduced prescription glasses. Regarding reduced prescription glasses and contacts, I have learned so much. When I got my first pair of 'reduced' prescription glasses, as soon as I got used to the fact that I could see 20/20 out of them and was happy, I took my -8.00 glasses to the eye doctor and asked that they be further reduced to -6.25. This was a big step because I was letting go of that razor sharp prescription for the first time. Before, I always had them 'just in case' I needed them. After improvement to my vision, I had the confidence that I didn't need them anymore. Now, I'm starting to wonder now that by the time I get them back with the further reduced prescription, I might be able to even see 20/40 out of the -6.25 lenses and will need to take my -7.00 pair back to be further reduced so that I have something for reading. But this hassle doesn't bother me. I think it was the right decision to slowly reduce my prescription. It can be extremely frustrating to walk around with 20/40 lenses (as I experienced when experimenting with further reduced contacts.) Especially in the beginning, I think it's ok to just reduce glasses and contacts so that you see 20/20 or 20/30. This is enough to relax the eyes, and if you also make an effort to take off glasses when you don't need them (for example at home, when walking with someone you trust, and when at meals) the eyes will improve. Maybe that is another part of my success, a couple hours a day without glasses at all! I have definitely found that wearing contacts that corrected my eyes to 20/40 can be more straining than wearing a 20/20 correction when I'm at work and need to see well. So do wear the correct prescription when needed, and where the lower prescription when high detail isn't needed. And most importantly, if you don't need them, take them off! This is the huge advantage of glasses. Over Christmas I could have my glasses on a lot, but at meals and such when people are close enough I can make out their general facial expression I can remove my glasses quickly and discreetly. Nobody asked or thought it was weird. Also, both pairs of my glasses that I have are about the same design and colors, so as I switch the prescription and wear one pair or the other people don't notice it. While I'm happy about my progress and excited to share it with others, there is definitely a time and a place for discussing it.
Ok, this took longer than I thought to write, hope it is helpful, and most of all motivating for people just learning about eyesight improvement.
Your story is indeed good news for me as a highly myopic person. Your post also reminds me why my progress is so slow, as breathing is very much neglected in my practice of healthy vision habits. Hard to imagine something which we all do all the time have so much impact on our eyesight. Will remember to breathe properly at all times.
I do have some suggestions to lower the cost of your vision-clearing
Quote:In summary, my eyes are better and I am happy! I will continue to try to eat better, and I think the most important thing I can do is to get my second pair of reduced prescription glasses.
Otis> To help lower the cost of getting these lenses, you might consider checking Zennioptical.com
Otis> If your Snellen is 20/140, then the MINIMUM lens to clear the 20/40 line would be about
-2 to -2.5 diopters. These lenses sell for about $10. From an OD they would cost about
$200. Something to think about.
Quote:Regarding reduced prescription glasses and contacts, I have learned so much. When I got my first pair of 'reduced' prescription glasses, as soon as I got used to the fact that I could see 20/20 out of them and was happy, I took my -8.00 glasses to the eye doctor and asked that they be further reduced to -6.25. This was a big step because I was letting go of that razor sharp prescription for the first time.
Otis> Tragically, most ODs feel that they MUST do this. It was Bates who told us how bad that idea truly is.
Otis> So you have going from -8 diopters to -2.5 diopters -- by learning to read your Snellen and DOUBT your
Otis> If you get to 20/60, then you can probably work with no minus lens most of the time (except
for driving a car.)
Petal â I have a sticky note under my computer monitor with the letters âB B Sâ on it to remind me to Breathe correctly, to keep Blinking, and not to Stare! It helps a lot and nobody notices it there.
Otis â I donât think that the diopter scale matches so linearly with the Snellen chart scale. My eyes have gone from 20/800 to better than 20/200, and I still canât see 20/20 with -6.00 contacts all of the time (but sometimes!) I donât know if the psychology of my mind adjusts to the glasses that it knows are coming on, or if the diopter/Snellen scale is really nonlinear, or if my eyes are just weird. People with multiple personalities can have different prescriptions depending on their personality, so I donât think it highly unlikely that my eyes adjust between glasses/no glasses. I googled âglasses onlineâ and found some places in England that offer cheap glasses online for less than 15 pounds, but here it is actually pretty inexpensive to go to the optometrist to get a reduced prescription pair of lenses (20 - 50 pounds). Before I guess and check my prescription by buying multiple pairs online, Iâll have my eyes checked again by the optometrist and get lenses in the glasses frames I already know fit well. But you make a good point, there are many online stores offering glasses at super low prices, which is nice for saving money and if you canât find an agreeable optometrist.
Iâve decided that when I go back to the optometrist later this month, instead of asking for 20/80 glasses for computer work as planned, I will bring a printout of the type size I need to read from 2 ft and have her set the lenses until I can read it from that distance. Then I will already know that my reduced prescription is what I want! So far, I have found the most effective way to save money is to already know what I want before going to the optometrist.
Great job!!! And thanks for posting this here, this will motivate a lot of people, including me. I hope you'll get much better and i really think you will. Remember to keep posting when improving further. My vision about improving eyesight is pretty much the same as yours and Bates' vision himself. " It's all in the mind!"
Hey, thank you guys. So far I have found that unless I'm at work or have to look at some fine detail (like reading), I am better off without my glasses. This is huge for me, I am most amazed when I look at the detail in trees and at the horizon. I find my eyesight is better when I look at things like that that I have positive emotions attached to. Colors are much more vibrant since I started spending more time outside without my glasses. At the end of the month I have an appointment with my optometrist. I will give an update then. I am very curious to see what she finds. I am particularly curious if my astigmatism is gone/changed. When I first read the snellen chart with my reduced contacts, I remember that the square on the 40 ft line was crooked. Now, the square is comlpletely, well, square! Well, I won't write much, I really find it uncomfortable to wear my glasses. I really don't wear tham anymore, just my contacts to work.
Thank you for your comments. I think I have been luckier and am so far having good experiences with the optometrists, so I have a much different opinion of the matter. I already know that my eyes are getting better, so there is nothing to argue about with my optometrist. I got very lucky and found a woman who is interested in how this process is going. It's always a positive experience going to her. I am not concerned even if she still finds the same prescription in my eyes. The point is, I know my eyes have gotten better, and I want proof to show others. I also happen to know that the diopter method used by optometrists will not correlate directly to the improvements that I have seen. What I want, however, is to document my progress, both from my Snellen chart and what the optometrist says. I think this has great value, no matter what she finds. For example:
Let's say I can clear my eyesight to the point where I can read 20/40 or better on a Snellen chart and she still finds my eyes to be around -7 diopter (unlikely but for the argument's sake). Then at least it gives people the hope that even if their eyes can still adapt to corrective lenses (ie their optometrist says it doesn't work because their prescription didn't change), it doesn't mean their eyes in fact aren't much improved without corrective lenses. On the other side, let's say as I improve my eyesight and confirm with my Snellen chart and at the same time I get progressively better readings from the optometrist. At the end, what do I have? Signed proof that this worked and amo to begin work to educate people about these methods. People want proof, and though my Snellen chart readings are enough for me, the average person wants to see the signature of an OD. I'll have it. Can you tell I'm an engineer? I'm not going through this just for me.
Unlike many people that go through natural eyesight improvement, I don't have a fear or bad feelings for optometrists. I think they are giving their patients what the average consumer (um, patient) wants - crystal clear vision. The fault is that not completely theirs, because they don't know that there is an alternative, and to be honest, it's hard to convince someone you're doing them a favor by giving them sight that's less than 'perfect'. The only way I see to solve this problem on a large scale is to prove with my Snellen chart readings and an OD's signature that I've done it and then to spread the word. It will only be through education of the masses that this will become accepted mainstream. Well, that's just my vision. If anyone wants to argue about it, I would suggest starting a new thread in the eyesight side topics forum.
Another reason why I'm going to the optometrist is because she remarked that I have damage to my cornea from wearing contacts too long. I have reduced wearing them a lot and am interested to see if the damage is reversing. Further, the cost here is not as great to go to the optometrist, and this makes it worth it to me. Instead of guessing my reduced prescription, she can tell me the lense power I need to see 20/40 or 20/30 or whatever I want. I have found through experiments with contacts that it's just not worth a haphazard guess of the prescription. I improve my eyesight without my glasses or contacts. When it's necessary to wear them, then I also find it necessary to see around 20/30. Otherwise, if a lower power is sufficient, I might as well not wear any corrective lenses.
Re: Making the competent measurements yourself -- and reporting them here.
There is no need for you to "document" your results by an OD. In fact, I would trust YOU, using
your OWN trial-lens kit to make these measurements yourself. Since you are an
engineer, I think you can do a much more accurate measurement (because
of your interest and technical skill) than any optometrist. This does
not reflect on the optometrist -- but you the time you can spend
accurately measuring your refractive STATE will lead to much more
accurate results. That is why I suggest you measure BOTH your
naked-eye Snellen, and then confirm your refractive STATE by
using YOUR selection of a minus lens to clear:
1. The 20/40 line, and then,
2. The 20/20 line.
Quote:Let's say I can clear my eyesight to the point where I can read 20/40 or better on a Snellen chart and she still finds my eyes to be around -7 diopter (unlikely but for the argument's sake).
Otis> I will not say this is intentional, but I have had it reported to me that the minus lens is typically
over-prescribed by from -1 to -2 diopters. I am talking about the MINIMUM minus necessary
to clear your Snellen. SOME ODs prescribe for "sharpest vision possible." This means that
a child with 20/40 vision (by his checking) gets PRESCRIBED a -2 to -3 diopter lens -- for
that FIRST minus. I think that over-prescription simply kills that child's vision.
I do not think this policy should be conducted on a child -- unless with
SPECIFIC authorization by the parent. It is will known that the eye
always responds to an strong minus.
Quote: Then at least it gives people the hope that even if their eyes can still adapt to corrective lenses (ie their optometrist says it doesn't work because their prescription didn't change),
Otis> It will be up to you to tells us what works (by your measurements). Using your own minus lens, you can check yourself. As a competent engineer, you understand
the physics of lenses.
Otis> Trust me, we will believe what YOU measure and report. There is not need for
and OD in this honest discussion.
Quote: it doesn't mean their eyes in fact aren't much improved without corrective lenses.
Otis> The Snellen is primarily what we need. But your OWN measurements -- using
a weak minus lens -- will be of considerable value in a scientific experiment like
you are proposing.
Quote:On the other side, let's say as I improve my eyesight and confirm with my Snellen chart
Otis> And you report that before your measurement (that you made with a -7 diopter lens)
is now -5 diopter. If YOU make that measurement -- I will beleve YOU!
Quote:and at the same time I get progressively better readings from the optometrist.
Otis> Ditto as per above.
At the end, what do I have? Signed proof that this worked and amo to begin work to educate people about these methods.
Otis> The next majority-opinion OD will simply tell you that you had "muscle spasm" myopia -- and
the results MEAN NOTHING. No, you are the person who you must convince. And we
will believe your measurements.
People want proof, and though my Snellen chart readings are enough for me,
Otis> Provided you reach the point where you can read 20/40, naked eye, go
down and PASS the DMV test -- then we ALL WILL BELIEVE YOU!
Otis> If anyone here says they will NOT believe you -- the please
Quote: the average person wants to see the signature of an OD.
Otis> I have alreay posted the statement by a second-opinion OD that
these PREVENTIVE methods work. You can convince ANY second-opinion
OD that these methods work on the threshold. We know that. The
person you must convince -- is yourself.
Quote:I'll have it. Can you tell I'm an engineer? I'm not going through this just for me.
Otis> I trust honest engineers -- more than these majority-opinion ODs.
The struggle you will have -- will be with your Snellen and clearing it.
Otis> This is NOT a criticism of you -- just very postive support
for what you are attempting. Please accept it that way.
As promised, a report of my continuing progress and the visit with my optometrist today:
Many people may take the following post in different ways, I tend to go for the positive outlook.
Hereâs the positive: this morning I read the fourth line from my Snellen chart in dim light from 10 feet! (10/50 eyesight) When I started the Bates method I could only stand about 5 feet away to read the top line! (5/200 eyesight)
Hereâs the other side: this morning I also went to the optometrist, who said she would still prescribe -7.75 lenses for me, same as two months ago.
Hereâs the explanation: I have discovered that the optician makes a completely different reading on the Snellen chart than I do at home. You have to be quick reading the chart, and that with only one eye! There is a sense of tunnel vision (ie staring) which can quickly take you back to bad habits as you stare in the darkness into a small bright square of light.
First, she asked me without my glasses on how much I could see on the chart. I ended up seeing one letter on the second line, but can that really count as 20/100 eyesight if I couldnât see the giant letter above it? I used to have the same problem from 10 feet at home. I could see the second line, but not the giant âCâ! I think what happened was I was looking at the top of the bright field for a line, a bit surprised that I didnât see anything. I reminded myself to breathe deeply and sway a bit which is when I finally noticed the letter much further down! She moved on after that so I didnât have a chance to see anything else.
Now, before I go on, let me say something about optometrists. They are nice, normal people just doing their job. My optometrist is busy and a 20 pound exam is a bargain, so Iâm not going to complain that she does the tests fast. I really hope people donât hold anything against optometrists. I am perhaps lucky, mine is open to what I am doing and tries to cater to my requests during the eye exam as best she can with time allowing. In fact, this time she elaborated on some theory of the eye that was very interesting! (will describe at the end). She moved quickly through the exam, and rightly so. From her point of view, why should I look for more than a few seconds? When people use glasses to drive they have to see what they look at immediately, so for her itâs a liability issue.
Even though she said she would prescribe the same diopter, Iâm still satisfied that my eyesight has improved. I was much more aware during the exam and oftentimes I could see letters below the line that had been established as my lowest line possible. We will see if with time I am able to achieve the reading quickly enough to pass one line lower! Patience is the key here.
Unfortunately, due to my curious questions and requests to check my extra reduced prescription for reading and my 20/40 eyesight prescription we forgot to check the astigmatism. My -7.00 reduced pair are about 20/40 and my -6.25 are within 0.25 diopter of being the optimum reading glasses, so I am happy with both for now. Itâs too bad about the astigmatism, but at the Saturday eyesight improvement workshop we were given a card that we can use to see if we have astigmatism. Sometimes when I look I have it asn sometimes not.
My conclusion is that any progress made at the optician must mean leaps and bounds of improvement in natural light. In the natural world we have the advantage of freedom of movement and better light just to name a couple. I plan to go again at the end of the year.
When she looked at my retina with the bright light at the beginning I could vividly see the veins in the back of my eye. It was so cool that I just mentioned it to her, and she enthusiastically explained that in fact they are always there obstructing our vision. The reason I would only see it when she shines a bright light into my eye is because suddenly something has changed and those lines are interesting. Otherwise, the braing considers such âstationaryâ objects uninteresting and filters them out of the picture! She explained that this is why movement of the eye is vital for seeing. If the eye movement is stopped by a paralyzing drug injection (to the eye), a person actually loses all capacity to see. She said that is why if someone looks at a blank wall or completely stops moving it is easy to blank out because the brain loses interest (nothing moves) and doesnât process any more information. She said without the brain to process the movement, the light captured by the eye is meaningless. Well, Bates said, learning to notice movement is the key to improving eyesight!