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Pseudomyopia
#1
Is pseudomyopia real or just an attempt to explain what the establishment cannot otherwise?  It has come up again in a sci.med.vision thread:
http://tinyurl.com/bd4r8
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#2
I edited your link to keep it from scrolling off the page. (tinyurl.com provides a free service to make short links that are better for posting into forums)

Pseudomyopia is one of the many guesses that critics make to explain away results of the Bates method. There has been all kinds of conflicting research from various directions, and you could spend a lot of time looking at as much of it as you can and still remain undecided. It would take too much time to explain my own opinion of every detail.

The bottom line is that for any practical purpose, it doesn't matter. My opinion from my observations is that 100% of people with myopia exhibit signs of chronic tension in their act of seeing. Chronic tension is amazingly powerful and never exists in a single isolated spot. It affects movement, thinking, emotions, everything.

And with all these people improving their vision and being accused of pseudomyopia, one would think that eye doctors would put a greater effort into eliminating pseudomyopia. But they don't. Why do you suppose that is?

Some years back, those few on sci.med.vision were claiming that pseudomyopia could account for about 1/4 diopter of focusing power. With so many people espousing Bates over the years, they are now just as comfortable claiming that pseudomyopia could account for 3 diopters of change. But again, it's an argument that goes nowhere.

I haven't yet read the thread you linked to - I'm just going on past experience of what those discussions have consisted of. I'll go check it out now.

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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#3
Pseudomyopia IS what Bates describes, but with a different name! Read the first chapter of his book! Does "organic myopia" ring any bells? It's because you can only fix your myopia if pseudomyopia is what you have, and not organic myopia. Eye doctors are confused because they assume first that you have organic myopia, but most people have pseudomyopia. And Bates was confused too, in LOTS of ways, but I congratulate him for discovering that most MYOPIA (and not cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, or farsightedness) can by corrected fully.
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#4
Hello Cat and Dan,

I think "pseudo-myopia" is a made-up term to "explain away" people who are successful in clearing their Snellen from 20/70 to 20/40 or better through Bates.

It is just a lame excuse.

These M.O. ODs NEVER check for it -- if it even exists.  They just sit you in a chair, put up a Snellen, spin their phoropters and creat 20/15 vision for you.  Was it "pesudo-myopia" or "regular" myopia.  No one will ever know.

But one think is certain -- as per Bates.  Once you start wearing that over-prescribed minus all the time you naked eye 20/70 is going to go to 20/200.

But, if you wish to avoid this - then avoid that minus and START READING YOUR OWN SNELLEN -- because it is truly 'NOW OR NEVER'.

To avoid "converting" pseudo-myopia it is essential to prove to youself that you can clear to 20/40 or better by Bates.  When you do this -- say good-by to that minus lens -- and never wear it again. But ALWAYS take persona responsibility to look at -- and PASS that 20/40 line.

If Bates is correct, then you should be able to accomplishe that goal PROVIDED you will start this process (using Bates or Plus) BEFORE that minus.

Best,

Otis
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#5
cat Wrote:Pseudomyopia IS what Bates describes, but with a different name! Read the first chapter of his book! Does "organic myopia" ring any bells? It's because you can only fix your myopia if pseudomyopia is what you have, and not organic myopia. Eye doctors are confused because they assume first that you have organic myopia, but most people have pseudomyopia. And Bates was confused too, in LOTS of ways, but I congratulate him for discovering that most MYOPIA (and not cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, or farsightedness) can by corrected fully.

Many people have suggested that Bates didn't know much about physiology, including what pseudomyopia was, but if you read his older writings it's clear that up until about 1913 he believed the conventional wisdom that only pseudomyopia had any real chance of being susceptible to any sort of treatment. But he saw too much evidence to the contrary that in about 1913 he changed his public position and began claiming that for practical purposes there was no difference. He also did claim that physiologically there was no difference at all, and that's what got him in trouble. A modern view of the Bates method physiologically speaking is kind of a combination of Bates's and the conventional viewpoint, ie: neither is completely correct.

He also did claim cases of immediate and long-term improvement in cataracts, glaucoma, and other disorders, and I've heard of the same from modern Bates teachers.

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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#6
I also want to add that the real problem with this whole idea, as I see it, is people improving a little bit, then not making any more progress and writing it off as reducing or eliminating pseudomyopia only. This is unfortunate because it just reinforces the idea that all improvement from the Bates method is to be attributed to pseudomyopia, which implies: 1, that only a minor portion of people with myopia could benefit from the Bates method, 2, that those people wouldn't benefit very much, and 3, only people with myopia would benefit. But none of these implications match up with the combined experience of people using the Bates method.

In reality, people who continue at it sooner or later find that there are more levels of tension than are necessarily immediately apparent.

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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#7
Can you please tell us more about those multiple levels of tension? How do I discover them, what are the symptoms? Sometimes I've got the feeling that I've totally relaxed, but still myopic, so I wonder.
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#8
Well that's where a lot of psychological stuff comes in, along with a lot of mystery as to how we store emotions in the body and why we have chronically tense muscles. The best way to describe it is just in terms of examples.

One poster here, and I should remember who it is but I don't, posted a few times over the summer about the heavy emotional releases he was getting as a result of "letting go" of his tension and how hard it was to deal with.

Any good and experienced Bates teacher has stories of what happens with students. People can go through major personality shifts. How we use our eyes has a lot to do with how we think and relate to the world. The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.

I've had those kinds of things happen to me too, but I don't feel comfortable sharing it. But on the lighter side, I've also gotten feelings of relaxation throughout my whole body, shoulders dropping, soreness and stiffness melting away, seeing the world as if it's through new eyes, a sense of perfect contentment, those kinds of things.

Tension gets to feel "normal" after a while, so when you release a little bit of the most obvious tension it can feel as though you're relaxed, because that's all you know. But tension is a way of armoring oneself, so there's some warped reason for it. It isn't willing to go away without a fight.

Fortunately it isn't necessary to learn psychology, just practice the exercises and see what happens.

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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#9
Pseudomyopia is an interesting concept, yet the dismissive approach taken by some here is rather surprising to me. 

It seems as though somebody is explaining that the physics of airplane flight involve the triumph of lift over gravity and thrust over drag, yet the other person is saying something along the lines of "No.  It's just magic."

The ciliary body is the mechanism by which accommodation occurs.  As a muscle, the ciliary must contract and relax in order to change the shape of the lens.  As a muscle, it is subject to fatigue and/or cramping.

As a muscle, it is also subject to abnormal enlargement "hypertrophy" when stressed frequently and for prolonged periods.  I understand that MRI's have shown this "ciliary hypertonicity" quite clearly.

Think of a charley horse in your thighs.  It's a cramp.  You use heat (and, possibly, massage) and work it out.  All better.

The ciliary body responds similarly.  The more hypertrophy that gets built up, the higher the likelihood of this cramp setting in, and the greater the difficulty of relieving it.  Cycloplegic drops can be used to relieve it, but they seem to have side effects of their own.

Periocular warming and taking frequent breaks from reading and near work also seem to help in preventing and relieving these accommodative stresses.

That seems to be why--when researchers sutured a -3d lens on monkeys with normal eyesight, their eyesight didn't change over time as long as they removed the lenses for a couple of hours each day.

I've also never seen any evidence that pseudomyopia (accommodative spasm, in this case) changes the shape/length of the eye long-term.

In my case, without my glasses, the blur from my astigmatism causes accommodative stress.  My eyes tire quickly.  As I said, that corn sock thing works well for me.

Magic?  No.
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#10
Subject:  Clearing your Snellen from 20/70 to normal.

Re:  Pseudo-myopia, refractive STATE change?

For the people who read their Snellen (at 20/70), and
CLEAR their Snellen to normal -- does it truly
make ANY DIFFERENCE AT  ALL.  As long
as they personally take responsibility
to keep their Snellen clear, always PASS the
DMV, then NO ONE can tell them that they
SHOULD NOT have cleared their vision.

This is the situation that developed, and
was understood by Bates.

Bates took his fellow DOCTORS, demonstrated
vision-clearing to them, and had them
PASS their Snellen.

When the LEADER of the medical school
found out that Bates was successful -- did
he say, "...let us find out how to get
this process to work BETTER"?

No, he fired his ass.

This is not science -- not an act of
reason or logic.  No, it is an
act of naked power.

That is why Bates is respected, for his
second-opinion that under proper circumstances
you could clear your Snellen by the
various methods advocated on imagination-blindness.

Best,

Otis
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#11
otis Wrote:Subject:  Clearing your Snellen from 20/70 to normal.

Re:  Pseudo-myopia, refractive STATE change?

For the people who read their Snellen (at 20/70), and
CLEAR their Snellen to normal -- does it truly
make ANY DIFFERENCE AT  ALL.  As long
as they personally take responsibility
to keep their Snellen clear, always PASS the
DMV, then NO ONE can tell them that they
SHOULD NOT have cleared their vision.

Of course it makes a difference.  It makes an enormous difference.

If somebody is looking at the engine of a car that has a performance problem, it's good to first understand what all the pieces are, how they fit together, and what each does. 

Once you understand the system, then you can take a thoughtful, analytical, and methodical approach to its repair.  Without such a knowledge, you'll never know if you impacted the system or  if something coincidentally changed without your input, or if you may cause harm with your approach.

If, for example, you understand that a muscle controls the accommodation of the lens, then you can treat it as you would another stressed muscle (rest, relaxation, warmth, exercise, etc).

I have certainly witnessed your statements about science and your background in engineering.  It's quite the paradox that you advocate people ignore the underlying mechanisms, logic, and functioning of a system this complex.

Quote:This is the situation that developed, and
was understood by Bates.

Bates took his fellow DOCTORS, demonstrated
vision-clearing to them, and had them
PASS their Snellen.

When the LEADER of the medical school
found out that Bates was successful -- did
he say, "...let us find out how to get
this process to work BETTER"?

No, he fired his ass.

This is not science -- not an act of
reason or logic.  No, it is an
act of naked power.

I understand that this anecdote comports with your world view, and likely help establish the good doctor as a suffering martyr, but it really isn't helpful to those seeking to improve their vision, IMO.
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#12
NoBones,

I don't understand where you think I called it magic, or anything like that.

Periocular warming and breaks from near-work may seem to you to be the solution to relieve pseudomyopia, but that doesn't trump the other very different methods, such as shifting, that many people have used with success. When you use a rice bag and see a little better afterwards, you relieved tension, but all of myopia is tension. That's the danger of thinking in terms of pseudomyopia or "real" myopia; if there is any difference at all (and there is enough disagreement over the specifics that I don't feel it's a closed case by any means), it is in terms of abnormal functionality only a matter of degree. Constantly I come across people who say that their eyes are now perfectly relaxed but they still don't see perfectly, and therefore there is an element of "structural" or "real" or "irreversable" myopia that is not amenable to the same relaxation treatment. And yet, those who continue with it long enough to start to get periods of perfect vision try to describe the feeling of physical relief from tension that they didn't know existed. Not only that, but to an observer with a trained eye (so to speak), a person with myopia always exhibits a strained way of using their eyes. It's usually obvious in their whole face, because it takes an incredible (usually unconscious) effort to maintain it. So regardless of whether there is a pattern to any physical steps that take place inside the eye, such as first relief of the ciliary muscle and then the extraocular muscles, makes no difference practically speaking. It's only an intellectual argument and isn't relevant to practicing the Bates method, because learning correct use of the eyes takes you all the way. A rice bag may have an effect, the same as palming might, but if it's a long-standing problem, deeper or more direct training such as shifting can be necessary to go beyond that partial improvement. That's what I found - I was stuck until I started practicing shifting and got the hang of what it was the exercise entailed.

David
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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#13
Dear Neil,

Subject: Published source of this information.

Since you seem to have high-quality medical knowlege of these
publications, (even though you state that you are
a "layman", could you supply the published information for the group?

Brooks>  That seems to be why--when researchers sutured a -3d lens on monkeys with normal eyesight, their eyesight didn't change over time as long as they removed the lenses for a couple of hours each day.

Also, how exactly does this disprove Bates?

Thanking you in advance,

Otis
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#14
David Wrote:NoBones,

I don't understand where you think I called it magic, or anything like that.

Not you.  I attributed the use of the term to nobody.  In fact, I simply gave a hypothetical that was analogous to what I felt was often happening--eschewing any curiosity about the underlying mechanisms that contributed to refractive error.

Quote:Periocular warming and breaks from near-work may seem to you to be the solution to relieve pseudomyopia, but that doesn't trump the other very different methods,

A solution.  I, by no means, claim to have a handle on THE solution.  I have suggested that there is A solution that stands up to double-blind, controlled, randomized testing.  That's pretty good.

[snip]

Quote:Not only that, but to an observer with a trained eye (so to speak), a person with myopia always exhibits a strained way of using their eyes. It's usually obvious in their whole face, because it takes an incredible (usually unconscious) effort to maintain it.

This is a "chicken-and-egg" scenario, though.  I remember somebody using, as proof, the idea that long-haul (over-the-road) truck drivers don't usually get high degrees of myopia.  My response was that people with high degrees of myopia may simply not become long-haul truckers.

Quote:So regardless of whether there is a pattern to any physical steps that take place inside the eye, such as first relief of the ciliary muscle and then the extraocular muscles, makes no difference practically speaking. It's only an intellectual argument and isn't relevant to practicing the Bates method, because learning correct use of the eyes takes you all the way. A rice bag may have an effect, the same as palming might, but if it's a long-standing problem, deeper or more direct training such as shifting can be necessary to go beyond that partial improvement. That's what I found - I was stuck until I started practicing shifting and got the hang of what it was the exercise entailed.

You may view this as argumentative--I don't--but we improve knowledge and processes by gaining a deeper understanding of the intricacies of these complex systems.  Somebody may improve on the methods that you (or I) suggest by understanding what IS and IS NOT involved in vision problems, fine-tuning their approach to be more efficient and effective.

I think that's an unmitigated good thing.
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#15
NoBones Wrote:This is a "chicken-and-egg" scenario, though.  I remember somebody using, as proof, the idea that long-haul (over-the-road) truck drivers don't usually get high degrees of myopia.  My response was that people with high degrees of myopia may simply not become long-haul truckers.

I'm not sure what exactly you mean to be the chicken and egg, whether it's blur and strain or glasses and strain. But when you find ways of relieving strain in your own eyes, and your vision improves, then the issue of what is in control of your vision is no longer an issue. People take off their glasses, and despite the discomfort of not seeing, and even the increased strain that they might produce as a result, people have shown by their own results that it is possible to overcome such a situation, so when I see someone exhibiting signs of strain, I see potential for overcoming it.

There's certainly some unsettled business about how the eye physically functions, and I can conceive that there is room for improvement in methods to improve vision. But the original point of this thread was the idea that this thing referred to as pseudomyopia draws a line as to how much vision can be improved. With the results I've seen, and the observation of more of the same potential (more strain) in everyone with vision problems, I don't see evidence of any such line.

David
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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