Improve eyesight – and throw away your glasses

Are you tired of wearing glasses and disappointed that your prescription continues to get stronger every year?  It doesn’t have to be that way.  I was wearing progressively stronger lenses for my nearsightedness until ten years ago I accidentally stumbled upon a method that allowed me to acheive 20/20 vision and throw away my glasses within a year.  For the past decade I have not worn glasses or contacts, but I am able to drive, read, and see everything clearly and sharply.

The secret was learning how to actually change my eyes so that they could focus clearly on any objects — near or far, without wearing glasses.  The method I used is one of the best examples of the self-strengthening technique called Hormetism, the focus of my blog, which I’ve applied to improve my strength and resilience in many other areas.  This is not an infomercial: The method requires several weeks or months of diligent effort, with periodic followup, and results may vary. But for this relatively small investment of time and effort, you may consider the possibility of lasting freedom from prescription lenses to be worth investigating.  It worked for me and numerous others who have tried this approach. The problem with glasses and contacts are that they are crutches. Just like using leg crutches to help you walk when you are recovering from a broken or injured leg, glasses give you the instant gratification of being able to suddenly see clearly with eyes that have lost the ability to focus well on their own. Glasses are a quick fix indeed!  However, they don’t address the root cause that allowed your eyes to get out of shape in the first place: deformation of the actual shape of the eye. Myopia (nearsightedness) is caused by elongation of the eye; hyperopia (farsightedness) by the eye becoming shorter in length. And just as one’s leg would never fully recover, but would actually become weaker, if  you continued to use crutches indefinitely, the use of corrective lenses allows your eye to become progressively weaker — either more myopic or hyperopic, as the case may be.  The use of laser surgery may seem to be the best of all fixes, by permanently resculpting the cornea.  But the risks and complications can be significant, and continued bad vision habits can result in the need for repeat surgery. The approach that worked for me — and which I advocate here — is the frequent and strategic use of anti-corrective lenses for several weeks or months, combined with special techniques involving simple eye exercises that will reshape the eye to achieve and maintain visual acuity.  Unlike other eye exercise techniques, such as the Bates Method, the use of anti-corrective lenses has solid experimental support from human and animal studies. By contrast, the Bates Method is based on an unproven idea that refractive errors are caused by “eye strain” and can be relieved by relaxation exercises.

The Bates Method. William Bates believed that the eye changed shaped when attempting to focus, thereby inducing muscular tension. Bates developed a number of techniques, such as “palming” and movement exercises, to help relax the eye, and “visualization” to enhance memory of colors and shapes. But according to Wikipedia:

“Despite continued anecdotal reports of successful results, Bates’ techniques have not been shown to objectively improve eyesight, and his main physiological proposition – that the eyeball changes shape to maintain focus – has consistently been contradicted by observation. In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, ‘Most of his claims and almost all of his theories have been considered false by practically all visual scientists.’ Marg concluded that the Bates method owed its popularity largely to ‘flashes of clear vision’ experienced by many who followed it. Such occurrences have since been determined to most likely be a contact lens-like effect of moisture on the eye.”

By contrast with the Bates Method, the method of hormetism uses controlled application of stress to induce an adapative growth response — a physical remodelling — of the shape of the eye. Support for this approach comes from extensive animal and human studies showing that the eye actually remodels neuroplastically in response to repeated focusing stimulus.  These experimental results have been synthesized into a theory known as the incremental retinal-defocus theory of myopia development (IRDT theory).  According to the IRDT theory, extensive close-up focusing of the eyes (for example by reading and wearing minus lenses) causes the image of close objects to be out of focus on the retina, resulting in biochemical processes that affect the rate of synthesis of connective tissues that control the rate of growth of retinal tissues and the shape of the eye.  The theoretical and experimental work supporting the IRDT theory is quite interesting and is explained in more detail on the Rehabilitation page of this blog, for those who are interested in the fascinating science behind this.

Anti-corrective lenses. The approach advocated here is a very specific use of anti-corrective lenses in combination with good visual habits to ensure routine variation in the use of the eyes for both up close and distance activities.  The most well documented use of anti-corrective lenses is for the reversal of myopia; in this case it is called “plus lens therapy”. Strange as it may seem, this involves wearing the opposite type of glasses normally prescribed for myopia or for hyperopia, making it initially less comfortable to focus. Specifically, so-called “plus” lenses are employed to overcome nearsightedness (myopia) and “minus” lenses to overcome farsightedness (hyperopia).   In my discussion on the Rehabilitation page, there is a more extensive discussion of the history of the use of plus lenses. The use of anti-corrective lenses is a classic case of the five general principles of Hormetism, as outlined on the Overview page of this website:

  1. the viewing distance is adjusted to simulate real-world conditions as closely as possible (i.e. the eye is actually focusing in the distance while reading a book or computer screen that is close up);
  2. constraint (an eye cover or plus lens) is imposed on the stronger eye to focus the stress on the weaker eye, and both eyes are held at the limit of their ability to comfortably focus
  3. the intensity is adjusted to be somewhat uncomfortable, but still short of “failure”;
  4. adequate recovery is allowed during rest periods between sessions; and
  5. gradualism is observed by progressively increasing the focal range over time in order to force adaptive remodeling of the eye.

How to proceed. The clearest explanation of how to use plus lenses was given by Brian Severson, who many years ago published the key steps in his “Vision Freedom” system.  Comparing the eye to a digital camera, Severson observed that the eye will attempt to “autofocus” on any image that is slightly out of focus, but will not even attempt to focus on objects that are significantly out of focus. Furthermore, he found that the focal range can be extended by a simple technique.  Here is the essence of the technique: Step 1. Find your starting range of focus:

“Take off your prescription lenses and put this page right on the end of your nose.  Now push the print slowly away until it becomes clear and in focus, and stop.  Now close each eye and see which one is sending the clear image to your brain.  You have just entered the range of focus of your better close vision eye.  It dominates for all close work…Now open both eyes, and slowly push the print away until the very first indication that the print is no longer perfectly clear and in focus, and stop…You have just found the limit of your range of focus for that eye”.

Step 2: Push your eyes to increase their range of focus.

For myopes, this is done by repeatedly pushing a printed page just slightly outside the range of focus, and allowing it to sharpen up or “clear”. (For hyperopes, the page is pulled closer until it blurs, then allowed to clear).  The eye gradually adapts to increase its range. This can be done with different objects at different ranges.  So it can be done with fine print close up, but also with larger objects in the distance.  It is especially useful to focus on sharp lines, such as overhead electrical transmission lines, and houses or trees with sharp edges.

For myopes, the process is best carried out by using plus lenses, the “reading glasses”, available in most pharmacies, that hyperopes typically use for close reading; conversely, hyperopes can accelerate the process by using minus lenses that myopes use for vision distance. Myopes can improve their vision by starting with the strongest plus lenses they can wear that will maintain their reading or computer just within their focal range. (Hyperopes do the converse). Typically, for mild myopia, one starts by wearing a +1 diopter lens and moving up to a +1.5 or +2 lens as soon as it becomes comfortable. If the myopia or hyperopia is extreme to the point where anti-corrective lenses do not allow a reasonable focal range, then it may be preferable or necessary to use reduced prescription lenses, i.e., lenses in which the diopter have been somewhat reduced by +1 or +2 diopters. With time and success, these can be progressively weakened, and a move can be made to anti-corrective lenses.

HERE IS THE CRITICAL STEP: For the focusing exercises, one should periodically push the book or computer slightly out of focal range and wait for the image to clear again. This will cause a slight feeling of discomfort, but the eye will focus as long as the distance is just slightly out of the comfort zone.  If your eyes cannot focus, move a few inches closer again until the reading material is just within focus.

This procedure can be followed for hours or more during everyday activities such as reading and computer work, watching TV, walking or driving. The anti-corrective or reduced prescription lens diopter rating (the plus or minus number) should be selected so as to make the eyes slightly uncomfortable, while still allowing clear focusing. If the right and left eyes are very uneven in strength, it may be necessary to match different corrections to each eye (buy two pairs and pop out and replace one side), or to cover the stronger eye with a patch or diffuser. Much as with CI movement therapy, this follows the principle of “constraint” to ensure that the primary stress is focused on the weaker eye, stimulating it to do most of the focusing, until it catches up with the stronger eye. We don’t want the weak eye to coast along with a “free ride” or only the stronger eye will benefit.

When to use the anti-corrective lenses. It is only necessary to use anti-corrective lenses for short periods of time — one to three hours each day, for the appropriate activities — to see significant progress over several weeks.  It is important to realize that the strong anticorrective lenses are only to be used for the activities for which your prescription glasses were least needed!  So for myopes, wear the plus lenses only for close work (reading and computer work); for hyperopes, wear the minus lenses when looking in the distance or across the room, but not when reading or at the computer. For myope engaging in distance activities (such as driving or viewing presentations), either no lenses or undercorrected lenses are recommended, though very mild plus lenses (less than +1 diopters) can be used when the myopia has been significantly reduced. The key is that the eye will adapt and remodel only when subjected to mildly uncomfortable stress.  If the stress is excessive, the eye gives up and no progress is made.  This principle is very similar that followed by weight lifters, who understand the importance of slight, but not excessive, overload.

Misunderstandings. Failure to understand this need to change or remove anti-corrective lenses in response to the distance of the current activity has led to some flawed studies which purported to show the ineffectiveness of plus lens therapy. One example of this is a frequently cited paper by Chung, Mohidan and O’Leary (http://tinyurl.com/chung22) which found that myopic children fitted with undercorrected lenses showed a more rapid progression of myopia than children wearing lenses with full correction. So the eyesight of these children actually got worse by using undercorrection than normal correction. This would appear to contradict the IRDT hypothesis that the eye can be stimulated via lens therapy to grow shorter in axial length, and hence reduce myopia. And this result has been repeatedly cited by others as disproving the effectiveness of plus lenses or under correction. However, a re-analysis of this study by Hung and Ciuffreda of Rutgers University (http://abstracts.iovs.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/5/4791) came to a different conclusion. In addition to normal correction and slight undercorrection groups, the Hung and Ciufredda study included a group using “high-powered plus lenses”. Their analysis found that the high-powered plus lenses led to hyperopic growth (in other words, shortening of the eye’s axial length), which decreased the myopia of the children wearing those lenses. And the progression of myopia in children who wore undercorrected lenses is explained by the fact that they wore these all the time, not when just reading. This led to a diminished stimulus by facilitating accommodative focuses during “near-to-far viewing cycles”, which underminded the benefits of undercorrection. Based upon this analysis, the proper use of undercorrection would be to wear the undercorrective lenses only during long distance viewing. This is a key point!  Note that, according to the protocol of the study (Chung et al, p. 2556), “Subjects were instructed to wear their glasses all the time except during sleeping.” The fact that the undercorrected lenses were worn for close up viewing as well as distance viewing, would tend to undermine their effectiveness, according to the IRDT theory. In their summary, Hung and Ciufredda conclude:

Based on IRDT analysis, high-powered plus lens, full correction, and 0.75 D under-correction result in relative hyperopic, emmetropic, and myopic growth, respectively. Thus, the theory is able to explain these apparently contradictory findings. Moreover, the IRDT provides a consistent theoretical framework for understanding the development of myopia under a variety of experimental and clinical conditions.

So far from disproving the value of plus lenses and undercorrection, this study supports the IRDT theory for treating myopia. The conclusion should be taken as showing how NOT to use undercorrected lenses — don’t wear them for close work and reading, only for far distance viewing activities such as driving.  On the other hand, for close work (reading and computer use), wearing stronger plus lenses are effective in counteracting myopia. Based upon IRDT theory, I suppose the ideal combination would be bifocals with plus lenses for close vision and undercorrection for distance vision, or using two different glasses for these different situations.

Work without lenses. In addition to using anti-corrective lenses for close up activities (or distance activities, in the case of hyperopes), it is important to engage in frequent and deliberate near-to-far focusing exercises in daily life.  Without glasses, take some time to look intently and focus on distant objects, and alternate this with looking at close up objects.  Just as when using the lenses, try to focus on objects at the edge or just beyond of your current focal range, allowing them to “clear”. I found it most helpful to choose objects with crisply defined dark lines or borders, such as telephone poles and power lines or edges of buildings. You’ll soon notice that blurry or “double” images will begin to resolve. I remember becoming excited when I started to see crisp power lines, and billboard signs, and could eventually start to read signs at a distance.  This is one of the most motivating aspects of the technique. On the Rehabilitation page, you’ll find my speculations as to how this resolution of double images relates to the mechanisms of eye remodelling and the IRDT theory.

A final word: Be patient. Your eyes took a long time to lose their shape, and they won’t pop back into shape overnight.  Just as building muscles in the gym takes time and discipline, remodeling your eyes is a step-by-step process that takes time. Most likely, you’ll notice progress in spurts. And just like going to the gym, you will need to keep you eyes in shape by periodically using anti-corrective lenses (especially if you will be spending a lot of time reading or at the computer), and by varying your daily activities to include looking at both near and far objects. But if you stick with it, you’ll find your eyesight is improving, perhaps at a time when many of your older friends are finding their eyesight is getting worse. If this topic interests you, please comment below,  or check out the Rehabilitation Discussion Forum, where a number of people have reported their success with using the Hormetism method for improving eyesight, manual dexterity, and other areas of overcoming the need for corrective devices.

April 2012 update:  See my interview, How one person improved his vision, for details on how the above method helped one individual achieve 20/15 vision!

July 2014 update: A recent clinical study of young adults in the journal of Investigative Opthamology and Visual Science provides fresh proof of the IRDT theory.  The article, “Human optical axial length and defocus”  found that fitting people with plus lenses or minus lenses induces significant changes in axial eye length within as little as an hour.

August 2014 update: At this year’s Ancestral Health Symposium in Berkeley I gave a talk about the causes of myopia and how to reverse it.  I’ve posted the video and slides on my post, Myopia: a modern yet reversible disease.

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395 Comments

  1. Mike

    Otis,

    I didn’t know you were a co-founder of the plus-lens therapy until I looked back through some of the comments and visited your website. I thank you for getting it out there and trying to reverse the common thinking the medical community has on vision. I am honored to be in contact with such pioneers. Thank you.

    I was wondering if you have seen this website: http://schwerdfeger.name/articles/pluslens.shtml. ?

    In the article, the author discusses how wearing plus-lens in everyday situations, it allows the eye to relax, thus improving from the therapy. Todd talks about how the eye can adjust only when it it close-to-clear. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on this? Or Todd, if you do?

    I will stop asking questions now as I have discovered the site dedicated to this discussion. If I may, I will share with you all when I reach 20/20 or beyond. Thank you again for your valuable information and timely responses. Plus-lens therapy is life changing.

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your support. I post some remarks under, “Discussion” to reflect my advocacy that a person at 20/40 (-1 diopter) receive the scientific education he needs to be part of a successful preventive effort. I get endless abuse from “conventional ODs” about this subject, since they all seem “brain washed” against the idea that the fundamental eye is dynamic, and with wise use of the plus — preventable up to about 20/40 — in my opinion. It does take great resolve to “stick” in using the plus. This is why Brian Severson was successful. When he was at 20/60 to 20/70, he just resolved to keep on wearing the plus until he got a refractive change of 1 to 1.5 diopter. But he had a very personal reason to keep on “going” — his professional career. From the web-site you posted, you can see that some “wise” or very bright people “internalize” the solution, and just “commit” to wearing the plus when it can be most effective (i.e., 20/40 to 20/20).

      Mike> In the article, the author discusses how wearing plus-lens in everyday situations, it allows the eye to relax, thus improving from the therapy. Todd talks about how the eye can adjust only when it it close-to-clear. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on this? Or Todd, if you do?

      Otis> Obviously Todd and I are in total agreement about the need for the plus (when you are at 20/40). There is no doubt that we will probably diagree about some nuance of the concept. If you are at 20/40 (about -1) I suggest the use of a +2 that will “just blur” at about 20 to 25 inches — and for all close work. As your Snellen improves to 20/25 then I would increase that to +2.5 diopters. This must be self-selected, with both comfort and ease of use important.

      Mike> I will stop asking questions now as I have discovered the site dedicated to this discussion. If I may, I will share with you all when I reach 20/20 or beyond. Thank you again for your valuable information and timely responses. Plus-lens therapy is life changing.

      Otis> I would suggest that you continue to post either here or under “discussions”. But Snellen-clearing is very slow — so be prepared for that issue. I know people want this to be “easy” and “fast” but it is not that way. You just have to “grit your teeth”, and when you sit down, put that +2 on your face and “push back” till “just blur”, and then lean forward. Since “plus” is so cheap, you can get several “plus” to find out what is best for you. But, from all that I have seen, I would look for 20/30 as the next step — and accept “slow” as part of the issue you must deal with. Keep on posting — your struggle is always part of “problem solving”, and this is indeed a difficult scientific problem. Otis

      • CalebMMA

        Will the plus lense therapy work if your vision is over 20/40? I dont know my eyesight, I am going to the eye doctor in about 3 weeks.

  2. Nate

    I just reduced my prescription from 4.25R/4.75L to 4.0R/4.25L. Things are still a little blurry in the distance, though. On my Snellen I can read the 20/40-20/50 lines with the new correction.

    Even though I reduced my prescription, I feel like I am at somewhat of a plateau. I do see alot of the “double image” when reading that Todd describes in his rehab page. On occasion, the “clear image” becomes very strong, or my vision at reading distance clears entirely. It only lasts for about twenty seconds, though, and then goes back to blurry.

    I am still very determined.

  3. Mike

    Otis,

    You are right, I have to take this journey step by step. My next goal will be 20/30. Thank you for the advice and encouragement.

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,
      Subject: The personal difficulty of prevention.
      Re: Todd’s “Discussion Forum” — and my remarks.
      I think that any person who can read his Snellen at 20/40, is very lucky. The real issue is “deeper understanding”, of why you must conduct prevention YOURSELF. I have placed a great deal of my personal judgment and experience on the “discussion forum”. The real issue for me (and for you) is how much “commitment” can you summon for your goal? That is a question I can never answer. I know most of us are easily “distracted”, so that we “want” something NOW, but then we lose “interest”. This is why Pilot Severson was successful — in my opinion. I don’t reflect badly on a person who can’t summon that resolve, because it is indeed hard to keep on wearing the plus, and your friends don’t understand what you are doing — or why you are doing it. From the postings (and your efforts) you will find that the average rate-of-change is about +1 diopter per year, maybe better. But you are truly taking about wearing a +2 to +2.5 for from six to 12 months. I love my distant vision as passing the 20/30 to 20/25 line (and better). I also love having my own “test” lenses so I can determine my refractive status (at no cost). I only “advocate” this type of preventive work — for people I think have that type of motivation and insight. Todd has that insight, and all of this advice is indeed FREE — as I think it should be. Only you are going to “think through” these issues and make your choice. Otis

  4. Subject: Published Documents — if you wish to do further research.

    The “database” on the eye is HUGE — but terribly organized and hard to read. No one could read all of it, as each year a new “stack” is published. To even begin to make sense of the natural eye’s behavior, it is necessary to recognize the bias in this research and publications. I simply class these publications as “majority-opinion” and “second-opinion.”

    The second-opinion (by the ODs and MDs themselves) recommends that negative status of the eye be prevented in its early stage.

    I prepared a book to reflect this judgment, and to organize a preventive study. Here is the book for your interest. I truly developed the book to honor Dr. Jacob Raphaelson whose basic concept led to some of the ideas expressed by this analysis.

    http://www.i-see.org/otis_brown/

    To support your research, I prepared two sites, starting in the year 2002

    http://myopiafree.i-see.org/

    And a more recent one:

    http://myopiafree.wordpress.com/

    I was convinced that Raphaelson was correct, and worked to develop the science behind prevention.

    But it is also clear that only the guidance of a parent (and/or the wise OD) could get the child to START with the plus and soon as his refractive status “started negative” and visual acuity at 20/40.

    In my opinion, that is when you must make an “either/or” choice in the use of the plus. No one can force you or your child to wear a plus lens — that is for certain. But, if you are lucky and independent, in mind and judgment, you might be able to take the personal actions that are necessary to be effective in prevention. I wish you great success in this work. Otis

  5. I thank Todd for posting his experience in the use of the plus to clear his vision back to normal.

    But I am certain that Todd will be asked for a medical professional to support his success with the plus — since Todd is an engineer, and presumed to not have “medical knowledge”.

    Here is an ophthalmologist who has successfully used the plus, professionally, for the last 30 years.

    http://www.doyletics.com/arj/nomyopia.htm

    Otis

  6. Subject: Successful results from -4.5 and -2.25 Diopters. (about 20/100 on a Snellen)
    I would like to post this success by Jansen, who systematically worked with a “plus” and other methods. The DMV requires 20/40 visual acuity. Jansen achieved this result after following Todd’s advice and success on 1/8/11. Because the sequence of posts on “Discussion Forum” can be hard to follow, I post them here. 20/40 is critical. You can fly an airplane with 20/40 under FAA 3rd class rules. (Obviously you should WORK to get to 20/20). But it is truly a success to go from 20/100 to pass the required DMV line in two years. My thanks to Todd and Jansen for his success.
    Otis

  7. Joonas

    Great success. I never had glasses but my myopia had started to give me trouble, late facial recognition, trouble reading traffic signs in time to make a turn, trouble flagging down the correct buss in time etc. Based on resolving power calculations, I can only guess that my original vision was something in the 20/40 20/50 range. Only after ten days did i try the Snellen chart for the first time. Before that i had noticed definite subjective improvements.

    After ten days i could read the 20/30 line and the 20/20 line was on the verge of being recognizable. Now after seventeen days, when i allow my eyes to adjust (No voluntary effort, just allowing the auto focus to work. Currently this takes up to twenty seconds), i can definitely make out every letter in the 20/20 line. If squint i can almost begin to make out the 20/15 line.

    I’ve used +1 lenses for computer work and +1.5 for reading. On most days I’ve used the glasses until I’ve begun to feel definite strain in my eyes. That’s three to four hours total time. There is no chronic strain. I find that my eyes can recover comfortably from this.

    Thank you Todd. This really made a difference! Walking outside is a joy and it’s only going to get better.

    • Todd

      Joonas,

      I’m very happy to hear about the rapid improvement in your vision. It’s especially nice that you were able to reverse your myopia before succumbing to wearing glasses. The joy you describe in seeing more clearly without having to use lenses is a joy that several of us posting here have experienced. It is difficult to convey with words alone.

      The kind of progress you experienced is not a permanent thing. It will last only to the extent you maintain good habits and engage in periodic “tune ups”. I’d encourage you to visit the Discussion Forum associated with this blog, peruse some of the comments and tips shared there, and post your own insights or questions if you see fit.

      Todd

    • Hi Joonas,
      I am very pleased with your success — in such a short time. Most people take longer than that — perhaps four to seven months, from 20/60.
      But you have done what most people never do, 1) Down-load a Snellen visual acuity chart, and actually read it in bright light, and the 2) Begin systematic use of the plus, and KEEP AT IT!!
      I don’t know what is in the mind of “most people” but almost always they never even make an effort.
      The DMV requires that we pass the 20/40 line (fair enough). The use of the plus under YOUR control, can slowly clear your visual acuity — if you can persist.
      You are VERY LUCKY that you never wore a minus lens. It truly kills your distant vision. I argue for recovery, but only if you have not yet started wit the minus. Todd got out of -3 diotpers, and I am highly impressed that he was able to do that.
      Keep up the work — you have solved this problem for yourself.
      Otis

  8. Srini

    Dear all,

    My daughter was diagnosed as a -2.5 today and we are sad that she has been advised to wear minus glasses. She’s 10 yrs and has had generally good eating/reading habits.

    I would like to follow your tips and suggestions and keen to make her avoid wearing glasses. If any of you can post a detailed reply here on exact steps to undertake and equipment/charts one need to have at home to practice, I shall be most grateful. I am a layman and still very unfamiliar with Optometry vocabulary.

    Thanks and regards

    • Todd

      Srini,

      The good news is that you found this site early, before your daughter starts wearing minus lenses that would accelerate her myopia. The challenge for you is working closely with your daughter to train her reading at a proper distance and in the use of plus lenses.

      The general approach for preventing myopia with plus lenses and eye exercises are spelled out in the article above, the Rehabilitation page (see header above) and the Rehabiliation section of the Discussion Forum. (See link at upper right). You will find on the Forum a thread about Eyesight Without Glasses. This includes posts and discussions by a number of contributors who have worked with their children to prevent and reverse their myopia. Read through the accounts of the many people there who have reversed their myopia.

      If your daughter has been measured as having -2.5 diopters, she should be able to read comfortably at about 40/2.5 = 16 inches. That is the “edge of focus” – the point at which print is crisp, but beyond which it starts to blur. If it is still in focus, have her read as far away from the computer or a book as she can before it starts to blur. She won’t need plus lenses to start – only discipline in not reading too close up.

      Once her eyes improve enough that she sees print clearly at more than 20 inches, go with her to the pharmacy and pick out some weak plus lenses, no more than +1, and wear those whenever reading. You may need to strengthen those to +1.5 or stronger as she improves.

      It is also important that she spend time in activities like sports, walking or cycling where she spends a lot of time looking at distant objects. She should also take frequent breaks from the computer to look at distant objects. There are good eye exercises outlines in David DeAngelis’ book, the Secret of Perfect Vision.

      Good luck,

      Todd

    • Hi Srini,

      I don’t like to “dispute” any given measurement, but I know from long experience that some ODs will over-prescribe a child (with a -2.5 diopter) for many reasons. I would suggest “home checking” of her visual acuity yourself. I was also over-prescribed by -2 diopters, and that excessive minus frankly destroyed my vision since I wore it all the time for about ten years. Not all ODs will do this, and quite a few recommend avoiding the minus — if your child can pass the 20/40 line. In order to converse with you about these “preventive” ODs I recommend you go to this location:

      http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php

      and read the “Rehabilitation” line.

      There are some “habits” a young child develops when reading that induce this negative status for her young eyes. We should discuss them — and we will help you and your child if we can.

      • Srini

        Thanks a lot, Otis.

        I missed seeing the Forum threads so far. Thanks for your guidance. I will read all posts and make best use of the information there, especially in the main thread – Eyesight without glasses.

        Any further questions I have, instead of posting in this page, I will post in that thread to keep it ‘tidy’ :-)

  9. Srini

    Dear Todd,

    My sincere and heartfelt thanks for your kind and elaborate response. Your running this blog and sharing your insights itself is a great service for all. The fact that you also take time off your busy life, to guide new entrants like me is even more admirable.

    Today, we had another test done in a different eye care centre, for a second opinion. Their results are -1.25 in left eye and -2.0 in right eye. They were to prescribe, however, -0.25 short of this (-1.0 and -1.75 for lenses). We have bought some time to get back.

    My wife is keen as well to try this alternative therapy – of attempting this method first and see how our daughter gets along despite popular advise all around us suggesting that we shouldn’t delay adopting prescription lenses.

    We want to kick start this exercise for our daughter as soon as possible (perhaps tomorrow itself). In order that we carry this out in a proper manner, allocating necessary time and using the right aids, I would benefit from any schedule you can share with us – i.e. suggested font types/sizes to try first, any mechanical aids to rest documents on to move without shake etc. Or, is it just a case of using everyday objects, readable books/newspapers to try out around the threshold range ?

    Thanks in advance again.

    • Hi Srini,
      I know you will get a lot of advice on this subject. There are some ODs who call the minus, “poison glasses for children”, and believe that a child should avoid wearing a minus, except when necessary for distant objects.
      The also believe, that some children “lean forward” and read too close, like at 10 inches or less. The believe that a child should be requested to “sit up” and keep all reading a writing at a distance of greater-than 16 inches.
      I know that this type of discipline for a child is very difficult to enforce, but that has been the recommendation of prevention-minded medical people. I hope this helps your child with prevention.

  10. Celeste

    I’d like to try this, but I just went to the eye doctor and he wouldn’t prescribe me any contacts that were lower than what I’m currently wearing. Right now that is -5.0 and -5.25.

    As a little background, I’m a commercial pilot and trying to apply for pilot slots in the Air Force, and the vision requirements is the only thing holding me back. I’d really like to get my vision down to 20/200 (ideally even better than that), as I can get a medical waiver to wear contact lenses while flying.

    I wanted to try a lower strength contact prescription for when I’m not flying, but the eye doctor refused to prescribe it and said this was pretty much a myth that wearing lower strength lenses can improve nearsightedness. Despite what he said, I think it’s worth a try. I figure I have nothing to lose, worst case scenario is that I don’t see improvement and I get tired of watching blurry television and I go back to the lenses that are currently prescribed. Is there any way I can order contact lens of a different strength than what the prescription is for?

    • Todd

      Celeste,

      My advice: Don’t worry about your eye doctor (opthamologist or optometrist) or try to argue with him. Just ask your optician to reduce the prescription by 0.5 diopters, to -4.5/-4.75. My experience, and what I hear from readers, is that more than half of opticians are willing to do that. Or, you can save a lot of money and just order a pair of glasses online from ZenniOptical.com, which sells high quality frames in a variety of styles for a small fraction of what you might normally pay. Or you can buy contacts with your prescription of choice from Lens.com.

      Keep in mind another important point: Wearing underprescribed lenses will NOT by itself reduce your myopia. As I emphasize in the article, it is important to practice reading at the blur point, a technique also called “print pushing”. You eyes will remodel only if they are stimulated to remodel, which requires “just enough, but not too much” retinal defocus. By analogy, carrying around weights with you all day will not make you stronger, especially if they are too light or too heavy. Muscle growth requires “just enough, but not too much” stimulus. Print pushing for someone with your degree of myopia can probably be done at the computer without wearing ANY lenses. Just sit back far enough so that the print is just barely within focal range.

      I suggest reading on my forum, the thread called “Eyesight with glasses“. There are many practical suggestions there, including choice of the critical reading distance, D2.

      Todd

  11. JP

    Hey Todd, I’m so glad you’re still answering these personally! Finishing everything I set out to do is one of the main things I’m trying to improve, so I admire this tremendously.

    When I first came across this, I read all the previous comments, and I get the gist of it. If you don’t mind, I’d like a somewhat tailored response, since I remember my situation being a bit different than some of the other posters.

    Oh, and before I start, a big F*** YOU to 99% of the Optometry industry. I truly believe that without you, I’d probably have perfect vision.

    Aaaaannyway. :)

    -I have a -6.50 in my left eye, -5.75 in my right. Given the following points, I’m not sure how best to address this disparity.
    -I work all day on the internet. I’m in front of a computer for at least 10-12 hours. Without glasses, and normal font/screen resolution, I’d have to hold the screen very close to my face, at least when first starting out.
    -I am self-employed, so I have no external constraints like needing to have glasses on while I do X or Y.
    -I am a serial PUSHER. I am willing to push myself as hard as it takes to never wear glasses again.
    -I am willing to do anything if I see the principle behind why it’s in my best interest. I am not afraid of being pushed outside my comfort zone.
    -I currently live in a country where buying new pairs of glasses is dirt cheap. I can buy “interim” glasses if you think it’s necessary, and as many as are needed.
    -I’m in my mid-to-late 20s

    Please help me, Todd. What do you think is the most effective way to achieve this glasses-free goal, given a burning motivation, lack of external constraints, and 100% commitment?

    Thanks very much for your kindness in helping all these people.

    JP

    • Todd

      JP,

      Regarding the disparity between your left and right eyes: it is very common to have different degrees of myopia or hyperopia in each eye. This question has come up several times, and if you read through the “Eyesight without glasses” thread on the Discussion Forum, you’ll see my suggestions on how to address it with periodic use of diffusers or eye patches to prevent the “strong” eye from taking over and allowing the “weak” eye to work harder and thereby get stronger.

      Regarding print pushing with your unaided eyes: I agree that this would mean having to start out reading very close to the computer — basically 6.5 inches away. Diopters are “inverse meters”, so the focus distance for 6 diopters is calculated as 1/6 of a meter = 16.7 cm = 6.5 inches. That is indeed very close. So there are two things I can suggest:

      1. Since you work by yourself and don’t mind looking a bit akward, why not go ahead and read close up to the screen? If you are only doing this for a few months and can work to a longer distance, I don’t think there is any significant short term health risk from reading so close up. Or, if that bothers you, at least read books and magazines close up. The initial awkwardness will provide a great incentive to work on increasing your focal distance as soon as feasible. It may only take a few months to get to 12 inches or more.

      2. If you don’t like the previous suggestion, get a pair of much weaker minus lenses, perhaps with a correction of -4 diopters. Then your “net” myopia is reduced to -2 diopters, which will allow you to read at a comfortable 19 inches (50 centimeters). You can order very inexpensive glasses from zennioptical.com, allowing you to order several different strengths as your eyesight improves.

      Since you are a determined person, a “serial pusher” as you say, I have no doubt you will be seeing significant progress within a few months. Keep in mind that improvement is not a straight line, and expect to experience long plateaus, interspersed with sudden spurts of improvement and occasional setbacks.

      Good luck,

      Todd

    • JP

      Hey Todd, thanks for the super fast response! I’m typing this without glasses :P

      I work on two computers, a laptop and a desktop. I’ve put the laptop on top of a horizontally-laid shoebox so it’s almost at eyelevel (my table’s height is perhaps an inch below my chest muscles when I sit) so I don’t blow out my back from leaning in… it’s painful, and my back hurts enough as it is without doing this, ha. Any tips for health posture for newbies who must be at the computer all the time? If not, no worries, I’m sure I’ll get a makeshift system up and running soon enough… just thought you know of someone with experience w/it.

      Any little tricks on the best ways to measure my progress in an objective way? Maybe use the same size font on my laptop and check the distance? I’m worried if I use the eye charts I’ll cheat subconsciously.. or are they still the best way in your opinion?

      Thanks again for your kind response,

      JP

      • Todd

        JP,

        Your rapid response — and typing without glasses — is a sign of your commitment and enthusiasm, and I detect you are off to a good start! Arranging your laptop (and desktop) for maximum comfort is quite sensible. If you are experiencing some back pain because you feel you must be at the computer all the time, perhaps that’s part of the problem. My suggestions (with the caveat that I know almost nothing of your personal circumstances) are: (1) take frequent breaks. Get up from your computer every 30 minutes and walk around. Do a little stretching and take time to look around at objects near and far to give your eyes some exercise and a change of pace; (2) a weak back and core frequently underlie back pain. Get to the gym and spend some time with weight-bearing back exercises. Start with very light weights and build up your back muscles. I used to have a weak back and noticed it when lifting my kids when they were babies. I hit the gym and dramatically increased my back strength, and back pain has been a distant memory for the last decade.

        As to measuring your progress: The Snellen chart is the gold standard. The computerized charts at i-see.org generate random sequences that can’t be memorized. So cheating is impossible. Try them out: http://www.i-see.org/eyecharts.html

        Good luck, JP! And stay in touch!

        Todd

        • JP

          Hey Todd,

          I haven’t touched my glasses in four days, and I thought I’d share my experience thus far.

          Initially, I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone.. the first time I went out at night without at least knowing they were dangling from my shirt was an out of body experience.

          Things I’ve noticed:
          -Hearing more sensitive
          -Other people’s potential judgements were all in my head. If I look in the direction of someone’s eyes when I speak, that’s good enough.
          -Tangentially, I feel more at peace. Since I can be a bit self-conscious, when I can’t even notice other people’s reactions, my brain tends to shut off the “others’ reactions monitor” entirely, and I can better appreciate just “being.”
          -As I believe you’ve mentioned Todd, since my L/R prescriptions are different, I really (really, REALLY) relied on my stronger (right) eye. I never paid too much attention to this as contacts/glasses always accounted for the disparity, and it’s amazing. The left one becomes useless other than for some peripheral feedback if I don’t consciously choose to use both eyes, and even if I do it feels unnatural. That using both my eyes feels unnatural feels…well, unnatural. :)
          -Analogous in some ways to life after quitting smoking. Every activity is fundamentally the same, yet different. Chopping up garlic must be done up close. I must now learn at precisely which spots the most dust collects in order to efficiently mop without doing it on my hands and knees. And so on…

          Things to avoid:
          -Shaving with a straight-blade razor after drinking coffee.
          -Oncoming traffic
          -Small children running around; especially at night they can look like dogs, or chickens

          Concerns:
          -Self-doubt; doubts that my correction is too bad to ever fully recover, or I am beyond even any repair. (I just measured my eyes with this: http://www.smbs.buffalo.edu/oph/ped/IVAC/IVAC.html — 20/200 in both, though obviously the right is a bit better.)
          -Impatience; I worry that if I don’t see some improvement within a perhaps unreasonable or irrational period of time, I’ll begin to entertain thoughts of giving up in despair

          Questions:
          -Do you see value for me in a weaker prescription to use every once in a while, a positive prescription, neither, or some combination?
          -If a weaker (or positive) prescription, do you think the logic is sound that since I want to train my weaker eye, I should reduce my stronger eye by more, so that it becomes blurry relative to the weaker eye?

          Thanks Todd!

          JP

          • Todd

            Hi JP,

            Sorry for the delayed response.

            From your two notes, it sounds like you normally wear strong lenses (around -6) and have a rather extreme Snellen score of 20/200, with a stronger right eye. But you have been going around without wearing any glasses. While this undoubtedly gives you some interesting insights, I don’t think that going “cold turkey” will improve your eyesight. Your eyes will improve only if stimulated to do so using “threshold” retinal defocus. That means:

            1. Using glasses with a slight undercorrection (reduce your minus lens spherical correctcion by about 0.25 to 0.50 diopters for each eye). What that means is that instead of your current -6.5L/-5.75R glasses, you should buy -6.0L/-5.25R lenses. As your eyesight improves, weaken further by 0.50 diopters, probably every 6 months or so if you work seriously at it.
            2. Implement a reading using the technique called “print pushing”, which has been described dozens of times in the above comments and on the Discussion Forum. I suggest you read through those comments and perhaps do a search on “print pushing” and “D1″. In your case, with your very strong myopia, you will need to start out with your naked eyes, reading very close up — 6 inches from the screen or page.
            3. To deal with your weaker left eye, occasionally “mask” the stronger right eye using your hand or a piece of paper taped over the right lens of your glasses.

            Todd

  12. LP

    Hi Todd,

    After reading this post and the forum I am very eager to start improving my eyesight! I just wanted to clarify what I should be doing before I start. I have -3 and -3.25 D and I’m 20/100 on the Snellen chart. If I do the eye pushing I can read the computer screen or book from about 16 inches away.
    From reading what you have told other people with a higher myopic numbers it seems I should be reading with the naked eye before moving to using plus lenses.
    I assume I should be doing distance exercises, so at the moment if i focus ‘in the distance’ (but at the edge of my focal range) it’s not really that distant at all. So should I be looking well into the distance where it’s all blurry or looking at the edge of my vision which is not far away?
    Also, Should I get weaker glasses like you mentioned to JP and wear them all the time? Or just do the page pushing, distance work and wear my regular glasses the rest of the time?

    Thanks very much for your info!
    LP

    • Todd

      LP,

      If your current threshold of focus is 16 inches, that’s a great natural reading distance. So you don’t need plus lenses to start — just proceed with your naked eyes. Once you are able to expand your focal threshold beyond 20 inches (corresponding to about a -2 diopter correction), you might consider introducing weak plus lenses, around +1 diopters.

      At present, you aren’t able to gaze very far into the distance without glasses. But you should get a pair of reduced prescription glasses to wear for when you aren’t reading. Reduce your current prescription by about 0.5 diopters, i.e., from -3/-3.25 to -2.5/-2.75. Wear those for walking around, watching TV or movies, and most of life. Try them for driving too, but only once you are sure the focal clarity is adequate. You can also do distance gazing while wearing the weakened prescription, making a point to focus on the finest and sharpest features in the distance that you possibly can — tree twigs, powerlines, distant buildings, etc.

      Todd

  13. Jerry

    Hi Todd,

    How effective do you think this method would be in improving astigmatism? Since it doesn’t work the same way as long/short sightedness.

    Thanks!

    • Todd

      Jerry,

      This method of print pushing or threshold focusing does not directly address astigmatism. However, many people who have tried it find that their astigmatism spontaneously diminishes as their myopia or hyperopia resolves.

  14. JP

    Hey Todd, I’ve been waiting for weeks for your response.. I guess you just missed it? I’ve kept it up pretty much nonstop, no glasses. I’d like to move into positive and reduced frames ASAP for up-close and far away, respectively… need advice!

    Since I’m -6.5L/-5.75R, what about +6.5L +5.75 right? I don’t want to tippy toe in, I want some serious change.

    Thanks!

  15. JP

    Hey Todd, thanks for all your help. I perhaps misrepresented myself… I had read pretty much all the comments and am aware of print pushing. In fact after I first came upon your site, even before I first commented I was doing it in small doses. My question is that the logic seems sound… if my eyes are so messed up in one shape, why not go the opposite, and use strong + lenses? Is it not possible my eyes could also be stimulated to change this way?

    My fear is if I go the small, incremental route, my progress will taper off soon enough. I once heard a story of a guy who for a period wore glasses that made things look upside down, then when he took them off the world looked upside down. Isn’t first stimulating the brain to adapt a viable catalyst for the eyes to follow suit, i.e., a program of strong +, AND print pushing with no glasses (or + ones)?

    If not, I’d like to know why, since on the surface it makes sense to me.

    Thanks!

    • Todd

      JP,

      I think that as long as you periodically increase your focal distance (for close up print pushing) or weaken your minus correction (for long distance viewing or driving) you will continue to provide an ever increasing stimulus to improve your vision. You’ll only taper off or plateau if you stop moving the goal posts.

      I have no issue if you want to try bigger steps and see if you make progress. But just as trying to lift weights that exceed your ability will cause your muscles to “give up”, trying to focus too far beyond your capability will cause your eyes to give up making any useful efforts. Your biological focusing mechanism is not dissimilar in principle from the autofocus mechanism on a camera. If the camera cannot resolve an image, it will give up making the effort. Also, several on this forum have found that their eyes tire or get red eye when making too strenuous an effort.

      That is why I advocate an incremental. but progressive, approach.

      Best of luck,

      Todd

      • Ron

        Hi Todd,

        I don’t mean to hijack this specific discussion, but I have a quick (OK, not so quick) question, which I’m fairly certain is probably answered somewhere on these pages that I’m currently reading to the end eventually, but while I’m thinking of it…

        If you use the incremental approach, and even make progress in time, wouldn’t constantly going back to your normal prescription hinder results? In other words, I wear the under-correction for a few hours, then return to my normal prescription; it would seem that the eyes would return to the same impairment? Or is this not the case – especially in the beginning?

        • Todd

          Ron,

          It’s a reasonable question that you ask, and I’m not sure that I can give you a highly scientific answer. I think we need to break down the process into two parts:

          1. Print pushing for close work — with the unaided eye (for myopia greater than -2 diopters) or plus lenses (for weaker myopia). This is done only for certain concentrated periods of time each day, while doing close work. Frequent breaks are desireable so as not to over-tire the eyes. This is real hormesis, in which stress should be alternated with rest and recovery, just as in weight lifting.

          2. Under-correction for distance viewing. This is a much milder stress, assuming you are undercorrecting by only about 0.25-0.5 diopters. In this case, I see no reason why you would want to revert to your older, stronger prescription. I would only revert back for one reason — if your under-corrected lenses are making you tired and you need an occasional break. But my experience is that 0.25 to 0.5 diopters is not stressful.

          The other point I would make is that alternating between stronger and weaker corrections does not necessarily undermine progress. One way to look at this is to consider that make frequently changes in correction may actually help you to increase focal RANGE. This is based on the concept of “allostasis”. For more perspective on that, see my post entitled “Get stronger using stress oscillation“.

          Does that answer your question?

          Todd

        • Hi Ron,

          I hope you will forgive me for adding my 2 cents.
          First: The real expert of prevention – is Todd – because he was successful.
          Second: You will get two answers to your question. In the pseudo-myopia stage (defined as from 20/40 to 20/70) you can probably avoid wearing a minus lens – so the “cold turkey” approach would be a “workable” idea. (This is why I ask people to CHECK THEMSELVES. If they can’t read the 20/70 line, they they will need a (low cost minus) until they can read the 20/60 line. This is where the “gradual” approach is required.
          Third: Even an eye at 20/100, can “recover” in about two weeks – if the person can avoid wearing the minus most of the time. After the two weeks – check your Snellen.
          Of course, my approach is to recognize that no OD will help you with this – and that is why I check my Snellen to make certain I always PASS the 20/40 line – so I never am forced to wear a minus lens.

        • Ron

          Why is it that you can reply to some posts, but not others. Hmm.

          Anyway, thanks Todd, answers my question perfectly.

          And thanks, Otis for your additional info.

          Great stuff here!

          • Todd

            Hi Ron,

            Let me know which posts aren’t allowing you to respond. With one exception, I haven’t seen that happen before, but if this is generally happening I want to look into it and involve my service provider or WordPress support as needed. The only post which I’ve deliberately blocked for further comment is the post “How one person improved his vision” as that particularly thread was getting too long and devolving into repetitive and rather uninspired discussions. I could unblock it again if you want to put something there.

            Glad to have intelligent comments here like the ones you are providing!

            Todd

        • Hi Ron,

          Let me ask some questions about you. This is not too personal, but it helps to understand certain issues.

          I helped pilots, who were at 20/60, by explaining why it would be wise to CONSIDER wearing a plus (and avoid the minus). I was well-aware of the long-term intense motivation it would take to succeed.

          Ron, asking questions is the right thing to do – because I asked thousands! If you read through these lists, you find people who want “instant results” with no effort – or no wearing of the plus to any meaningful extent.

          This is why prevention (in the pseudo-myopia) stage has been successful. The person had a strong personal goal, and actually reads his own Snellen. He then is not “distracted” by people who have no motivation, or quit after a month or so. (We should all be honest about that truth).

          So eventually you will ask yourself 1) What is my goal. 2) Can I succeed. 3) Have others been successful from 20/60, and/or -3.0 diopters. 4) Why are ODs either hostile, or no help to me – or why must I do all preventive work “on my own”?

          Todd and I helped a “Zane” with some of this work – which we acknowledged is difficult. After a few weeks Zane decided that all this “preventive work” with the eye was too “risky” and quit – instantly. Obviously no one can help a person like that – and certainly not an optometrist. I post this, not to give you are “hard time” – but to get you to consider what your interests are on this subject.

        • Ron

          Hi Otis,

          First of all, here is my current prescription – http://muvipix.com/ron/script.jpg – opposite of what most talk about here, I know. If you could interpret that for me, that would be great. And I understand that I most likely have a “long road to recovery”!

          My goal? Is obviously 20/20; if I’m going to attempt to do this, might as well go all the way. Although, I would be satisfied if I corrected my distant vision (not having to rely on glasses all the time) and only needed reading glasses occasionally when warranted. This is the way it all started back about 12 years ago or so (I’m 51 now). I noticed one day when reading that the text was a bit blurry and I had to strain to read. Got me a pair of store bought reading glasses and all was well. I got to the point, after a few years, of wearing them more and more (was tired of taking them out of my pocket to read menus, labels, and eventually store prices, intricate object details, etc.). Long story short, I kept increasing the strength of the glasses over the years until about 2007 when I finally revisited the OD after many years going without. She couldn’t believe my eyes were so bad. And I guess they were bad enough that it was causing some drainage issues, which was in turn causing mild pressure problems and over time it was said that it would get worse if I didn’t get the pressure relieved. So, had laser surgery; a tiny pin-hole in each eye to restore/balance pressure back to normal. Success.

          Then I ran across Todd’s article and decided to give it a try. I will say that I’ve been wearing an older prewcription for about 5 days that’s definitely weaker (not sure how much) and I’m already noticing improvement! Albeit slight but it has me excited, to say the least. There are times where I can see perfectly with them, then other times when I’m physically straining ( or print pushing :) ) to see clearly – mostly text. I notice that the improvement is most recognizable in the mornings. I assume that I may be simply tiring as the day prgresses, but I keep them on and proceed with my daily activities without discomfort at all (watching TV, driving, etc.).

          I had a recent visit to my OD (about a month ago) and she said that my eyes actually improved .5 diopters! I attribute some of that to my intermittant fasting (another Toddism!) which I’ve been practicing for about 6 months, but that’s another subject… Before she informed me that my eyes actaully improved this visit, I specifically asked her if it were possble to improve your vision with “any of the methods out there” – she emphatically said, “Aboslutely not! Why, have you been reading on the internet?” I told her that I was just curious. So, I would have to say that one of my other goals would be to go back to her in about a year or so with major improvement in my eyesight. Would love to see her reaction.

          But, yes, I’m determined and serious about this venture. I’m going to continue to wear this weaker prescription for another week or so, then order me another pair of .5 less from one of the discount optical outlets. As always, I will post my progress.

  16. Pavol Hajdena

    Hi Todd!

    I had perfect eyesight maybe 5 years ago and then i got computer and my eyes turned into myopic.I have -1.25D myopia but I am not wearing glasses for almost every time since I bought it because when I put them on my nose for little time I started to losting details even with glasses.After that experience I stop wearing glasses and when I tried it now detailes are back.But I heard something about this plus teraphy from Otis Brown,but I still have many questions without answer.I tried +1.5D cheap glasses when I used my PC but it was very funny because of short distance for looking to see almost clear and relaxing eyes.It is a problem when the PD on cheap glasses isn´t exactly the same as
    I have?Can I use +0.5 or +1.0D to get back from computer screen and relax my shoulders? :D I am 18 years old student from Slovakia.Sorry for my bad English.

    I am interested in this “plus” method.

    Pavol Hajdena

  17. Jerry

    Hi Todd,

    Regarding the differences in strength of the eyes, which of these do you recommend:

    1) Focus on the weaker eye until both eyes are about the same and then train both of them together.

    2) Train both, spending some time with the stronger eye covered to ensure that the weaker one will benefit.

    Thank you.

    • Todd

      Jerry,

      I’m closer to your #2 approach. It’s important to work on both eyes together every day, but I would suggest spending some time in each session patching or diffusing the strong eye in order to give the weak eye some solo time and help it start to catch up. However, spending too much effort on the weak eye out of context with its partner can lead to imbalance.

      Todd

  18. Tiffany

    Hi Todd,

    After seeing my latest prescription (-5.00 for my left and -5.25 for my right in addition to astigmatism for both), I’ve decided that I really had nothing to lose and decided the print pushing method (using -4.50 left and -4.75 right glasses). However I have a few questions:

    Is it counterproductive to print push for more than two 30 minute sessions of it? Is it possible to print push whenever I’m on the computer (which is a lot)?

    After print pushing, do I go back to reading or looking at a computer/book close up?

    If I am not looking at things that require me to look closely (watching TV, reading book, etc), should I still wear my lower prescription glasses or should I just not wear glasses at all?

    After reading your articles, it also confirmed something for me. While I was in my first year college (I’m a second year now), I was staring at my laptop really closely for hours on end and I definitely felt a drop in my vision.

    But when I went back home on my winter break, the gap between me and my computer was much larger and I had a harder time reading letters. I persisted in looking at computer at that distance and by the end of the break I was able to read fairly well. I always had a feeling that this was the reason why my vision wasn’t as bad as it should’ve been when I had my last eye exam (my previous was -4.50 left and -4.75 right). Reading this article gave me a positive flashback about my eyesight.

    So thank you for posting this article and continuously giving viewers advice =)

    • Todd

      Tiffany,

      First of all, it’s nice to see that you have quickly grasped how print pushing works. You clearly understand the concept, and you express yourself well.

      The question of how much time to spend each day print pushing does not have a simple answer. It’s really a matter of how much you can tolerate without getting tired. My suggestion of two 30-minute sessions is only an approximate starting point. Try spending more time if you can, but be exquisitely sensitive to whether or not your eyes become tired. Some signs of tiredness include red-eye, blurriness or soreness. If that happens, back off somewhat. If not, press on.

      I do think that alternating between different uses of your eyes is key. Go back and forth between print pushing and casual reading. But be careful not to read “too close”.

      When not reading or doing close work, I suggest wearing reduced prescription glasses, unless your prescription is weak enough (-2 or less) that you can function normally without glasses. Going cold turkey from having worn a strong prescription like -5 may put too much strain on your eyes. Gradualism is absolutely key to success.

      Good luck,

      Todd

  19. dude

    Hi,
    I’m 26 years old and I’ve got about -8 diopters. My eyes started to get bad when I was somewhere around 6 years old and it became worse and worse over the years. This is the first time I heard about this method. I suppose in my case I should use glasses that are slightly less strong instead of + diopter lenses. The problem is, glasses in that category are extremely expensive and I just can’t afford them.
    Does it work without the lenses as well by using the first method described in here? Does it work with someone my age? How much improvement could I expect at least and at best?

    Thank you very much for this information that’s pretty much unheard of in the public!

    • Todd

      Hello dude (sounds funny to write that),

      You indeed have an extreme case of myopia. Minus 8 diopters means that you can only focus on objects that are 12.5 cm (5 inches) in front of your nose. So to be realistic, you may be able to reduce your prescription, but don’t expect total recovery without a major effort over many years. On the other hand, at 26 you are still relatively young, so your eyes are malleable enough to change.

      The best way to go is to get a reduced prescription the next time you buy glasses. These don’t have to be expensive — you can get a pair for $20 from zennioptical.com!!

      But if that is too expensive, you can try buying some plus lenses and wearing them OVER your regular minus lenses. I know that looks quite weird, but if you do this in privacy at the computer, nobody will care. Another option is to buy some plastic stick-on Optx 20/20 optical lens modifiers from MagnOptx. These reversibly adhere to your existing lenses and reduce the prescription:
      http://optx2020.com/p-22-magnoptx-stick-on-lenses-for-professionals.aspx

      Todd

      • dude

        Thanks for your reply.
        So from what you’re saying it seems like it’s possible to totally cure the myopia, albeit after much efforts. This sounds unbelievable.
        I have a pair of glasses that are a little less strong than my latest ones and I can work with them without problem.

        How strong do you recommend the glasses to be? And how strong should those plus lenses be? And what about the different parameters like sph and cyl?

        I have to confess, I’m very sceptical about this method, simply because I’ve never heard of it, but before trying the laser, I’ll try the little less harmful method :)

        • Todd

          dude,

          Try the glasses with the slightly weaker prescription. Ideally, the plus lenses (or decreased prescription) should take 0.5 to 1.0 diopters off your regular prescription. Ignore the other parameters…they should stay the same.

          You are wise to give print pushing and natural vision correction a serious effort before succumbing to the laser. Laser surgery helps many, but has real risks of irreversible vision problems in a small but not insignificant percentage of patients. It is definitely not without risks:
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1334246/Tempted-laser-eye-surgery-Its-risks.html

          Todd

  20. Ephraim

    Hi, Todd, Otis and vision community.

    It’s well over a year since I last posted here. In view of my laziness and consequent lack of progress, I didn’t feel worthy of commenting. However, I did continue to resort to this website to maintain my inspiration from other posters’ progress, and I now have a few significant things to report. This could all end up a bit protracted, but I really do want to share it. In view of my year-long absence, I think you can forgive me!

    For some background, I should point out that I have suffered from floaters for as long as I can remember, but they never really bothered me until late last year when they seemed to become more prominent than usual. More recently, I started seeing what I would describe as “light effects”, not the usual “flashes” associated with floaters, but more like glows and ripples. I am well aware that such symptoms can be the sign of serious retinal or vitreous problems. But due to negative experience, I harbour an aversion to the medical profession and avoid dealings with doctors by trying to help myself as much as possible. Succumbing to my worries, I submitted to what turned out to be an unfriendly, impatient OD at the hospital, who subjected my eyes to the roughest examination they’ve ever had. I was left in pain and informed that she couldn’t find anything wrong, and was given the usual useless advice about learning to ignore the floaters because there is no treatment for them. When I pointed out that they are causing me eye-strain on account of the extra effort I have to exert to see through them, she told me to see an optician! Well, seeing as glasses are for refractive problems, I don’t see how they can help floaters, the latter being a medical problem. So, for all my trouble, I’m no better off.

    Since the beginning of the year, I have been researching the condition in an endeavour to find a nutritional solution, and I am currently in the process of self-experimentation with various dietary supplements. As yet, unfortunately, to no avail, but the experiment is relatively young and I have quite a few other things to try yet.

    Now, here’s where it gets interesting. My Snellen reading has been 20/100 for quite a while. As is standard, my eyes were tested at the hospital and I subsequently seemed to remember being able to read more than usual, although I wasn’t really bothered at the time due to anxiety about my symptoms. A few days after attending the hospital, however, I decided to test myself on the IVAC Snellen as per Otis’ link, as that is the one I always use. I set the display to the next level (20/80) and was surprised to be able to see most of the letters. For consistency, I tried it again the following night and was able to read even more of the 20/80 sequences. I should point out that I created a certain atmosphere, because I am a staunch believer in the power of the mind and how it is essential to work on one’s emotions as well as one’s body for positive results. I had some Eastern spiritual music (Indian sub-continent Sufi style) playing in the background and prepared myself with breathing exercises and some neck-stretching exercises. Music has a very powerful effect on my emotions and greatly inspires me.

    There are, I think, some other contributory factors to this unexpected progress. I say “unexpected” because, in view of the poor state of my eyes on account of the floaters and the rough probing by the OD, one would not exactly regard such conditions as ideal for progress. One factor could be the eye-strain I’ve been experiencing. After all, strain is a crude form of the hormetic principle. To use the bodybuilding analogy, you gradually add more weight to overload your muscles. Your muscles manage with the slight overload and then you allow them to rest. Result: they get stronger. Then you repeat the process. Hence, I don’t think a bit of eye-strain is that bad. Apart from some short-term pain and perhaps a headache, I don’t think it does any long-term damage, provided your eyes get some proper relaxation therapy just like rest after exercise. In fact, I would rather suffer a bit of eye-strain in the knowledge that my eyes are still working under their own power (with the prospect of improvement) than enjoy the comfort and clarity afforded by the wearing of glasses in common ignorance of the fact that the natural power of my eyes is gradually diminishing.

    In addition to regularly practising distance-gazing, I’ve also been practising an alternating-focus exercise whereby I shift my gaze between four points: one in the central background, another to my close-left, another in the central mid-ground and another to my close-right.

    Another cause of the positive shift, to a lesser degree, is perhaps the added nutrients I’ve been taking which, as yet, have had no effect on the floaters, but may, nevertheless, be contributing to the overall integrity of my eyes.

    Anyway, that’s all for now. It’s good to be back and I wish everyone success in all their visual endeavours. I just hope I can hang on to mine and keep it moving!

    Regards,

    Ephraim

    • Todd

      Ephraim,

      Great comment post, and well worth the one-year wait! Congratulations with your improvement.

      I do think you may be right that a certain amount of “strain” (the right amount but not too much) can be hormetic. I think the best way to determine the hormetic amount is: enough to see progress and some discomfort, but not enough to experience sustained pain” The hormetic amount should be progressive and increase over time. Equally important is what I’ve called “stress oscillation” to allow for rest, relaxation and recuperation between periods of actively working the eyes.

      Indeed it must be frustrating to see the floaters, and moreso to receive the useless advice to “ignore them”. I wish I had an answer for you. I suspect that you are onto something by exploring nutritional approaches, and through relaxation. This site claims there is a connection between muscular tension and the production of floaters, recommending supplementation with magnesium (a known muscle relaxant) and relaxation techniques similar to what you observed:
      http://www.ctds.info/floater.html

      Apparently there is a simple inpatient laser treatment that treats floaters, with immediate response in many cases. I’m generally not in favor of invasive surgery, but this seems to be relatively harmless and simple:

      Good luck, and do stay in touch.

      Best,

      Todd

    • Hi Ephraim,

      What “stops” most people – is what you accurately describe as “…lack of motivation”. I understand THAT ISSUE PERFECTLY. In fact, no OD can address that issue with you – although I wish they could.

      I studies the Eskimo work of Francis Young. For me it is clear that negative status is always “self-induced”. I know the children do not intended for this to happen – but it always does.

      I personally restrict myself to talking to people who can still read the 20/60 line – and can develop the intense (sustaining) motivation to wear the plus properly – and can continue to do this for six months or so.

      I would expect them to get to 20/40 (by self verification) and that to me is a great success – in that six months.

      For me – I want the facts myself – and the education. But that does take time.

      I don’t think any OD can do this – is must always be personal. For those who succeed – there is no doubt about the success.

      Otis

  21. rakshit saluja

    i have read your all procedure for cure of myopia i am an indian and if have done some mistakes n writting this comment in english then please excuse me
    MR. TODD
    I HAVE ALSO VISION PROBLEM I WEAR STRONG GLASSSE FROM PAST SIX YEARS
    IN MY EYE SIGHT MY NUMER IS -5.75/7.5 SO PLEASE SUGGEST AND DEFIND PROPERLY HOW I SHOULD START START BY YOUR METHOD SIR PLEASE TELL ME I DONT WANT TO WEAR GLASS ANY MORE AND I THINK THAT YOUR THEORY IS SOME WHAT APPRECIABLE
    BUT STILL IT IS NOT JUSTIFIED THAT HOW WEARING REDUCED GLASSES CAN CURE MYOPIA ITHINK THAT WHAT EVER NUMBER YOU WEARAED YOUR EYES ABSORBED THAT NUMBER SAID BY AN OPTHAMOLOGIST “IS THATTRUE”
    PLEASE JUSTIFTY I WILL BE VERY GRATEFULL TO YOU IF IWILL BE CURE FROM MY LARGE MYOPIA “THAK U”

    • Todd

      Rakshit,

      To learn more about the method, I suggest that you start by reading all the articles about it on this blog and the forum. (The link to the forum is on the upper right corner of the blog page). I am not going to repeat all that information here, because it has already be explained exhaustively many times. My objective here is to provide the information for anyone who wishes to learn. I don’t offer or promise any cures, and I don’t have the time to hold everyone’s hands.

      The method here is not just some unproven theory. It is justified by the success of a large number of people to reduce their myopia. You can read their success stories on the forum, including many details about how it works.
      Todd

    • Ephraim

      Namaste, Rakshit!

      Before you can start, you have to deal with your mindset and accept that it is possible to reduce your myopia by natural means. Look at your situation logically. You accepted the word of your ophthalmologist on faith for six years, and look where you are now: you are further into debit than when you started. Hence, it must be time for a change, right?

      The theory works like this. In order to reverse the process that got you where you are now, you have to reduce the power of your minus-lens glasses. If you just took your glasses straight off now, you would not be able to manage because the contrast would be too stark. So, in practice, you have to reduce the power gradually.

      You are right when you say that your eyes have “absorbed” that number of minus, because that is exactly what minus lenses cause the eye to do and that is how you become more myopic. Progressive minus lenses force the focal point beyond the retina, and the eye elongates to “absorb” it.

      I hope the above has helped you to understand a little better. In any case, these ideas should not seem too radical to you as a native Indian. After all, India is where Yoga was born, and I’m sure you are aware that Yogis have been practising eye exercises for centuries.

      Regards,

      Ephraim

  22. rakshit saluja

    THANK YOU SIR
    BUT STILL I HAVE SOME DOUBT
    AS I SAID THAT I DON’T WANT TO WEAR GLASSES IN ANY CASE I HAD STARTED WEARING GLASSES WHEN MY EYESIGHT NUMBER ACCORDING TO OPTHAMOLOGIST IS -3/3.5 ALSO OPTHAMOLOGIST SAID THAT YOU HAVE A EYE SIGHT WEAK PROBLEM FROM PAST FIVE YEARS AND ALSO AFTER WEARING GLASSES MY NUMBER STILL INCREASING AT THAT TIME MY DOCTOR SAID THAT WHATEVER TIME YOUR HEIGHT WILL BE INCREASING YOUR MYOPIA AISO INCREASING IS “THAT TRUE OR NOT”
    SIR
    IN STARTING OF MY MYOPIA I HAD NOT TOLD ABOUT THIS ANYONE ‘ALSO MY PARENTS’ BUT AT THAT FIVE YEARS I HAD NOT WEAR GLASSES BUT MY NUMBER WAS STILL INCREASED AND WHEN IHAVE PROBLEM TO SEE THE TEACHER’S BOARD THEN WENT TO OPTHAMOLOGIST AND HE SCOLDED ME AND ORDERD TOWEAR THE GLAS PROPERLY AT THAT TIME MY NUMBER IS-3.0/3.5 SO HW MY NUMBER BECOME RPOSRESSIVELY STRONGER AT THAT TIME WHEN IWAS NOT WERING GLASSES AT THAT TIME AND SOMETIMES

    “IHINK THAT WEARING PRESCRIPTION GLASSES REDUCE THE FASTNESS OF MYOPIA” IS THAT RIGHT OR NOT
    ACCORDING TO YPUR BLOG IHAVE START WITH REDUCED PRESCRIPTION GLASSES WITH NUMBER LESS THAN 0.5 WITH THE PRESCRIPTION GLASSES “AM I RIGHT”
    SIR IAM ASTUDENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING COURSE
    AND IN ADAY I HAVE TOSPEND 8HOURS IN ADAY IN MY COLLEGE FOR STUDY AND LOOKING TEACHER’S BOARD SO MOST OF TIME I READ WITH MY PRESCRIPTION GLASSESAND IF IWEAR REDUCED PRESCRIPTON GLASSES I THINK THAT IHAVE SOME PROBLEM TO UNDERSTAND MY TEACHER’S LECTURE SO I SHOULD PROCEED
    I HAVE MAKE MY MIND TO GIVE UP MY GLASSES IWILL DO ANYTHING FOR THIS

    • Todd

      Rakshit — Here are my answers to your questions. I’ve edited your English to make it easier to understand:

      MY DOCTOR SAID THAT [WHENEVER] YOUR HEIGHT WILL BE INCREASING, YOUR MYOPIA IS ALSO INCREASING. IS THAT TRUE OR NOT?

      It is not true that myopia is inevitable or genetically determined. While genetics may predispose you to myopia (as to alcoholism or other conditions), myopia is environmentally induced by poor vision habits, poor diet, and other factors within your control.

      AT FIVE YEARS, I DID NOT WEAR GLASSES BUT MY [DIOPTER] NUMBER STILL INCREASED…SO HOW DID MY NUMBER BECOME PROGRESSIVELY STRONGER AT THAT TIME, WHEN I WAS NOT WEARING GLASSES AT THAT TIME?

      There are other causes of myopia besides wearing glasses. Myopia is a result of habits of near point vision stress. This can result either from wearing glasses or merely from spending too much time reading or looking at TVs/computers/games close up for too much time without relief. The eye evolved to focus over a broad range of distances — not to be held focusing most of the time only at close distances.

      I THINK THAT WEARING PRESCRIPTION GLASSES REDUCES THE [SPEED OF DEVELOPMENT] OF MYOPIA – IS THAT RIGHT OR NOT?

      It is not true. Wearing glasses speeds up the development of myopia.

      ACCORDING TO YOUR BLOG, I [SHOULD] START WITH REDUCED PRESCRIPTION GLASSES WITH [DIOPTER] NUMBER 0.5 [LESS THAN] THE PRESCRIPTION GLASSES. AM I RIGHT?

      Yes.

      I HAVE TO SPEND 8 HOURS IN A DAY IN MY COLLEGE FOR STUDY, LOOKING [AT THE] TEACHER’S BOARD. SO MOST OF TIME I READ WITH MY PRESCRIPTION GLASSES. AND IF I WEAR REDUCED PRESCRIPTON GLASSES I THINK THAT I [MAY HAVE A PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING] MY TEACHER’S LECTURE. SO I SHOULD PROCEED?

      The key thing is not to go to extremes! This method is based upon a gradual approach. Use a slightly reduced presciption and sit close enough to the board that you can see your teacher’s writing in focus, but just barely in focus. That means that if you were to move one row back, it would start to look blurry. So move one row closer in order that you are just at the point of focus. Then once this is comfortable, sit further back or reduce your prescription by another 0.5 diopters.

      I HAVE [MADE UP] MY MIND TO GIVE UP MY GLASSES. I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR THIS.

      Don’t give up your glasses all at once. Gradually reduce your prescription. Use plus lenses when reading close up at the computer. But always use threshold focusing so that you see objects in focus, but just barely in focus. As your eyes get stronger, you can use weaker distance lenses and stronger close up plus lenses.

  23. Nadine

    Excellent site!! I have a question: I have -1.5 in each eye, so can I start using +1 lenses for computer work? I’m a computer engineer and I’m in front of monitor about 10 hours per day…..I’m 20 inches from the monitor, using +1 lenses is ok?

    • Hi Nadine,
      Most ODs don’t make the recommendation to wear the plus for prevention. But some do. Here is a video of a person who received the advice – and is wearing a +1.25 diopter for all close work.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWjnNM0VYM4&feature=related

      If you are serious about prevention, I suggest you follow this advice. From what you tell me, you could improve your distant vision by doing this. I personally have my own Snellen set-up and check to make certain I pass the DMV (20/40) line. I also wear a plus for all close work. Read Todd’s remarks, about his success doing this work.

  24. ashwini

    My 5 year old son has 8+ power in both his eyes. The doctors say he will develop a squint if he does not wear lenses. Please advise.

    • Todd

      Ashwini,

      I’m revising my original comment here because I think I may have misunderstood. Are you saying your son needs +8 diopter lenses (which indicates hyperopia or farsightedness) or did you mean to say -8 diopter lenses (which indicates myopia or nearsightedness). Hyperopia would be quite rare in a young child. I will assume here that you meant -8 diopters.

      In such a case, your son already has extreme myopia at such a young age! Was he prescribed strong lenses when he was younger? Or did he spend a lot of time looking at books or computers up close? I don’t understand how else his myopia could have developed so quickly.

      As I’ve commented many times here and on the forum, it is very difficult to change the reading habits of young children, especially when they already have strong myopia.

      Your O.D. is correct that you son will squint if you remove his reading glasses. That is of course the short term effect. But you can do the following:
      1. Immediately reduce his prescription to +7.5 or +7. Resist at all costs the advice to increase his prescription.
      2. When he reads or watches TV, ask him to sit as far away as he can from the print (or pictures) and still see in focus. Whenever you catch him looking at objects up close, tell him to sit further away from the objects.
      3. When he gets older and has the attention span (maybe at age 8?) he can start print pushing exercises, reading at the blur point as described here and in the forum. Please read through the entire thread on “Eyesight without glasses” in the forum for details: http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,8.0.html
      4. Once he can comply with print pushing exercises, you can gradually reduce his prescription below +7.

      Now if it is really true that you meant +8 diopter hyperopia, that would be a real tragedy. That means your son can barely see anything in front of him for several feet. I’m not sure how this would happen unless he was prescribed strong reading glasses. Why would an O.D. give him such lenses?

      Good luck. In either case, your son’s situation is a very difficult one. I would like to understand how he got to such a state at a young age.

      Todd

      • Ashwini

        Dear Todd,

        I should have written clearly earlier. I am sorry about the confusion.

        My 5 year old son does have +8 hyperopia/farsightedness in both his eyes.Even I heard it is quite rare. That is why I am worried. The doctor has prescribed +4.5 power lens for both his eyes to begin with. I have been told that he later needs to be trained with an eye patch(one at a time) to get his eyes active.

        We observed the problem only a month ago and his spectacles are yet to come. He was not wearing any lenses before this. He is managing reading and writing very well even without specs. But yes he keeps the book very close to his eyes while reading and writing. Also he sits very close to the TV.

        At the opthamologist we noted that he is not able to read beyond the first line. Even with the new lens the doctor tried, it is still the same issue. The doctor said it was poor visual acuity due to prolonged refractive error at a young age.

        I feel bad that you took so much time to write a detailed reply but I had not communicated the problem clearly.
        Please could write to me again on the solutions you suggest.

        Regards,
        Ashwini

        • Hi Ashwini,

          I hope you will allow my commentary – since I also had “slight squint” when I was his age.

          I was not put into a +4.0 diopter lens for it – however.

          The term “farsightedness” means that you can’t see anything “near”. Yet you state your child can read at relatively close ranges. So I don’t know why he would be wearing any lens if that is true. Further, I don’t know what line your son can read at 20 feet. It would be wise to check this yourself. I will supply an “Electronic Snellen” to you so you can check at home.

          Also, if a strong drug is used, it sometimes can create and “excessive measurement”. Did the doctor use a drug before his making of this measurement. Futher, how much “squint” does your child have. Does on eye ‘turn out and stay out’. Or is it intermittent?

          Here is the Snellen you can use to check his distant vision yourself. Just click here, and then on “Display” several times.

          http://www.smbs.buffalo.edu/oph/ped/IVAC/IVAC.html

          Then have your child stand at 20 feet. Most children will not have 20/20 at his age – so see if he can read the 20/60 to 20/40 line. Also, if he can not read letters, select “Pictures” and have him use them.

          This is very important that you can make a personal judgment of his visual acuity at this time.

          Let us know how this works out for him.

          Thanks!

        • Todd

          Hi Ashwini,

          Thanks for the clarification that your son has strong hyperopia (+8). As Otis notes, some degree of hyperopia is not unusual in children, but +8 is pretty strong. This NORMALLY means that his distance vision is good, but he cannot see objects up close very well. The +4.5 lenses will reduce that hyperopia to a more moderate level (+8-4.5 = +3.5 net hyperopia).

          But in that case, it is odd that he would need to sit close to a book or TV to see it. That is the behavior of a person with the opposite condition: myopia, or nearsightedness. The only thing that I can think of is that he has simultaneous poor vision for both near and far, and can focus well only in the middle range. That condition can happen when myopia is combined with presbyopia (hardening of the crystalline lens), but that typically happens only in older adults.

          It may be that your son’s “prolonged refractive error” results from a rare opthamological condition. In that case, he needs the care of a specialist. The exercises advocated here — reading at the blur point, under prescribing the distance prescription, taking care to focus near and far, and taking frequent breaks from reading — may still be useful in the long term, once he is older and his vision is stabilized. But I would definitely take action to ensure he can see clearly and doesn’t need to squint all the time.

          Good luck,

          Todd

  25. Ephraim

    Hi, Todd and Otis.

    Yes, I too don’t get the problem described by Ashwini about his son. If the boy is +8.00 hyperopic, why would he have to sit so close to the TV or read books at such close range? But if he is genuinely hyperopic, then perhaps he would be prone to an outward squint. In which case, applying the anti-corrective principle described in the blog, wouldn’t MINUS lenses be the answer to encourage focal convergence? How on earth would +4.50 lenses help the situation? If, on the other hand, the boy is -8.00 myopic, then the plus would fit the bill. Either way, some clarification is required here.

    Regards,

    Ephraim

    • Hi Ephraim,

      With all due respect to Ashwini, he might have not understood the future “prescription”. The child is not yet wearing any lens. Kids are doing what he described his son as doing – reading at very close range for a year or two, tend to “adapt” to that habit, and can easily become 1 or 2 diopters myopic. In fact Ashwini said that the child could not read the Snellen eye chart – even the top line.

      If he can’t see at FAR, or NEAR, then that must be a “bad retina” or some medical problem internal to the eye. A lens can not help for an eye that is blurry for both near and far.

      So, for now, what the problem is, no one can even guess at this point.

  26. ashwini

    hi Todd,Otis,
    Thank you very much for the detailed replies.
    I used the Snellen tool you provided.
    According to the tool he has a 20/100 vision.

    Details:
    His 20/200 vision is 100%.
    The 20/100 vision is 90%, meaning 90% of the times he is getting the letters right but 10% of the times he reads it out as something that looks like that letter.

    Also, I did some manual readings.
    At 2 feet from a book, he is able to read letters of 0.9cm height.

    Please let me know if this gives you more clarity about the problem he has and any possible solutions.

    Regards,
    Ashwini

    • Todd

      Ashwini,

      So your son is both myopic and hyperopic at the same time. His vision distance is impaired (because his Snellen is 20/200) and thus needs minus lenses to see into the distance, but his close up vision is also impaired, because you say he requires something between a +4.5 and +8 diopter to see well up close.

      This seems to be an unusual condition for a young child. It requires professional diagnosis. I suggest working with your eye doctor to get to the bottom of what is causing his condition. It is not a simple matter of refractive error due to axial length of the eye. But I’m not an opthamologist, so I can’t diagnose his condition,.

      Good luck,

      Todd

    • Hi Ashwini,

      If your child is reading 20/100 at 20 feet, then a -1 to -2 diopter lens would clear MOST of your son’s distant vision. For complete clarity, it would probably take a -3 diopter lens. (That is how you check to find out how nearsighted a child it.)

      I am surprised the person who examined your child’s eyed – did not do this check – it is indeed standard.

      So I don’t now why your child is listed as “far-sighed” (positive refractive status), because this type of test (use of the minus in this manner) would show him to be mildly nearsighted.

  27. I do not really believe in naturally 100% improvement of eyesight, there is always a chance to fix eyesight little bit , but 100% I do not think so.

    • Hi Dave,

      I tend to agree with you.

      But it truly depends on what you mean by 100 percent – as well as the word improvement. As you might know, I argue that a pilot at 20/40 and about -3/4 diopters) should teach himself to wear the plus until 1) He begins to see his own Snellen begin to clear towards 20/20, and 2) Keep on wearing the plus until his Snellen clears to better-than 20/20. (A positive refractive state.)

      This is what Brian Severson accomplished – because he devoted himself to full-time wearing of a plus.

      I would call this 100 percent Snellen clearing, rather than “improvement”. It up to the person himself to judge his own results – as Todd did.

    • Todd

      Dave,

      That is your belief. But the experience of quite a few people posting here and on the forum suggests otherwise.

      What is your evidence that full reversal of myopia is not possible?

      Todd

    • Ephraim

      Hi, Dave.

      Yours is a rather sweeping statement and requires substantiation. What is the basis of your doubts? What is your refractive status (prescription)? Have you practised any form of natural vision therapy?

      Everyone’s case is different and so are their chances. The more myopic one is, the harder the task, but it also depends upon the resolve of the person concerned. No-one here would claim that this work is easy.

      So you “believe” in the chance of fixing eyesight “a little bit”? OK, so do a little bit and then a little bit more – bit by bit. By the way, belief can be a powerful tool as well.

      Regards,

      Ephraim

  28. jake

    Funny. Rawpaleodietforum pasted a link to your page.

    I’m doing pretty much exactly what you are talking about, augmented by some other exercises (that I actually found immensely helpful as well). A friend had turned me on to Frauenfeld Clinic, they do a lot of what you described, along with an ‘awareness’ focus. Say it reduces recovery time. I’m down TWO diopters, almost, in six months. Started at a -4.00.

    • Hi Jake,
      Just to help you along. I presented papers on prevention – using a plus. In this process, one man, Dennis Romish, heard me – and had been wearing a -4 diopter lens. If you know me, I am VERY reluctant to make claims about results. In any event, Dennis went out an got a plus-lens, and started wearing it. He only contacted me AFTER he started this process. I did not know what to make of what he was doing – because a -4 diopter means you can only see clearly at 10 inches. Reading a Snellen 20/100 line – would have been impossible by any standard. So I suggested Dennis read the Snellen in my book. He could read the 20/60 line – or so. I told him that real success would be to go down to the DMV and read the 20/40 line (or better). But he checked at home – first. Incredibly, after about two months – that is exactly what he did. I simply do not make any attempt to “explain” this result – I just report the fact that it happened. I have BOTH is prescription, and his drivers license. Keep up your effort!

  29. rakshitsaluja

    hello
    todd according to you i have weared less prscription glasses almost a
    month after talking to you
    in my first day of wearing i have not found any blur point in my vision in class room i am able to see clearly from last bench of the class
    also during this period i have not found any difficulty to see something
    so in how much time i expect that that my diopter will be covered
    what is the rate of curing myopia and when i have to change my diopter

  30. MICHAEL

    HI THERE;
    MY KID IS ONLY 7 YEAR OLD AND SHE COUNDN’T READ FROM DISTANCE, THE DOCTOR CHECK IT OUT AND SHE HAS 100,NEARSIGHTEDNESS I DON’T KNOW THAT IS 20/100 OR WHAT? IF I USE POWER LENS FOR HER SHOULD IT WORK? AND ANY BODY HAS THE EXPERIENCE TO USE THIS METHOD ON KID? PLEASE HELP

    • Todd

      Michael,

      I don’t know what you mean by a “power lens”. There has been already a lot of discussion about the challenges of using plus lens therapy with children. It is especially difficult to get young children to adopt this method because they typically do not have the understanding or discipline to make it work

      You may be interested to read the dialogue about this issue on Discussion Forum. Just follow the story of PROH:
      http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,8.msg2687.html#msg2687

      Todd

    • Hi Michael,

      Kids have certain “habits” that induce a negative status in their eyes. (I had the same “habit” myself – I regret to say.) But I do suggest the following. 1) There is an “OD Habit” of over-prescription. 2) The minus lens they “prescribe” does not help – but if worn, only makes matters worse – in the long-run. That is the “understanding” of even some optometrists.

      When you say, “…she has 100 nearsightedness” – that could be several things, ODs are not consistent in this area. I suggest you get your own Snellen chart, and set it up at home – as I have done it:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgUkoSSgVOs&feature=g-upl

      Then find out which line your child can read 1/2 the letters correctly on.

      The “100” might mean the child was given a -1.00 dioper lens. Or it might mean the child can read the 20/100 line.

      Did you ask the optometrist for any alternative suggestions? What did he say. I think ALL ODs should just tell you that it would be wise to have your child START wearing a plus lens for all close work, to avoid her vision “getting worse”.

      In fact, if preventive action is not started (with a plus) when the child is at 20/40 to 20/60, the child’s vision will go down at a steady rate of -1/2 diopter for each year the child spends in school. I know this is frustrating, but I recommend that you check your child’s vision yourself.
      Otis

  31. JP

    Hey Todd, how have you been? I recently moved and started a new job, which entails looking at a computer screen all day. So progress has been halted until I figure out a good system, which will probably encompass plus lenses over contacts, as I now wear contacts. I reread all the comments and I had a few questions.

    1. You wrote in an earlier comment:

    “For distance viewing, use undercorrected lenses (perhaps -2/-1.5 instead of the normal -3.5/-3), OR wear mild plus lenses over your contacts. The +1.75 plus lenses over you contacts might work, but +1.75 might me too strong of a compensation o start out with, so consider wearing a +1.25 or +1.5 if things are too blurry with the +1.75”

    Why, as you have previously said to reduce by .25 to .5 for distance viewing?

    2. Can you explain more about “waiting to clear”? You’ve mentioned this several times, and I think some people want to make sure they’re doing it right. How long does it take to “clear,” typically?

    3. I’d like to know more about going to an optometrist for a “professional” prescription vs testing your own Smellen score? I don’t necessarily trust myself to be accurate, and they’ll do it for free with a purchase.

    4. Since the weak eye coasts along with the stronger eye, getting a “free ride,” what do you think about correcting so that the stronger eye is now “weaker”, and I’ll be forced to use the weaker eye?

    So, for example, with a -6.5/-5.75, getting -6 (exactly -.5 less) / -5 (-.75 less, making my left eye the one I rely on) for contacts?

    Then for the glasses, getting +4 and +4 would maintain that dynamic, and my right eye would still be undercorrected, just by a higher degree and therefore weaker. Thoughts?

    • Todd

      JP,

      Good questions, here are my answers:

      1. The comment you quote is from a 2009 exchange with Anne. She was asking about the possibility of combining plus lens therapy with contact lenses, which is what I addressed in the second half of my answer — about wearing plus lenses over contact lenses. However, the first part of my answer deals with just wearing undercorrected lenses for distance viewing. My current view is that in this situation, you should under-correct by no more than about 0.25 to 0.5 diopters. So I have no idea why I advised to under-correct by a full 1.5 diopters! Either it was a typo or I was not thinking clearly when I wrote that.

      2. “Clearing” is the process by which your eyes adjust to achieve clear focus after being temporarily slightly out of focus. Waiting to clear can be almost instantaneous, or it can take many minutes. It helps to occasionally blink and relax. Clearing is a minor adjustment — it only works when you start out very close to being in focus, never when you are in a truly blurry state. You should actually experience the transition to sharpening. If your vision has not cleared within 10 minutes or so, move closer and try again.

      3. You can of course go to an optometrist or the DMV and they can test your vision. But why don’t you trust yourself. There are online Snellen charts that randomize the letters each time — so you can’t cheat. Just print out the chart, put it on the wall under strong lighting, and stand exactly 20 feet away. Or use the computer generated versions that you can view on your screen. The process is completely objective — either you misread a letter in a line or you don’t. The instructions and sample Snellen charts are all provided on this page:

      http://www.i-see.org/eyecharts.html

      4. I’ve written a fair bit on how to correct eyes that are “uneven”. This is called anisometric myopia, a kind of ocular dominance that is extremely common. I’ve written at many places in the comments here, in the article on Shadowfoot and in the forums, about how to use patching and differential corrections to overcome the “free rider” problem that you describe. Try out the search engine using the term “weak eye” on the blog and forum and you’ll find many comments with my recommendations.

      The problem with your recommendation for -6 in both eyes is that you will actually over-correct the stronger right eye by giving it -6, when it only needs -5.75. If you want to make the left eye do the heavy lifting, you’ll need to greatly under-correct the strong right eye — perhaps down to -4.5 — so that it is actually blurred, thus telling the brain to rely on the left eye. I actually use this strategy myself when tuning up my eyes with under-corrected distance lenses.

      An alternate strategy is to patch with a diffuser lens or translucent tracing paper. But that looks a bit weird, so I prefer using the “blurry lens” strategy suggested in the previous paragraph.

      For close work, using plus lenses, again you want to make the left eye do the work, so you’ll have to “blur” the right eye by using a much stronger plus that induces a blur. Using a +4 in both eyes would not work, because you are penalizing both eyes by the same amount and you need to penalize the stronger eye to a great enough extent that the weak eye takes over. By analogy, think about how you would build muscles in your left arm by lifting a weight with both arms if your right arm is much stronger. You’d need to handicap your right arm so that the left arm takes over.

      Todd

      • JP

        Hey Todd, thanks for all the detailed answers! Thanks for your explanation of “clearing,” I understand it more thoroughly now. And as for the Smellen chart, I think what I’ll do is have it tested at the place the first time so I can at least relax knowing that my starting line is accurate, then do it myself to chart progress. I have two follow up questions to (1) and (4), and one tangential one.

        1. Why do you advise to undercorrect by .25 to .5? Is this to prevent your eyes from getting worse and set a new bar as you’re doing the exercises with no glasses, or to simply maintain your progress, or is it actually positively beneficial in that the same stress principle of “just enough, but not too much” applies to distance viewing, too?

        4. I reread my comment a couple times, and I think you may have misread it. I said:
        “So, for example, with a -6.5/-5.75 [my sight], getting -6 (exactly -.5 less) / -5 (-.75 less, making my left eye the one I rely on) for contacts?

        Then for the glasses, getting +4 and +4 would maintain that dynamic, and my right eye would still be undercorrected, just by a higher degree and therefore weaker. Thoughts?

        As you can see, the contacts prescription (-6/-5) would in fact make my left eye the stronger of the two, right?

        Actually now that I think about it, perhaps +2.25 would be better, as it would reduce my “net” myopia from [(-6.5/-5.75 (estimate, might be different now)) – (-6/-5 contacts) = ] -.5/-.75, then – (+2.25/+2.25 (glasses)), giving me -2.75/-3 (right?), still keeping my left eye the stronger of the two, and giving me a comfortable reading distance (14.31 inches left eye, 13.12 inches right eye) that still motivates me to move back by default. So, do you think this is a good plan?

        Finally, I was under the impression that contacts prescriptions and glasses prescriptions were different, is this not the case? If so, what is the relationship at stronger prescriptions (-6.5 and worse), and how does it apply to calculations for what I’m trying to do (+ glasses over – contacts), if at all?

        Thanks again for all your help.

        • Todd

          JP,

          Hope these answers address your questions. Your questions are very interesting and somewhat complex, so I hope I got this right. Please double check me:

          1. Yes, slight under correction provides sufficient retinal defocus – the stimulus that leads to retinal remodeling. See the explanation of the IRDT theory on the Rehabilitation page. Further references are included in David DeAngelis’ excellent book, “The Power of Perfect Vision”, which I highly recommend. But as with any hormetic stimulus, you must apply the Goldilocks principle within a narrow window of defocus. Enough to induce change, but not an excess. Excess retinal defocus will result in no benefit, because the focusing mechanism of the eyes will just “give up”.

          4. My apologies, I see that I did misread your original comment about under correction, thinking you had proposed a straight -6 prescription for both eyes. I missed that you had written -6/-5. That would be a good idea, since as you note it forces you to rely on your weaker left eye. You might even go for a slightly greater degree of undercorrection for the right eye — perhaps as low as -4.75 or -4.5. But I think your formula would probably work as well. It’s something you can experiment with.
          If you order inexpensive lenses online from zenniotpical, these experiments won’t set you back too much.

          For the close up glasses, +4/+4 would give make your myopia much stronger, not weaker! Your effective myopia would increase to -10.5/-9.75 and you’d barely be able to see in front of your nose. With your strong myopia, you actually don’t need strong plus lenses for close up reading.

          Close up reading is a different story. You are so strongly myopic that you cannot (yet) use plus lenses. To explain a bit further, with your -6.5/-5.75, your focal distances (dividing into 1 meter or 39.25 inches) are already only 6″ in the left eye, 6.8″ in the right eye. So without glasses, you can’t read a book held only 12″ in front of your nose. You can’t read comfortably without glasses — much less plus lenses! So for the close up glasses, +4/+4 would give make your myopia much stronger, not weaker! Your effective myopia would increase to -10.5/-9.75 and you’d barely be able to see in front of your nose: focal distance would shrink to 3.7″ and 4″, respectively.

          A better strategy is to use undercorrected lenses that allow your weaker left eye to read at about 16 inches or so, that you can print push, but make your right eye able to focus only at about 12 inches, so that it blurs and gives up. This could be achieved with a net correction of about -2.25/-3.25, which would give you focal distances of 17.4″ left / 12″ right. To get there, you would need to buy undercorrected minus lenses with a prescription of -6.5 +2.25 = -4.25 left, and -5.75 + 3.25 = -2.5 right. So get some -4.25/-2.5 lenses for close reading. With time, as your eyes improve, you will reduce the minus prescription until you actually start print pushing with no glasses or slight plus lenses.

          In short, for distance: -6/-5, or even -6, -4.5
          For close work -4.25/-2.5

          Regarding your contact lens prescription of -6/-5, you are right that the net correction (-6.5+6= -0.5 / -5.75+5 = -0.75) makes your left eye “stronger”, which isn’t helping them to become more balanced.

          I don’t know of any reason why corrections for glasses or contacts would be any different. But I’m not an opthamologist or optometrist, so perhaps I’m missing something.

          Todd

  32. lina

    I was in ‘minus (4.5) all my lif. But now I am developing plus (1.5). What should be strategy for me?

    • Todd

      Lina,

      You’ve swung over from being a myope to being a hyperope. Your not the first to do so…it isn’t uncommon as we age to lose the ability to read close up.

      My question is whether you still have distance myopia or not. Can you drive without glasses and see distant objects? Some people, as they age, develop “presbyopia”, from hardening of the crystalline lenses. This reduces the ability to accommodate, to focus on both near and far objects.

      Or…is your condition a pure switch to hyperopia (difficulty reading up close), with good distance vision?

      It is important to know what you have…before I provide any suggestions.

      Todd

    • lina

      Hi Todd. Thanks for answering to me so quickly!

      I don’t think my myopia is improved (I still do not see far objects), but now I can’t see near objects as well. I also have astigmatism (-2).
      This is very frustrating. I feel that I can reach a point soon when the object would be ‘too far’ for me and ‘too close’ at the same time…

      Any suggestions? Thank you very much.

      • Todd

        Lina,

        You have the same challenge as my wife, and a lot of us as we get older — our focal range tends to get shorter. So we have trouble with both distance and close-up vision.

        What that means is that you’ll need to work on exercises at BOTH ends of your range. To improve close-up vision, sit as close as you can to the book or computer and still see print in focus. Push yourself right to the edge of focus — where even another inch closer would make things blurry. If that is more than about 20 inches away, get some very weak plus lenses in the drugstore. Maybe +1 lenses. And again, try to sit as close as possible when reading.

        Do that some of the time. But at other times, you need to do the opposite. Sit as far AWAY from the book or computer as possible and still barely see things in crisp focus. If that is too far, you’ll need a plus lens. You can use the same +1 lenses, or ideally try something even stronger, like +2. That will allow you to sit closer. Again, you want to push back as far as you can and read at the edge of focus. If your eyes “clear” then push back even further.

        The general idea is to increase your RANGE. Read sometimes as close up as you can, at the edge of your comfort zone. At other times read as far away as you can. Alternate several times a day. Keep pushing to increase your range.

        Avoid reading in the middle of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is too small, and getting smaller. The only way to expand it is to push yourself.

        It’s like exercise. It’s going to the gym for your eyes.

        Let me know if this explanation works for you.

        Todd

        • lina

          Thanks Todd. I’ll try and let you know. You’ve explained it clearly.

          But if you are right it means that wearing glasses at young age when miopia has just started is bad for you… it makes the problem worse not better…

          Lina

          • Todd

            Lina,

            In one sense you are right that starting with glasses at a young age is harmful. On the other hand, the younger you are when you start to work at reversing the problem (with print pushing and plus lenses), the easier and more rapidly you can reverse your myopia.

            Todd

  33. JP

    Hey Todd, ha really sorry to do this to you man as you just wrote out an incredibly detailed response, the vast majority of which still applies, however I think I wasn’t clear enough. In my original post, I wrote: “[…] plus lenses over contacts, as I now wear contacts,” so I’ve been commenting with plus glasses OVER contacts in mind.

    In that light, what I took from your last response:
    -Assuming -6.25/-5.75, purchase -6/-4.5 for contacts (distance/normal).
    -For glasses OVER those contacts, purchase +1.75/+1.75 (closeup/computer), bringing my prescription to -4.25/-2.75 (net correction to -2.25/-3 (close to your suggestion, only the 3.25 is off by .25, and this will allow me to use the same prescription glasses for a period of time even when my contacts change and my left eye improves, as both lenses are the same strength).

    Make sense?

    Thanks again Todd!

    • Todd

      JP,

      Thanks for (re)clarifying. Your strategy of wearing the fixed plus lenses over changing contacts makes sense. It should work and saving you some money too. Looks good on paper, but it may requiring some tinkering.

      Let us know how it works out!

      Todd

  34. purva

    Hey Todd…i sent you a message on this site already but it seems more appropriate to ask my question here…
    ok, so here it goes…

    i had to start wearing glasses at the age of 4 (sad, i know…most kids made fun of me)…now i’m 25 and my vision has become really bad…

    my doctors say that my myopia is peculiar…

    the digits on my contact lens boxes are as follows:

    LEFT EYE:
    BC: 8.5
    SPH: -2.00
    CYL: -2.75
    AX: 20

    RIGHT EYE:
    BC: 8.5
    SPH: -2.75
    CYL: -2.75
    AX: 160

    (I DONT KNOW WTH ‘BC’ MEANS HERE)

    now my doctors say that i have a very severe case of astigmatism and that my axis is all over the place…my eyesight has gotten worse over the years and for the past 4 yrs or so i haven’t been able to wear glasses because no doctor seems to be able to make me the right glasses…they all give me headaches and the vision is distorted…HOWEVER, i have been wearing contacts all this time, right from the moment i wake up to the moment i go to bed…

    you can understand why reading your blog got me so excited…i don’t want to get surgery done because i have lost my faith in eye doctors completely…they can’t even make me a pair of proper glasses ffs…sorry for the strong language but its not nearly as strong as what i’m feeling…anyway, what i was trying to say is that if there is any way that i can see properly again without contacts or glasses or at least smaller powered glasses, i am willing to work hard for it…

    what i don’t understand is how i should work with my cylindrical power and the weird axis in both eyes…

    can you advise me on exactly what to wear and for how long and what to wear during the remaining time? like, if my eyes slowly get better by wearing plus lens glasses during reading but i continue wearing my regular contacts at other times, won’t it keep my eyes from getting better?

    sorry about the long long post, but even so i have a feeling i forgot to ask something…i will ask more when i can get my thoughts in order…in the meanwhile, please help me with this…
    thank you so much…

    • Todd

      Purva,

      Contact lense prescriptions have another number not used with regular glasses: the base curvature (BC). This takes into account how the contact lens fits against your eye.

      The other three numbers are the same as for glasses: spherical (SPH), cyclindrical (CYL) and axis (AX).
      SPH defines your degree of myopia (-) or hyperopia (+). The last two numbers define the degree (CYL) and angle (AX) of astigmatism

      Your myopia is not too bad, at about -2 to -2.75 diopters. People with MUCH stronger myopia have cleared their vision.

      You should basically follow the same approach that 90% of the people coming to this site follow: reduce your distance prescription by about 0.5 diopters and try to read without your contacts. With your degree of myopia, you should be able to read a computer or book at 10-15 inches from your face. Read through all the posts here and on the forum and you will get the idea. I don’t think I need to tell you the precise routine — you’re better off trying to understand the fundamental principles of print pushing, and figure it out for yourself.

      Plus lenses come later on, once your myopia has improved enough that you can read past 20 inches.

      Print pushing and plus lens therapy will do nothing DIRECTLY to help your myopia. But it is the experience of many on this site that as your myopia (SPH) decreases, your astigmatism will tend to reduce as well. You will probably feel uncomfortable and somewhat “weird” at first trying to read without your correction for astigmatism. Make a serious attempt to spend as much time as possible carefully looking at what your read and at objects near and far and concentrating on any lines you can see in focus. Ignore the blurriness and focus on what you CAN see in focus. The more you do that, the sharper your vision will become.

      Keep in mind that this is a LONG, HARD journey. Not everyone has the resolve and discipline to complete the trip. But read through the accounts on the forum and you will see more than a dozen who have succeeded, including me.

      Todd

      • purva

        ok, so this is how i think i should proceed…
        i will stop wearing my contacts and get glasses made with reduced 0.5 diopters on both eyes in the spherical AND cylindrical numbers…this is what i will wear at all times EXCEPT reading 2-3 hrs everyday for which i will use nothing…
        unless i got something wrong, i think that should work…
        no matter how hard the journey is i am willing to work hard and stick to the plan because i can see it has helped many people see better and i also want to be one of them…
        i am so happy i found this blog…it might turn into a life altering experience for me if i am able to make my eyes better AND get thin at the same time…thank you, todd…

        ps – i’ve also started to train myself never to eat when i’m hungry…cheers…

        • Todd

          Purva,

          Your plan sounds great! If you balance persistence with some flexiblity to adapt your method as you learn what works…I’m convinced you’ll succeed.

          Keep us posted and we’ll try to help as we can.

          Best,

          Todd

    • Hi Purva,

      I hope you will allow my suggestions.

      I would try to 1) Work with no lens – i.e, no contact lens at all. Then 2) I would set-up a Snellen chart and find out what you can read at 20 feet. 3) Personally, I find it very hard to get the lens I need from an OD – they simply will not do it. So I order my (low cost) glasses from Zennioptical.com for about $10.

      LEFT EYE:
      BC: 8.5
      SPH: -2.00
      CYL: -2.75
      AX: 20

      RIGHT EYE:
      BC: 8.5
      SPH: -2.75
      CYL: -2.75
      AX: 160

      The reason to check your vision, is that you might find that you can ignore that “cyl. correction”. I used to get severe headaches if I wore the ” cyl.” correction. I asked that I not be given it – and it reduced my headaches to nothing.

      You can convert this prescription (in glasses) by this process. Just take the “Spherical” (-2.75) and and add about 1/2 the “astig cyl) part, or about -1.25 dioters). This would make the “supporting” glasses about -4.0. Even this might be too strong – which is why I recommend reading you eye-chart at home.

      I have seen people with a -4.0 diopter being able to read the 20/60 line when they took off the -4.0 when they actually read their home-Snellen. In fact this man with that excessive prescription, got his Snellen back to normal, and went and passed the State DMV requirement for driving a car.

      Initially it is difficult to get rid of a strong prescription – we all understand that issue. But, for your information, one doctor, previously wearing a -6 diopters – is now able to work with no minus lens for his near work. His “prescription” is now about -3.0 diopters. I hope this helps you.

      Otis

  35. dude nr 2

    Hey Todd, thanks for this blog, it’s very interesting. I’ve been improving my eyesight for almost a year now doing only eye exercises (bates method and yoga for your eyes), and I’ve seen a lot of progress (about -3.0 to -2.0). Just last week I stumbled upon this blog through a youtube comment on a video about pinhole glasses, and I’m really excited to try this out long term and see if it will speed up my vision improvement, which I don’t doubt it will. It just makes so much sense, that I feel stupid for not thinking of it myself. My question is, you say to use the anti-corrective lenses for one to three hours a day, is it actually okay to do this every single day? Should you take days off to allow the eyes to rest? Also, which eye exercises specifically did you do in combination with the anti-corrective lens therapy?
    I’m off to read with my plus lenses now before going to bed! thanks.

    • Todd

      dude nr 2,

      I can’t give you an absolute answer about how must rest to work into your eye training. I suggest starting out slowly, with no more than a few hours total per day, and taking an occasional day off. Pay attention to any signs of strain or pain. If you do fine the first week, you can consider ramping it up. You’ll always need some rest, however. Hormesis works best by allowing time for recovery.

      Todd

    • Hi Dude,

      Allow me to add my commentary. I am wearing a +2 as I type this. I have a Snellen set up with a bright light on it. I check it as a regular activity. Most people attempt to rely on an OD for measurements. Don’t do it. Check yourself. With a -2.0, prescription you might have 20/100 vision, or you might have 20/50 vision. It truly is impossible to tell – unless you check. I can not answer your question about wearing the plus – except to say that I always have a plus on for ALL READING AND COMPUTER WORK. To help you – get a Snellen, just watch this video. At the top, you can “click” on obtaining a free Snellen.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgUkoSSgVOs&feature=g-upl

      Vision improvement is a slow process. So plan for long-term wearing of the plus. The DMV requirements are for 20/50 to 20/40. The are a good “marker” for future success. With 20/20, I still wear the plus.

      Todd did it – because he had the necessary strong resolution and persistence to become successful.

      Otis

  36. Jojo

    Hi Todd,

    I recently discovered this idea of improving eyesight through training and I believe that it makes a lot of sense. I’m extremely interested in this idea… I’ve wanted Lasik for a few years however they advised me to wait until my 30s because once they do it they will only be able to reduce my prescription. Right not my contact prescription is -8.50 and -8.75, have you ever seen improvement in myopia this severe? From what I gathered from previous comments and your answers to them… the best start would be paper pushing for a few hours a day with no correction? Is there anything else I could do to speed up the process. I’m at such a bad level that normal function besides walking around is really not an option without lenses. I can however read at about two inches from my face. Curious about your opinions and suggestions. The entire concept that you have been using is genius!

    Thanks!

    • Todd

      Jojo,

      Your myopia is indeed very pronounced. But others on this site have made great progress starting from -6 diopters. So I think you can do it! In fact, you may even fight that your initial progress, to reduce by 1 to 2 diopters, is quite rapid.

      You did a good job of reading the material on the blog, because you understand exactly what to do: start without any correction, pushing paper to the edge of focus, even if it is only a few inches from your face. Do it for a few hours a day, with frequent breaks every 15-30 minutes or so. Do it as much as you can without getting tired. But rest is very important.

      I would really encourage you to post your progress here — or better yet on the Discussion Forum linked to this blog, where many others have posted their experience. If you can make significant progress…or even cure yourself of glasses…it would be a great inspiration to many people. Think about that!

      Todd

    • Hi Jojo,

      Subject: Lasik Surgery and keeping your 20/20 vision after that operation.

      I hope you will allow me to add my commentary. I have had surgery for cataract. That indeed fixes the nearsightedness. I would think that you could get your distant vision fixed with Lasik in the same way.

      My suggestion is this – if you do have Lasik done, that should give you 20/20, then plan to wear the plus lens (as I do) to prevent your vision from going down a second time. It is typical, that people will “have Lasik”, and the go back to doing close work, and NOT wear the plus. This results in the development of a SECOND case of myopia.

      (Read the above commentary by Nadine – to confirm this problem.)

      Tragically, anyone “selling Lasik”, should recommend that wise use of a plus as a low-cost means of keeping your distant vision clear – for the rest of your life.

      That is what I am doing now – and doing this work while reading through a +2.0 diopter lens. I greatly value my distant vision, and will pay this “price” to keep it that way.

      Otis

  37. Fernanda

    I hate wearing glasses, I don’t get how to get 20/20 vision can you help me?

    • Todd

      Read the blog.

  38. HopingForTheBest

    Ok, I read the blog. I am puzzled though. I get how the whole process with the plus lenses work. My question is, people say if you wear a minus lense your eyes get worse. Wouldnt the same thing apply even if you were wearing a plus. I also read on the forum that Todd and Otis tell people not to worry about the up close vision getting worse because it usually happens to people over 40. Well, I have a friend, he is 17 he has 15/20 vision. I know another kid. He is about 10 years old or less and his up close vision is horrible maybe +4. I have done this for a couple months. I read on the de angelo book, this guy says “do not do it it causes floaters” I have to say that my eyes feel like they are getting squeezed maybe getting harder and I do see more floaters. I know Todd and Otis say that you should be safe wearing plus lenses if your young, your up close vision will mess up, it doesnt hapeen till your over 40. Well explain to me why do my friends have bad up close vision and they werent even wearing plus lenses except for the 10 year old. Just seems kind of suspicious.

    • Todd

      Hoping,

      If you are myopic, wearing a plus lens (combined with threshold focusing) will tend to shorten the length of the eye, restoring normal vision. So a plus lens WILL NOT make your eyes worse.
      However if you are hyperopic (far-sighted), poor close-up vision, and already have shortened eyes, a plus lens WILL make your vision worse. In that case, you need to wear minus lenses as “anti-corrective” lenses, and practice threshold focusing, i.e. bring reading material as close as possible to your eyes while at the edge of focus.

      “Floaters” are an entirely different matter, having nothing to do with myopia or hyperopia. They result from the effects of aging on the vitreous jelly of the eye.

      Todd

    • Hi Hoping for the Best,

      Subject: Asking a lot of questions – the way that I did.

      I asked all these questions – and then I realized how easy it is to always “fix” a person with a minus lens. A few ODs realized that, while the minus lens is “instant satisfaction” – it is, on second-thought – a “compromised” or “poor idea”. From my own analysis – I only argue that a person who still has 20/40 to 20/60 vision (by personal checking on his Snellen) CONSIDER wearing the plus for all close work.

      Further, most people simply DO NOT HAVE A PERSONAL GOAL sufficiently strong to FORCE themselves to wear the plus with the strength necessary to produce the desired results. This is where and WHY Todd was successful.

      He put aside his FEAR of wearing the plus – and followed Brian Severson’s advice to wear the plus. Do we know if the plus “hurt” Todd’s eyes? No! Do we know if Todd will “lose” some of his near vision – because he wore a plus? No! Does Todd think he did the right thing for himself? Yes.

      I am wearing a plus now – to protect my distant vision. I would prefer to wear a plus this way – FOR LIFE – because I prefer my refractive status to be POSITIVE (self-measured) than to lose my distant vision for life. For me, this effort – costs me NOTHING AT ALL. That is bargin – but I am smart enough to take any “visual risks” that might develop from MY wise use of the plus. I suppose most people can not overcome their “fear” of wearing a plus – when the “minus” is so very, very easy.

      It takes a real-education to figure out WHY you don’t fix the “distant” 20/50 with a minus lens, but FIX the reason for the -3/4 diopter status, with a plus for near. The OD in and office will never discuss this – he figures you would never “figure it out”. But some people do. I will take some time to review your questions.

      Hoping> Ok, I read the blog. I am puzzled though. I get how the whole process with the plus lenses work.

      Otis> Assuming you are a pilot and an entering student (with 20/40 vision), and express a scientific interest in prevention (or recovery from -3/4 diopters), you “sign up” to commit to the wearing a strong plus for nine months (and avoid wearing the minus). (You know your vision is going down by -1.5 diopters – about 20/100) in four years – and you wish that will not happen.)

      Otis> Then you wear the plus (always), monitor your Snellen, check your refractive stats with a “home” trial lens kit (so you trust your measurements), and after nine months, verify your refractive status is “postive”, a your read the 20/20 line.

      Otis> I don’t make “excessive claims” – but I know pilots who are not in “fear” of the plus – and are personally successful. That is the limit I place on “successful prevention”. I hope this helps you understand the difficulties of prevention.

      Otis

  39. NJ

    Hi Todd/Otis/anyone else who can help,

    I just stumbled upon this blog not too long ago and after reading some of the information I’m quite keen on giving this a go.

    Instead of going through an optometrist I’m thinking of just ordering my lenses online and modifying the values on my most recent prescription.

    An issue is that I have very strong myopia in my left eye, and strong astigmatism in my right eye.

    My current prescription for eyeglasses is this:

    Right: -1.50 Sph | -2.00 Cyl | 5 Ax
    Left: -5.00 Sph | -0.25 Cyl | 75 Ax

    I hope that won’t mean it can’t be fixed with this method. I’m also 28 years old so I hope this isn’t too old for it.

    I’d like to know how I should modify this prescription? And in additional to this, what else should I be doing?

    I work in an office and mostly work with a computer. Ideally I’d like both my eyes to be at the “blur” range at around the same distance, otherwise one eye will be dominating.

    Without glasses on, I can see things sharply about 25-28cm with my left eye, and for my right eye up to about 35-40cm before it starts getting blurry (probably due to the astigmatism) – if this helps.

    Also it gets expensive if I need to frequently order glasses, so what would be the most diopters I could undercorrect by before it becomes ineffective or even harmful?

    Thanks for your time, I’m really keen on trying this out, I feel like my vision is just going to get worse and worse if I don’t do anything about it.

    • Todd

      NJ,

      The approach I recommend will help you reduce the myopia in your left eye. It won’t directly help the astigmatism in your right eye. But many who have used the print pushing and threshold focusing method advocated here find that as their myopia reduces, the impact of the astigmatism becomes less of a problem.

      So start by reducing the correction on your left eye. You say you can read at 25-28 cm, so it seems that you are overprescribed! You should be fine with -4 diopter lenses for the left eye. So immediately get a new pair with -4 Sph in the left eye — everything else the same. Use these glasses for distance.

      You should be able to read without any glasses if you can read at 25-28 cm. So get some mild plus lenses (try on various pairs in the range of +1 to +1.5) to find a pair that allows you to focus at around 16 inches. Cover the right lens with tissue paper so the light comes through, but you can’t see shapes. Sit just far enough away to be able to barely see things in focus, and read for 15-30 minutes at a time that way. Periodically push back and you’ll find you may be able to increase by a few inches every day. Take plenty of breaks. If you find you can extend this to 20 inches, then go buy a stronger pair. Once your left eye catches up with your right, I think you can figure out how to take it from there!

      Good luck,

      Todd

    • Hi NJ,

      I had my vision destroyed by that minus lens – and repeated increases and over-prescriptions. Here is a site I maintain to help my relatives with prevention – and give you a history of this problem.

      http://myopiafree.wordpress.com/

      I also “gave up” on ODs – because of their arrogance and their refusal to HONESTLY discuss these issues when I was at 20/50 – and could have avoided it – as my nephew did it.

      For now, I would suggest getting a “Snellen” eye-chart and set it up at 20 feet and read it. Yes, it will be discouraging – but you must start somewhere.

      Personally, I do my own “optometry” on myself – because I so totally distrust and OD in his office. I use lenses from Zennioptical.com (to find the minimum minus needed to just-clear the 20/30 line) and then order the glasses from Zennioptical. This means that glasses don’t cost me $200, and the exam (that I don’t need) another $200. The “test lenses” cost about $25, and glasses (when change is needed) about $10.

      I will take this opportunity to thank Todd for maintaining this site – and helping others with his success!

      Otis

  40. Username

    Hi Todd,

    I have stumbled across your site and am hoping for a reverse in my myopia. After reading everyone’s responses and your replies it sounds like a miracle as everyone’s told me that fixing eyesight is impossible, but I am determined to give it a try. It seems so motivating for me as I type. I suffer from low self-esteem because of myopia and it really affects my daily life.

    I have a -3.50 in my left eye and a -3.25 in my right eye.

    I have a spare pair of glasses that are -2 for the left lens and a -1.75 in my right lens.

    Thank you in advance
    Should I use my under-corrected glasses or use + glasses?

    • Todd

      Username,

      Good to hear that you are taking action to reduce your myopia and dependence on glasses. Taking action in itself is good for self-esteem. Once you start to see progress, you’ll realize how wrong the “experts” are in telling us we can’t improve our eyesight.

      Your old -2/-1.75 glasses may be a bit too weak for good distance vision — but why not try them? If you can see the other side of the room, they are at least good for meetings and presentations. But if you need something stronger for driving, I’d suggest undercorrecting by about 0.5 diopters for distance.

      For reading, you use a different approach. At =3.5/-3.25 diopters, you can still read at about 40/3.3 = 12 inches. That may seem close, but it’s not unworkable. Read through the blog articles and especially the Discussion Forum about how to use print pushing and reading at the blur point to gradually reduce your myopia. Eventually, you will add plus lenses while print pushing to further strengthen your eyesight.

      So in summary: Use undercorrected lenses for distance, and plus lenses (with print pushing) for close up work.

      I wish you good luck!

      Todd

    • Hi UserName,
      Personal checking – versus trusting an OD measurement. Let me add that that was Todd’s measurement by an OD. You might be OK, or you might be over-prescribed. I can never tell – until the person reads his own Snellen. Of all the “make or break” issues – that is most serious. I know of people who had a -4 diopters prescription, who, when they checked, could read the 20/60 line. So I recommend you get a Snellen – for free. It is worth the effort. You will find this free Snellen at the top of the video.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgUkoSSgVOs&feature=g-upl

      I am an engineer – so I don’t ask a person to do something – unless I FIRST do it myself. Todd had a hell of a lot of fortitude to “avoid” wearing the minus – and later wear the plus. Eventually the goal is to begin passing the 20/50, and then the 20/40 and better. I wish you luck – and the personal resolve to do it.

    • Hi UserName and NJ,

      Both Todd and I support preventive methods. In the profession (you pay a person to help you) you will find Alex and others who will support you. The specific problem is an excessive-prescription. Here is a discussion of that issue.

      http://www.myopiachallenge.com/myopia-destroying-vision-your-prescription-is-probably-completely-wrong/

      I try to avoid disputes about these issues – so I prefer a scientific approach. I describe advocacy for true-prevention, as the second-opinion, since equally qualified experts – completely DISAGREE and contradict each other on the most basic of facts.

      No one can tell you what to do – certainly not me. I just describe what *I* would do, if *I* confirmed 20/60 vision – with the possibility of getting back to normal in about nine months, under my own personal control. Take your TIME. Study as much as you can, and then make your choice – as Todd made his choice.

  41. ares

    Hi all,
    what I gathered in a nutshell is that in order to start reversing one’s myopia one must simply deduct -0.5 diopters from a minus lens and see how it goes. I can understand the logic of that vis-a-vis Hormetics. What I don’t understand is, should you or should you not reduce the values for astigmatism? If say the current lens I’m using is -3.25 (for both eyes) with OD CYL=-1.00 and OD AXIS=10 and OS CYL=-1.50 and OD AXIS=180, then the new lens should be -2.75 but what should the CYL and AXIS values be?
    Thanks
    Ares

    • Todd

      ares,

      Two quick responses to your questions:

      1. I think you misunderstand the method. More is required for success than merely wearing undercorrected lenses and “seeing how it goes”. Undercorrected lenses should be worn for distance vision, like driving. But to actively reverse myopia, you must practice print pushing — reading at the blur point. This can be done with the naked eye for severe myopia, and with plus lenses once your myopia is less than about -2 diopters. There is plenty on the Discussion Forum and other posts on this blog regarding how to implement this.

      2. Regarding astigmatism, please do a search on the word “astigmatism”, both on this blog, and on the Discussion Forum (follow the link in the upper right hand corner of the page). You will find much discussion about astigmatism there. The bottom line: Don’t worry about astigmatism; once you correct myopia, the astigmatism will often naturally lessen.

      Todd

      • ares

        Hi Todd and Otis,

        thanks for your replies and sorry for taking so long to acknowledge.
        I must say your site has been inspirational for me as prior to coming across it and researching further on the net,
        I was not aware that myopia can be reversed … and it has given me great hope.

        I am writing to tell of my progress, as well and am going to be a bit long winded and taking the long description approach for the benefit of other newbies like me. So here goes…

        Last Saturday I received my undercorrected glasses from zenni and started to use them immediately.
        I left out the astigmatism corrections out so they are just plain undercorrected by -0.50 diopter. My prescription is -3.25

        I noticed that after almost a whole day of wearing them I felt a bit dizzy in the evening. The same for the following day.
        The days afterwards were better although naturally I did not feel as comfortable as normal correction glasses.
        Also when it starts to get dark vision worsens obviously and I change back to my normal correction glasses.

        My general comment is that for close work I do not notice the difference. But vision starts to blur slightly at a distance of several feet and blurring increases as distance increases and so on.

        Prior to getting my undercorrected glasses, I started to print push by reading books with my naked eyes. Also since my work consists of staring at a computer monitor daily, I started doing half an hour or a bit more daily working without glasses. To do this, I had to stand my monitor up to get it as eye level as possible as well as getting it as close as approx. 14 inches in front of my eyes to be able to work at all.
        I also started to drive without glasses but only in strong sunlight as well as generally spending a few random stretches of time daily without glasses.

        Needless to say, this is not comfortable and I start to catch myself leaning in towards the monitor or gradually pulling the book closer to my eyes. Alas my commitment towards doing all this naked eye work started to lessen.

        That is why I thought that wearing undercorrected glasses all the time will address the problem “almost” effortlessly!

        Otis, good points about measuring and keeping track of my Snellen. That is next on my agenda.

        After all of this, what I do not understand is why don’t you recommend using the undercorrected glasses for close work as well? The way I see it my eyes are still focusing through reduced lenses all the time, thus forcing them to improve hormetically, no?

        My main concern here is not to be comfortable per se but to not worsen my myopia by doing things incorrectly.

        I will go through the site again to try to understand better what I did not get the first time round :)

        Thanks again for your time.
        Ares

        • Hi Ares,

          I received your post on my email – but could not find it here – thus the re-post.

          From the above posts I have made, and supported by Todd, it is clear that a certain amount of recovery is possible. But I always work to the concept that an ounce of prevention – is worth a pound of “cure”.

          I have worked with ODs who have spelled this out to me in a clear-cut way. I only wish more ODs would take the time to “sit me down” when I am at 20/40 to 20/50 (and -1.0 diopters) and spell it out to me at that time.

          I totally appreciate Todd’s commitment to this work, and his obvious success.

          I wish all ODs and MDs were as warm and supporting as Todd has been.

          Otis

          ++++

          Ares>

          Hi Todd and Otis,

          thanks for your replies and sorry for taking so long to acknowledge.
          I must say your site has been inspirational for me as prior to coming across it and researching further on the net,
          I was not aware that myopia can be reversed … and it has given me great hope.

          I am writing to tell of my progress, as well and am going to be a bit long winded and taking the long description approach for the benefit of other newbies like me. So here goes…

          Last Saturday I received my undercorrected glasses from zenni and started to use them immediately.
          I left out the astigmatism corrections out so they are just plain undercorrected by -0.50 diopter. My prescription is -3.25

          I noticed that after almost a whole day of wearing them I felt a bit dizzy in the evening. The same for the following day.
          The days afterwards were better although naturally I did not feel as comfortable as normal correction glasses.
          Also when it starts to get dark vision worsens obviously and I change back to my normal correction glasses.

          My general comment is that for close work I do not notice the difference. But vision starts to blur slightly at a distance of several feet and blurring increases as distance increases and so on.

          Prior to getting my undercorrected glasses, I started to print push by reading books with my naked eyes. Also since my work consists of staring at a computer monitor daily, I started doing half an hour or a bit more daily working without glasses. To do this, I had to stand my monitor up to get it as eye level as possible as well as getting it as close as approx. 14 inches in front of my eyes to be able to work at all.
          I also started to drive without glasses but only in strong sunlight as well as generally spending a few random stretches of time daily without glasses.

          Needless to say, this is not comfortable and I start to catch myself leaning in towards the monitor or gradually pulling the book closer to my eyes. Alas my commitment towards doing all this naked eye work started to lessen.

          That is why I thought that wearing undercorrected glasses all the time will address the problem “almost” effortlessly!

          Otis, good points about measuring and keeping track of my Snellen. That is next on my agenda.

          After all of this, what I do not understand is why don’t you recommend using the undercorrected glasses for close work as well? The way I see it my eyes are still focusing through reduced lenses all the time, thus forcing them to improve hormetically, no?

          My main concern here is not to be comfortable per se but to not worsen my myopia by doing things incorrectly.

          I will go through the site again to try to understand better what I did not get the first time round :)

          Thanks again for your time.
          Ares

    • Hi Ares,

      Subject: Don’t let astigmatism (Cyl.) scare you.

      1) A minus is always over-prescribed.
      2) Astigmatims (Cyl.)measurement is ALWAYS OF DOUBTFUL ACCURACY.
      3) You can have -1 diopter of astigmatism, and read 20/20 on your Snellen.
      4) If I had 20/25, and -1 diopter of astigmatism – I would wear no lens at all.

      These are “judgment calls” – but that is the way I do it.

      If you wish to use “your diopter numbers” then to convert “astig.” to “Spherical Equivalent” – you take 1/2 the Cyl. and add it to the “Spherical”. You then IGNORE THE AXIS.

      So for -3.25 and -1 diopters astig.

      It becomes -3.25 – 0.5 = -3.75 spherical equivalent.

      You can order these glasses from Zenioptical.com for $10. I have done so – and they are of excellent quality. This “saves” and argument with your OD about this issue.

      That is what I use for my eyes – when I need it.

      But, you fail to check your own Snellen. If you modify your prescription, but have no idea what you see on a Snellen – you are truly missing the point – in my opinion.

      I have seen people with a -3.0 diopters – WHO AVOIDED WEARING THE MINUS FOR SEVERAL WEEKS – able to read the 20/60 line. You will never know – unless you check.

      This is not easy. Pilots – who have great motivation – are successful. Todd was successful – because he kept on wearing the plus – and “accepted the frustration” of this work. No one tells you about this aspect of recovery.

      Good luck!

      • ares

        Hi Otis, thanks and I combined my replies in one post above.

  42. Nguyen

    I am a severe myope with my left and right eyes at -5.75 and -7.50 respectively. I would like to know if your method works for me, and I would like also some of your recommendations for people with high myopia like me (i.e. do we have to wear plus lens or just remove our glasses, etc.)
    Thanks very much.
    Nguyen

    • Hi Nguyen,

      No one can say what you can achieve. But with a -6 diopter prescription, you can probably only see “clearly” out to 6 inches.

      This means that you can’t wear a plus. You could start taking your glasses off when doing “close work”, but probably at 10 inches. I have seen one man with a -4 diopter (vision good at 10 inches – if you go by his prescription), able to read the 20/60 line on his Snellen.

      With considerable effort, he got to the point where he could read the 20/40 line. My own experience is that the over-prescribed minus – put on you at a young age destroyed both YOUR and MY vision.

      I hold the OD AS RESPONSIBLE – for telling me the dangers of a minus lens – if worn all the time. That is why you went so far down.

      I personally don’t make “claims” – because you never know what any person will do. Peter G., posting here, went from -2.5 diopters to a point where he passes the State DMV test, and can discard his minus lens.

      But success depends completely on the insight and motivation of the person himself. It is honestly much more difficult if you were put into a strong minus at a young age – which I suspect is the case.

      ODs should be helping us with plus-prevention when we are at 20/60 – and START TALKING TO US about the plus at that point. Instead they remain silent – and prescribe a -3 diopter when you could get out of it.

    • Todd

      Nguyen,

      This method will work for you. At a minimum, you can reduce your prescription and stop your eyesight from getting worse. I can make no promise that you will get to 20/20 — that is a long road that is dependent on your resolve and persistence. But even a partial reversal of myopia should be appealing to you. If you can even get down to -2 or -3, you’ll see a lot more in focus without glasses.

      As Otis notes, you should start out by wearing no glasses when you read. Get as close to the reading material as necessary to JUST be able to see print in focus. Then use print pushing to expand your range of focus. Read through the other comments here and on the Discussion Forum for more explanation of what we mean by “print pushing”.

      Plus lenses come in once you are able to reduce your myopia to -2 diopters and read in focus at about 18-20 inches. But that is for the future.

      The other thing you can do is to order new distance lenses that are under-corrected by about 0.5 diopters. For you, that is -5.25/-7. If your OD won’t write you the prescription, find an optometrist who will cut down the prescription or order them online from zennioptical.com

    • Hi Nguyen,

      Subject: Second-opinion ophthalmologists and ODs

      While there are ODs who are strongly hostile to prevention, saying their is no proof that a minus “makes matters worse”, there are ophthalmologists who argue that prevention is possible if you do it yourself. Here is Alex, who maintains a myopia prevention site, who would give you an impartial analysis of your prospect for successful results.

      http://www.myopiachallenge.com/behavioural-ophthalmology-2/

      I am an engineer – who learned that prevention is indeed possible – from a doctor like Alex. I would suggest you contact him, and ask for his supportive recommendations and advice.
      Thanks!

  43. Nguyen

    Thank you for all your advice. I want to add another detail. I’m now 15, which means I’m a student, so I still need glasses in classes. I want to know if this affect the process, and what is a solution if it does.

  44. Subject: About Astigmatism (Cyl.)

    Some of you are very concerned about an astigmatism measurement – and what it means. The measurement is 1) Difficult to make accurately 2) Both eyes, used together, cancel out most of it. 3) Most eyes have mild degrees of it ( -1.0 diopter). 4) I always convert to “Spherical equivalent” (take 1/2 the “cyl.”, and add it to the sperical.

    As Todd states, change your refractive status from -3.0 to zero, and most of the “astigmatism” goes to a low, and normal level. Here is a discussion by a medical person about this issue.

    http://www.myopiachallenge.com/how-to-cure-your-astigmatism/

    I personally check my own Snellen chart. Astigmatism in never a problem for me.

  45. Subject: Good looking woman – follows her OD’s recommendation to get and wear a plus for all close work.

    It is amazing to me that so many people are in “fear” of wearing the plus correctly – or think that ODs are “against” wearing the plus when you are at 20/50 – and could get to 20/20 by this process.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWjnNM0VYM4&feature=related

    I describe the recommendation as the medical second-opinion. This is a cute and smart girl – who does what very few will do.

    Maybe we could all learn a lesson from this.

  46. Mike Steem

    Great stuff. I’ve been doing something quite similar with Alex Frauenfeld / Frauenfeld Clinic – he does get into a bit more of the other side of this ‘pushing focus’, with minus prescriptions at a distance. Same concept, though.

    • Hi Mike,

      Subject: My “vote of confidence” in Alex.

      There is truly a need for a “standing program” of prevention – that Alex has developed.

      But there is also a need for the person to “stand up” and take a large degree of responsibility to:

      1) Get a Snellen set it up in a permanent location (with a bright light on it) and check it on a regular basis.

      2) If you can read the 20/60 line – that is wonderful.

      3) You should set a “wise goal” for yourself – to exceed the DMV line, of 20/40 or better.

      4) I wish you total success, and that is why I urge you to read Todd’s commentary, and choose a course of action that meets your requirements.

      5) My current vision is 20/20 (varies from 20/25 to 20/15) and a refractive status of +0.75 diopters. I check my refractive status myself – because I just don’t trust an OD in his office to do an accurate measurement of this critical parameter.

      Best,

  47. Subject: Some notes on true medical conditions.

    1) Retinal detachment.
    2) Age-related presbyopia. (Starts developing over the age of 40.)
    3) R.P.
    4) Glaucoma
    5) Cataract

    If you have any of the above conditions, go to a medical doctor (ophthalmologist) and get his recommended treatment.

    What if you do not have any of the above medical problems – that require exclusive medical attention? Then you should consider prevention under your complete personal control.

    I am an engineer – interested in science. For that reason, I do not provide “medical advice”, and I make that perfectly clear.

    I am interested in conditions of the eye (like threshold nearsightedness) – that can potentially be prevented. Since I consider this a normal condition of the natural “living eye”, I do not consider work on true-prevention to be medical – at all.

    For this reason, I recommend the person who is interested realize that no one medical will help you. There are many reasons for this “break” in who, exactly, controls your distant vision.

    So, how can you tell if you have a “medical condition”, or nearsightedness (negative status) – which you can potentially control yourself.

    1) Almost all doctors (Ophthalmologists and ODs) believe that you want extremely sharp vision. So, with NO DISCUSSION of the danger of wearing that first minus, they will over-prescribe you by quite a bit (1, 2 and 3 diopters are common.)

    2) To avoid this type of arrogance, (if you have a prescription) get your own Snellen chart, and place it on the wall. Then read it. Some DMV test allow 20/40 ant 20/50 vision. Obviously not great – but my plan is to get out of it – by my own wisdom and force-of-will.

    3) How can you tell if this is “pseudo-myopia”, or “axial myopia”? The truth is – no test can tell.

    4) What I do – and strongly recommend – is this. Assuming you have a strong will, reason and purpose – get a -1.0 diopter from Zennnioptical.com for about $10. Then reading your Snellen at 20/50, hold up the -1 and SEE IF IT CLEARS THE 20/20 line. If it does, for all practical purposes, you do not have a medical “condition”. (Your wise judgment must be part of this process).

    5) This is after your “Medical check” (that clears all the above stated conditions). Now you go home with your “prescription” of -3.0 diopters. (Don’t fill it). Check your Snellen again. It is now UP TO YOU ALONE to do this preventive work.

    It honestly takes strong wisdom and persistence to clear from 20/60 – so be understanding an intellectually prepared to do it. Don’t expect any OD or MD help with this. They consider all prevention to be impossible.

    There is no reason to argue with them about this issue. Do not expect “instant results”. With persistent resolve, (plus for all near – permanently), you should see the 20/40 line clear in about six months. In about a year you should get to “positive status”, and 20/20 on your Snellen. Todd and others have done it – so it is possible. But it truly takes great understanding and resolve to do it.

  48. Ron

    Hello again,

    My current prescription is located here – http://muvipix.com/ron/script.jpg

    I’ve been wearing a prescription, from about 5 years ago, for about a week now without any discomfort whatsoever. It is a weaker prescription, but I don’t know exactly how much. And again, I’ve noticed a little improvement already from first putting them on!

    I bought a pair of cheap +2.75 reading glasses yesterday and, with very minor concentration, I can read this blog text from about 20 inches. The clarity comes and goes, but I’m not really straining at all, if that makes sense. Would this be considered progress, or am I not understanding my prescription (which I really don’t, btw), let alone the exact process that I should be following?

    Conversely, is it possible, depending on the way you feel when visiting the OD (let alone the subjectiveness of it sometimes!), that your eyes are a bit tired/weak at that time and the prescription is made too strong? A bit of a rhetorical question, I know, but it does have me wondering now.

    Either way, I’m excited and optimistic about all of this – my family thinks I’m nuts; first the fasting, now this – I just love the idea (and personal challenge) of literally correcting my vision enough to not have to rely on glasses 24/7!

    • Todd

      Ron,

      From everything you say, you are on the right track and making good progress! Keep in mind that initial progress is often fast, then you hit a period of slow progress, plateaus and occasional backsliding. But you’ve already learned that from your weight loss, so I think you are well prepared. If you keep this up, in a year you will look back and see major progress.’

      I remember that when I used to visit the optometrist I’d always end up with stronger prescriptions that seemed “too sharp”. I think it must have to do with the method most ODs use, including eye drops, etc.

      When your family laughs, you should enjoy the last laugh. My family made fun of me too at first, but now both kids eat Paleo, eat 1-2 meals a day max, take cold showers, and are into physical fitness.

      It’s a great journey…make it fun!

      Todd

    • Hi Ron,
      As you will understand, I am very reluctant to give advice to a person – if he thinks it is medical advice.
      Most of my work is to prevent entry into myopia, by having the person read a “standard” Snellen at 20 feet. I strongly recommend that you do that – as a starting point.

      You near vision will be poor, but if your distant vision is 20/40 or better – you can avoid wearing any lens for distance. My refraction is +3/4 diopters, and I read the 20/20 line. If you read through this list, you will find a video on how to obtain a free Snellen. If you can keep those glasses off your face for distant objects – that would be wonderful. Todd gives great advice – and I wish more people were comfortable with these ideas.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgUkoSSgVOs&feature=g-upl

      Otis

  49. Ron

    Thanks to you both! I will check in from time to time with my progress.

  50. Subject: Professionals (ophthalmologists) who support true-prevention.

    Some people like Todd, manage to figure out how to wear the plus correctly, and gradually work their vision back to normal from -3.0 diopters. I support that work, but I know that most people will prefer an “organized program”, where they have strong medical advice and support. This includes obtaining “reduced” minus lens glasses as your Snellen slowly improves from 20/100 to 20/40 or better (passes the objective DMV test – as final verification. Here is a program I strongly recommend:

    http://www.myopiachallenge.com/the-single-biggest-obstacle-to-better-vision/

    I also support Alex, because he has maintained a “standing program” of myopia prevention for the last 40 years – against massive objection in the “Medical Community”. So if you can, join his program!


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