Myopia: a modern yet reversible disease

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Posted 09 Aug 2014 in Uncategorized

Here is the video and slide set from my presentation at the Ancestral Health Symposium, August 9, 2014, in Berkeley, California. I enjoyed meeting many of you who were at the conference.  I’d recommend watching the video first, and perhaps follow along with the uploaded slide set in a separate window, since it is  more convenient for viewing references and other details.

(Note: You’ll notice some minor differences in the video and slide versions, as the AV team inadvertently projected an earlier draft rather then the final slides I had provided).

Video:

 

Slides:

(Click on image below and allow 30-60 seconds for slideshow to upload)

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 8.45.47 PM

 

Overview of the talk.  For ease of reference, here is slide-by-slide “table-of-contents” summary of the presentation. People are always asking to provide a detailed explanation of exactly what steps to take to improve their vision.  You’ll find this bottom line “practical advice” in Slides 23-36

  1. Title: Myopia: a modern yet reversible disease
  2. My story:   I wore glasses from Grade 10 until 15 years ago. I don’t wear glasses any more!
  3. To reverse myopia, we need to first understand the causes.
  4. Myopia defined.   Myopia can lead to serious problems like cataracts and macular degeneration
  5. The prevalence of myopia has increased by 50-100% since 1970, across all age groups in the U.S.
  6. There is evidence for both genetic and environmental causes.
  7. An 1883 study of military recruits found myopia was much higher in students and merchants than farmers
  8. A 1969 study of Eskimos found that myopia had increased dramatically since Western schooling was introduced
  9. A 2012 study of German students found more than 50% of university graduates had myopia vs. 25% for dropouts
  10. In countries like Singapore and Taiwan, myopia is common among even young school children
  11. There is evidence that certain genes predispose to severe myopia. Copper deficiency induces myopia due to increased scleral wall elasticity.
  12. Cordain found that a high carbohydrate diet and deficiency of EFAs and minerals promote myopia
  13. It appears that a myopiagenic environment (near work) is needed to activate  genetic predisposition to myopia
  14. What is the biological mechanism?
  15. The normal lens changes shape to focus
  16. Myopia progresses in two stages: (1) near work induces lens spasm, causing pseudo-myopia; (2) use of minus lenses temporarily improves distance vision, but leads to eye elongation and axial myopia.  The result of elongation is a need to prescribe stronger minus lenses, in a vicious cycle of ever stronger lenses.
  17. Eye elongation is explained by the incremental retinal defocus theory.  Retinal defocus causes release of neuromodulators that lead to decreased scleral tissue integrity, and axial growth
  18. The IRD theory has been proven empirically in chicks, monkeys and humans using optical reflectometry
  19. How can myopia be reversed?
  20. First, it is useful to understand the framework of hormesis — the beneficial response to low dose stress
  21. Weight lifting is a good example of hormesis and the principle of Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand
  22. What if gyms had the same business model as optometrists?  They would prescribe exoskeletons to help us walk, but these “crutches” would make us weaker, not stronger.  Lenses are crutches
  23. To reverse myopia with hormesis, we need to use active focus.  That means print pushing and plus lenses while reading, and progressively weaker minus lenses and image fusing for distance activities
  24. To embark on this journey, you must first determine how myopic you are, using a Snellen chart
  25. For print pushing, you need plus lenses only if your myopia is less than -2D. Otherwise use your naked eye
  26. Find the distance (D1) where print is at the edge of focus and (D2) where it starts to blur.  Read between D1 and D2
  27. Move back from your computer or book to stay between D1 and D2. Do this for 2-4 hours a day, taking frequent breaks.  Graduate to stronger plus lenses when you drop below 2D, and continue until you achieve 20/20 vision!
  28. For distance (walking, TV, movies, meetings) buy glasses with a 0.5D reduced prescription
  29. Once your vision gets better, you may notice “double vision” or ghosting.  This is a good sign and something you can use to improve your vision!
  30. Find distant objects with sharp contrasting edges: telephone wires, tree branches, edges of buildings or signs
  31. Focus on the darker of the double image and away from the fainter image.  With time, the darker image will become darker, and the fainter image will fade away
  32. Eventually the double image with fuse into a single crisp image — very exciting!
  33. Most people have a weak eye and a stronger eye with less myopia.  The stronger eye will dominate, so strengthen the weaker eye by patching, shielding or winking shut the stronger eye…until the two eyes are roughly even.
  34. Frequently asked questions
  35. How much time should I spend on print pushing?  Spend 2-4 hours a day while doing routine computer work or reading. This is not a separate exercise, but something you build into daily activity
  36. How long before my vision improves?  Be patient — it’s like exercise or diet and won’t work overnight.  Expect some improvement within a few weeks, but it may take a year or more to clear your vision
  37. Is this the same as the Bates method?  Bates had some incorrect ideas about focusing, but his relaxation techniques can help reduce ciliary strain on the lens (pseduomyopia).  However, his method does not help if you have axial myopia and spend a lot of time at the computer or reading.  Print pushing specifically helps with that.
  38. Does active focus really work?  Check out my blog and forum for success stories
  39. And for the skeptical, here is a page of references on the epidemiology and causation of myopia
  40. And more references on methods and websites that provide a similar approach to mine
  41. Your eyes are adaptive organs which allowed them to become myopic, but you can use that same adaptability to reverse the process using active focus for both near and far activities
  42. Rediscover your natural vision — make it fun, make it a habit, make it a game.  You only have your glasses to lose!

Also be sure to check out these related posts and discussions:

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165 Comments

  1. Woody

    Hey Todd!

    I am myopic, and have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/200 vision in my right eye (dominant eye).

    I actually bought some reading glasses and a PATCH for my good eye to practice what you preach. Unfortunately I won’t wear a patch in public, and my wife just laughed at me at home when I would wear it while reading.

    If I wear the reading glasses normally will the right eye eventually catch up to the left eye, or am I doomed to wearing a patch if I want better/quicker/best results?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Woody,

      Yes, I used a patch too and my kids thought it looked nerdy :-). But you have the right idea. As one of my slides above shows, it is important to occasionally block or diffuse the dominant eye to allow the weaker eye to catch up. You can also mudo this by winkingnormshielding When both eyes are almost even, then you ca. Use standard pryint using and plus lenses to make progress with both eyes.

      One downside of patching or winking is the it deprives the patched eye of light for a while. Some alternatives are intermittent blink or putting one hand along you nose at an angle in order to shield the dominant eye from focusing where the weaker eye is looking, but allowing light to get to it. Another option is to patch with a diffuser or order custom lenses from zenniopticsl that handicap the dominant eye.

      Todd

      One problem with a patch is that itmdeprivesmthe patched eye of light.

      Reply
  2. Carol Karwowski

    My vision is about 20/875 and 20/800 I think. I have astigmatism too. I’m not quite clear on what you mean by plus/minus lenses. I have bifocals. Is there a reference that details this more to someone who knows nothing about eyes? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Carol Karwowski

      I gave the incorrect email. It won’t let me through the authentication to contact you to change the email. Ugh. I’m putting in the proper letters/numbers

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    This is fascinating! I have worn glasses or contacts for nearly 30 years. My contacts are, I believe, -7.5. Is my vision far too bad to be able to use some of these strategies to strengthen my eyes and reverse some of my myopia?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Sarah,

      There is no reason you can’t make substantial improvement! Others have done so starting at -5 to -6 diopters. It depends mostly on your motivation and discipline in working at this. Work it into your daily routine for several hours each day.

      At -7.5D, you are only able to focus about 5 or 6 inches in front of your nose. That’s pretty close, but try reading at the edge of focus, extending your range each day. Alternately, you can wear plus lenses OVER you contacts. Pick out some +2 or +3 glasses from the pharmacy that allow you to reach the edge of focus at a comfortable reading distance.

      Graduate to stronger lusnlenses as your vision improves. Ask your OD for some weaker contact lenses that are 0.5 to 1.0 diopter weaker – so -6.5D to -7.0D in your case. You’ll be needing those weaker lenses soon!

      Good luck and please post your progress here or on the Discussion Forum. It inspires others to share tips and experiences.

      Todd

      Reply
  4. Todd,

    It is true – that nothing succeeds like success – your success. You are an example for all of us.

    It is true that at a person starting with self-verified 20/60, (about -1.5 diopters) can slowly get back to 20/40 (pass the DMV)), and then in perhaps nine months could get to 20/20.

    But it does take a person with great insight and long-term fortitude.

    Both of us are engineers, so our perspective in facing the challenge of recovery (from 20/60) is different, from the perspective of an optometrist in his office. I have a difficult time discussing self-prevention with an optometrist in his office.)

    Thanks for your efforts. I hope for the day when a scientific (preventive) study could be offered to pilots who are at 20/50, entering a four year college.

    That WOULD WORK – and you proved it could work.

    Reply
  5. jane

    I feel really stupid (although I am highly educated which is why according to you I am myopic) but I don’t understand how to use the chart and where you are getting the -2 number from. How far from the chart do we try to read? when I look at the chart without my glasses I can read the 20/20 line at about 12 inches. So does this mean I am less than -2? Also does it mean I am in between -250 and -300, is that -2.5 and -3. Sorry very confused. My recent prescription is -3/25 in one eye and -3.75 in the other. None of this makes sense. Can you enlighten me? I think I do understand however that regardless of all these numbers I just need to read, say on the computer without my glasses where I can barely focus. Is that correct? I thought that puts a strain on ones eyes and not good for them? I have been told recently I have mild cataracts and floaters. I am 63 yrs old and have worn glasses since about 5th grade. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Jane,

      No problem – these numbers can be confusing. Slide 24 “Measuring Myopia with a Snellen Chart” shows several different sets of numbers with different meanings. The Snellen chart on the left side is the eye chart you see at the DMV or your eye doctor. You try to read the lowest line that you can read standing 20 feet back from a full size chart. For example, if you can read Line 5 (PECFD) that corresponds to 20/40, which means you can read from 20 feet what someone with normal vision can read at 20 feet. If you don’t want to print out the full size chart, you can use the online computer charts made for closer distances, such as this one:

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

      On the right side of Slide 24 is a table with 3 columns. The left of these 3 columns is the Snellen, which we already discussed. The middle column is an approximate “diopter” or “D” reading, which refers to the strength of the “minus” lens that a conventional optometrist would fit you with to correct that particular Snellen. So if your Snellen is 20/40, that would correspond to a -0.75 D lens. The column at the far right is the distance at which you can focus if you have a given Snellen or diopter reading. So again, the person with 20/40 and -0.75D would be able to read normal size text in focus from a distance of 52 inches.

      Since you can read text from about 12″, using that same chart between 11″ and 13″, you have between 20/250 and 20/300 Snellen and would have lenses around -3 to -3.5 diopters So that’s pretty close to your recent prescription of -3.25/-3.75. It all makes sense!

      Since your myopia is stronger than -2.0 D (equivalent to 20 inch focusing distance), you do not need to use plus lenses. To strengthen your eyes with print pushing, you have two choices:

      1. Read a book or computer that is about 12″ away from your face (your D1 distance) and keep pushing back and forth between D2, which is probably around 14″. That’s a little awkward, but not too bad

      2. If you don’t like sitting so close, then buy some underprescribed lenses. Reduce each eye by 0.5D, which means 2.75/3.25 in your case. A good optometrist or optician will do that for you. If they don’t cooperate, order your own custom glasses from zennioptical.com

      I suggest listening to the video a few times to reinforce the ideas.

      Do NOT attempt to embark on this unless you are willing to put in the time and effort. There is a big reward of clear vision at the end, but at the same time it requires persistence and patience to get there.

      Good luck,

      Todd

      Reply
  6. I attended this talk at AHS and it was great. Thank you so much. I have a question for those of us with astigmatism. We can not correct that with this method, right? However, my contacts do not correct for it either, so I could still get rid of my glasses? I guess my astigmatism is pretty mild so they never get me contacts that correct for it. My script is Right SPH-2.50 CYL-0.75 Axis 5 Left SPH-2.75 CYL-1.00 Axis 165. Is it only the SPH number that we change if we want glasses that are a bit less strong?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rev. Katie,

      Glad you enjoyed the talk. I didn’t directly address astigmatism in my talk for two reasons: (1) I wanted to keep the talk focused and it is hard enough to address myopia adequately in a short talk; (2) I’m still researching astigmatism and have not yet reached any firm conclusions.

      Anecdotally, I’ve heard that astigmatism tends to diminish in many people as their myopia is reversed. But in quite a few people it persists even after myopia is reduced. I’m working on an extension of my method that may help such people. For now, you may want to get the DeAngelis book (listed in my references in the slides) and investigate Leo Angart’s method for astigmatism reduction:
      http://www.vision-training.com/…/Astigmatism/index.htm
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAakgY2fdbE

      At this point I cannot vouch for how well the DeAngelis and Angart techniques work, but would love to hear from any who have tried them.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Reece Haynes

        Hello Dr Todd.
        I’ve just watched the above video and read through parts of the other posts. I’ve been following the methods in the De Angelis book which I own. It advocates using forceful blinking (Contraction-Relaxation-Blinking movements) to focus defocused print. I’ve managed to reduce my astigmatism in at least one of my eyes ( down to 0.25) but I cannot tell if that’s because I stopped wearing minus lenses or because I started practising print pushing. My myopia is around -3.00 in both eyes. I haven’t managed to decrease it but the rate of increase has slowed greatly. ( my eye test before last ( when I still wore glasses) showed an increase of -1.00 in both eyes whereas the most recent one showed an increase of -0.25 in one eye). I think that if I started wearing plus lenses for screen work and took more breaks to focus into the distance I would probably start to improve. However, I use the forceful blinking nearly all the time which stops me needing to use glasses but I usually do print pushing for an hour ( in one chunk with a short break every 15 minutes) every other day. I personally think this isn’t enough but after watching the video I now realise that I can use the technique whenever I do close work, which is good!
        I was very interested in what you said about ghosting because I’ve noticed that lines appear sharper and darker to me than other objects and that there is a ghost image around them that is fainter. I’m glad that you’ve picked up on this because I always thought it was just what happened in myopia. Now I can use it to my advantage! I just hope I can keep it up because I tend to lose patience quite quickly. Also, being a student I find it difficult to remember to move back from my workbook when writing.
        However I find it very difficult to go out in the dark because the forceful blinking has a much smaller effect ( I assume because of the lack of light). I suppose that will be good motivation in addition to having clear sight! Also as I’m 16 I understand I still have a lot of time to reverse the damage.

        Thanks for taking the time to read this as I do tend to be bad at writing succinctly.
        Reece

        Reply
    • Hi Rev. Katie,

      Subject: How you can covert astigmatism – for better vision.

      Item: If it is less than -1.25 diopters, you can convert to “spherical equivalent” – as I do it.

      In fact, I check my refraction with spherical lenses – and always get 20/20 from that spherical lens.

      The conversion is easy. Just take 1/2 the astigmatic value, and add it to the refraction. (You can ignore the angle of 165 degrees.)

      So, your converted value will be:

      -2.75 D (Sph) -1.00/2 = -3.25

      This is the spherical equivalent. I always have good vision, and check for 20/20 myself.

      You can order the glasses from Zennioptical.com for about $15.

      Otis

      Reply
  7. Nate

    Great talk Todd!! And it’s good to have some posts from you again.

    I first encountered this method of eyesight improvement 3 years ago-and have been doing it ever since. I wore glasses and contacts for over 30 years-constantly worsening. My last prescription was -6.75, which is pretty bad. After two years of applying the method, I had an eye exam, and the results gave me -4.75. And since then I have certainly improved.

    So the method works, but for very bad myopia, it does take a while.

    I agree that the important thing is incorporating the activities into your daily life. And be patient.

    Thanks again. This has really improved my life.

    Nate

    Reply
    • Hi Nate,

      Subject: The power of, “doing prevention yourself”.

      I think it is wonderful to have a medical doctor involved in these discussions. ANY improvement – is a first step in the right direction. I conduct analysis of all natural eyes, using neutral language as far as possible.

      Tragically, as soon as I suggest that it is possible to get the eye to change “in a positive direction”, by intelligent wearing of a plus lens (when at 20/40 to 20/60) I get “attacked” by people in medicine who either claim that

      1) It can be done,
      2) We will prohibit you from doing it. or
      3) You are practicing medicine, when you advocate that at person make an informed choice – to wear a plus and get a change of +1 diopter – to get to 20/40, and eventually 20/20.

      Nate – you are correct. It is a very slow path, to get out of -6 diopters. But I do advocate that a person be informed of the possibility of prevention, before he starts wearing a minus lens.

      For me, that is where true success can develop. Todd had a light prescription of -1.25 diopters (probably about 20/50 to 20/60). He developed a reasonable success.

      I am certain he passes the required DMV test. Beyond that point, with further wearing of a plus, he could get to 20/25 and 20/20.
      Todd’s write-up is EXCELLENT. I posted it on my site. We all learn in different ways.

      The real and powerful effect occurs when Todd gives his lecture, with no glasses.

      Otis

      Reply
  8. Jasmine

    Dear Dr Todd,

    Thank you so much for your website and your video. My daughter is 8 years old and she has intermittant sqint problem from birth as well as myopia. I am sad to find out during our last visit to eye doctor that her right eye myopia has increased from -3.5 to -4.5 while left eye surprisingly decrease from -3.25 to -3.0.

    I thought about it for a long time why should it be so. I started letting her under-corrected glasses a year ago. So both eyes she wears -2.5 since last year. Because of her squint(she can choose to let one eye wander away), she slowly adapts to use her left eye for far distance and right eye for all near work. Thus over the past year, I notice her near sight squint has worsened as well as her right eye myopia. Whereas because she seldom uses her left eye for near work and mostly for far objects, her left eye actually improves.

    I am glad I seem to understand the mechanism behind, but sadly I do not know how to make use of this knowledge until I chance upon your website! Thank God about that. I support fully your theory of using self-adaptive mechanism of the eyes to achieve its own recovery.

    I will start the print pushing method for her nearwork, however, I am confused which eyes to patch for near and far work. Can you give me some advice?

    Thank you very much,
    Jasmine

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Jasmine,

      You daughter’s less myopic left eye is dominant for distance while the right eye is dominant for close work. It’s not uncommon to have this condition, sometimes called ambylopia. In fact I have slight ambylopia, with a dominant right eye for distance.

      There are a few steps I can suggest:

      1. She can try reading by patching her right eye and print pushing with her left eye. At -4.5 diopters, she would have to hold a book or screen about 9 or 10 inches away from her face and try to keep it at the edge of focus. An alternative to patching is to have her hold her right hand up to her nose and tilt it slightly to block her view of the book or screen, but still let light into the eye. It’s not that hard to do once you get used to it. Once her left eye catches up to the right, she can do print pushing with both eyes open.

      2. For distance, you can order lens that are slightly undercorrected for the left eye and strongly undercorrected for the right . So -4 for the right and -2 for the left. That will force her right eye to carry more of the load. You can order these for zennioptical.com

      With both #1 and #2 it is important to take frequent breaks. While your daughter may have an excellent attention span for an 8 year old, it’s hard to ask too much. Working at the edge of focus for 1 or 2 hours a day, while doing reading or screen work, will start to move her in the right direction. You may find that you need to buy weaker lenses every several months.

      Good luck,

      Todd

      Reply
      • Jasmine

        Thank You very much Todd,
        I am very thankful to receive your advice. They are very helpful!

        I hope it will really help my daughter. We have already started the print pushing. When she is holding book at edge of focus, I realize it is now her left eye which takes over because her left eye is -2.5 while her right eye is -4.5 for print pushing. Therefore I shall try patching her left eye instead until her right eye catch up. Do you agree?

        I will order the lens for distance viewing from a local optical shop.

        God bless,
        Jasmine

        Reply
        • Jasmine

          Sorry correction: her left is -3.0 and her right is -4.5.

          Reply
          • Todd

            OK…. so we are back to the original advice…patch the dominant (left) eye to allow the weaker right eye to work harder and improve.

            Reply
            • Jasmine

              Thanks!!

              Reply
  9. Nate
    Reply
    • Todd

      Thanks for the link, Nate. I had not seen that site, “Rogue Health and Fitness”. It’s straight up hormesis, with good reviews of basic physiological studies, and a focus on fitness.

      Todd

      Reply
  10. slim934

    OK so let’s look at my situation.

    -7.75 diopter in left eye and -8.00 in the right. Only slight astigmatism in the right eye thus far.

    What would the progression look like for somebody like this? Like, for this level of myopia how would you suggest starting doing concentrated practice with respect to the whole push-pull of doing close work? And what do I do for the rest of the time? My issue is that with my vision being so bad I really have to rely on my current glasses to do just about anything.

    Thanks for your time and work!

    Reply
    • Todd

      Slim,

      With your strong myopia, here is the strategy I recommend:

      1. Get some under corrected lenses, around -7 or -7.5 in each eye for distance work (walking, meetings, movies, riding in cars). Wear these whenever you aren’t reading, but don’t wear them passively. Really look at sharp contrasting edges and consciously try to see things in focus.

      2. For reading books or computers you have two choices: (a) if you wear contact lenses, buy some +2.5 plus lens glasses at the pharmacy and wear these OVER your contacts while doing print pushing; or (b) get some lenses that are under corrected by 2.5 diopters (in other words -8 + 2.5 = -5.5 diopters) in each eye and wear these while reading. You can order these online from zennioptical.com

      3. If you want to get very sophisticated you could combine #1 and #2 into “undercorrected bifocals”. But I’d advise starting out with two different sets of glasses for the two activities until you get the routine down.

      Be prepared to spend some money buying weaker sets of lenses every 3-6 months, or faster if you are more diligent about working at it.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Slim934

        Thanks much Todd. One more query.

        You mention that with respect to using plus lenses for close-up work, you want to make sure that the text is far enough so that it is just out of focus. Can you expand a little bit on how far that is? To use your weightlifting analogy, what is the effective load I can place on my eyes that would still be productive vs. non-productive? Does it have to be JUST out of focus, or can it accommodate a little bit more fuzziness? Or is there not enough information to say.

        I’m more or less trying to make sure I do not overshoot the point of meaningful stress into the “waste of time” zone of stress.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Slim,

          Your question is a good one. My answer is to generate as much blur as you can comfortably tolerate for the activity and situation at hand. There must be at least a slight detectable blur, otherwise the defocus mechanism is absent. Even a slight, barely perceptible amount of blur is effective, but it will take longer to see improvements. At the other extreme, some people on my forum report that a “deep blur” is effective; they sit staring across the room for minutes or hours and see sudden spurts of improvement. I don’t think a high level of blur is necessarily ineffective or a “waste of time”. It can work, but personally I don’t have the time for pure eye exercises and am looking for a way to integrate print pushing and other incremental defocus methods into daily activities like reading or computer work. For that, I find that too high a degree of defocus is distracting and difficult to sustain without frequent breaks.

          So my answer boils down to being pragmatic. Find a degree of blur that is noticeable, yet which you can tolerate during episodes of reading for 15 minutes at a time. You may need to adjust the degree of blur depending on your energy level, lighting level and personal disposition.

          I personally find that keeping the degree of blur very slight and just noticeable is much more tolerable than reading at a high blur level. I think it is a more sustainable practice that you’ll stick with for weeks and months. However, you might experiment occasionally with stronger blur for activities that are relaxing or require less demanding attention, such as TV viewing or going for a walk around the block.

          Hope that answers your question.

          Todd

          Reply
  11. Davina

    Dr Todd, you’ve given me hope! :)

    I have nystagmus and also had surgery to correct severe double vision in both eyes. Do you se these inhibiting my progress as I do the strengthing exercises? I have an incredibly hard time focusing on normal font due to the shaking caused by the nystagmus.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Davina,

      Nystagmus is a condition involving involuntary movement of the eyes. Typically these movements are controlled centrally by the brain. So it is not an refractive disorder, and doesn’t involve strengthening muscles such as the ciliary muscle that control lens focusing so I don’t think the methods I describe can help you.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Davina

        Thank you for responding! I wasn’t very clear with my question. :) I know there’s no cure for nystagmus. I also have severe myopia and was wondering if the nystagmus would inhibit the strengthing exercises for reversing myopia.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Davina,

          Ah, thanks for clarifying. No I don’t think your nystagmus would prevent you from using focusing exercises to reverse your myopia. So long as you have the patience and ability to focus with intention on slightly blurry print or features of distant objects, and ignore the distractions of your nystagmus, you’ll make progress. Try it! To prove that you are making progress, take care to measure your Snellen score with an eye chart at least once a week. Then you’ll know whether it’s working.

          Good luck,

          Todd

          Reply
  12. Shing

    Great talk, just watched it yesterday. Been doing what you suggested there for quite a while now and slow but steady my eyesight has improved. I still have like -1.5 diopters left but the feeling, knowing you are able to get rid of your myopia, is just amazing.

    It all seems so logical to me that I don’t understand why noboby knows about this stuff.

    Reply
    • Shing –
      Todd is correct. With a mild negative prescription, recovery is in fact possible. It just takes strong insights and acceptance that it will take some time to 1) Get to 20/40, that passes the DMV, and then 2) Naked Eye, normal.
      Sadly, very few people have the long-term persistence to do this. I do suggest that you down-load a Snellen chart, put a bright light on it, and check it consistently.
      http://www.i-see.org/block_letter_eye_chart.pdf
      That is what “works” for me. There is a great deal of additional information on Todd’s site (Discussion Forum), that can help you to pass the required DMV line.

      Reply
  13. Steve

    Hi Todd

    I was wondering what kind of plus lenses do i need if my prescription is as follows:

    minus 0.50 Rigth Eye

    minus 0.75 Left Eye

    With minus 0.50 Left Eye and 0.50 Right Eye of astigmatism.

    I´m using 1 diopter of plus lenses to read but i don’t know if im doing well

    Thanks, best wishes

    Reply
    • Todd

      Steve,

      The answers to your questions are all on Slides 25-33 of the slideshow posted above. Read those carefully.

      For near vision, since you have weak myopia, you probable need a stronger plus lens. Go to the pharmacy and try on several pairs. Pick the pair that allows you to read at D2 (edge of blur) at a comfortable reading distance as you would read at your computer. For distance, you can probably just go without glasses for several hours a day. But never let yourself experience strain or pain. Take frequent breaks and go back to your regular lenses if your eyes get tired. Eventually, you can get rid of the lenses. You are very close to normal vision.

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      Subject: It is a good idea to check your own Snellen (Visual Acuity) yourself.

      That is indeed a “mild prescription”. It suggests that your Snellen reading will be about 20/30 to 20/40, providing you check yourself. Here is a Snellen you can use for this self-checking:

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo7v7iOfsapIH0o51RWIwgw

      The legal standard for vision (in the USA) is that you must pass the 20/40 line. That is a reasonable, objective standard, that I accept as a requirement on myself. That is why I check.

      You will find the source of that chart – in the “header” of the above video. If you wish to get back to naked-eye 20/20, and personally verify this result – this would be your first step towards that goal.

      Reply
  14. Steve

    Hi Todd and Otis

    I saw the slides, I´m getting the edge of blur with my +1 plus lenses with a 20 inches distance from my nose, but I have to be reading in my room with a artificial light.

    However if i go out outside I need to read around 40 inches from my nose because the sunlight is more clear, so i think could be a good choice to buy a +1.5 plus lenses for read in the backyard.

    Conclusions: +1 plus lenses for my room and +1.5 plus lenses to read outside.

    Is it Ok?

    And about Otis, I have tried the snellen chart in my room and i can read between 20/30 and 20/40.

    20/30 slightly in some days when I’m without stress

    Does plus lenses increase my astigmatism?

    Thanks best wishes

    Reply
    • Todd

      “Conclusions: +1 plus lenses for my room and +1.5 plus lenses to read outside. Is it Ok?”

      Yes! Whatever it takes to induce the edge of blur. When circumstances change (lighting, fatigue, whatever), adapt your technique appropriately.

      Reply
      • Steve

        By the way.

        Excellent presentation in The Ancestral Health Symposium

        This kind of work really helps, best wishes for you and your family.

        I would like to know something more. .

        Is it normal to see black points over some letters on the snellen chart after using plus lens about 45 minutes.

        Thanks Todd and Otis

        Reply
        • Todd

          Thanks, Steve.

          I’m not quite sure how to interpret the “black points” you observe while looking at the Snellen chart. Perhaps they result from the diplopia or “double vision” I described in my talk. Many people see these “ghost” images as their vision is improving. In the talk, I describe how this is evidence of progress, and furthermore how you can take advantage of ghosting to drive further improvements in visual acuity by intentional “fusing” of the ghosted images, by actively focusing on the darker of the double or multiple images and allowing the fainter image to fade.

          Todd

          Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      It is always good to check your own Snellen in bright light. You would pass the USA DMV test, that requirs 20/40 vision. Given what you tell me, you could read at 50cm (20 inches) with a +2 to +2.5 diopter lens.

      The reading would be clear for you, and you have to “try” several (in a drug store) to find out a lens that is comfortable for you.

      When you select a +2, then, when reading, PUSH the writing away, until you can not make it out. Then “pull in” until it just clears. That is the correct way to select the plus.

      It takes time for this approach to be effective for you. When understood correctly, the “plus” is relaxing and comfortable. But it will take about three months of doing this to finally see an average of 20/20 on your Snellen chart.

      Also, as you begin to see “flashes” of 20/20, it will then be time to increase the strength of that +2, by about +1/2 to +3/4 diopters.

      That will make the 20/20 line even sharper.

      Reply
      • Steve

        Hi Otis
        At the moment im using +1 plus lenses because when i decided to use this therapy i did not know what prescription was better for me, so Im going to buy a +1.5 o +2 plus lens to read outside at a comfortable distance about 20 inches, however indoors i need the +1 because if i use +2, probably i could not read at 20 inches.

        What you think?

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Hi Steve,
          There is no evidence about astigmatism. But there are statements that it reduces, as your natural eyes respond to long-term wearing of a plus for near. It is clear that if you are slightly “nearsighted”, you will have to use a slightly less-strong plus lens – for close work. I am wearing a +2 as I type this on my computer, about 24 inches. If I am reading a book, I read at about 16 to 18 inches, and wear a +3 diopter – in both cases – pushing the work “away” to “just blur”, then moving in for comfortable clear vision.

          As you visual acuity improves, by getting 20/20 more consistently (refractive change of +3/4 diopters), you should plan to increase the strength of the plus by the same amount.

          There is a lot if “self-knowledge” to choose the lens. But the idea is that you will see your Snellen SLOWLY clear – as Todd has described it.

          I also measure my refractive status myself – just to be certain.

          Reply
          • Steve

            Hi Otis and Todd
            Do you think if a person with 0.5 or 0.75 like me with myopia, could really have pseudo myopia?
            Because I have used my minus lenses sometimes in the last 2 years, however my myopia has not increased.
            Also two years ago, i have my first pair of glasses.
            What you think?
            Thanks

            Reply
            • Todd

              Steve,

              Weak myopia (myopia less than 2 diopters) is frequently pseudo myopia. I can’t know for sure in your case — you would have to have an eye exam and have your eye axial length measured.

              Whether you have pseudo myopia, axial myopia, or a combination thereof, my recommendation is the same: practice “active focusing” (incremental defocus) without your lenses on distant objects, and pick up a pair of cheap plus lenses to do print pushing at the computer or while reading. Your myopia is sufficiently weak that plus lenses will be helpful.

              Todd

              Reply
            • Hi Steve,

              A lot of the answer depends on how much you value, going from -0.75 diopters, to 0.0 diopters, or from about 20/50 (on your self-checked Snellen) to 20/30 to 20/20.

              It also depends on where you are in school, your age, and again, whether you truly can make a strong commitment to long-term wearing of a plus. I would read the commentary here, if you are serous about wearing the plus for prevention.

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

              Most people simply do not have the motivation, so no OD will volunteer any information. They figure you just have no desire nor interest.

              I do not know how you define, “pesudo-myopia”.
              Most people will start with a plus, and then will “lose interest” and quit after a week or so. Obviously that will never work.

              Todd was successful, because of advice a pilot (Brian Severson) provided. It would take you about nine months of wearing a strong plus – to accomplish what Todd accomplished. This is simply not a medical problem, but rather and issue of personal insight and strong resolve.

              It is indeed like going on a long-term diet – where you do not fix the obvious, but rather work on the under-lying reason our eyes take on a negative state.

              Reply
              • Steve

                You are right

                Actually i´m using my plus lenses to read and any other near work.
                Also i would like to share with you this link: http://www.myopiasolution.com/glass.php

                I don’t know if they are talking about plus lenses

                Have you seen this site before?

                Thanks

                Reply
            • Hi Steve,

              Steve>And about Otis, I have tried the snellen chart in my room and i can read between 20/30 and 20/40. 20/30 slightly in some days when I’m without stress.

              Otis> Some of the correct answer (or serious concern) is you age and if you are in school. You are lucky to confirm 20/30 vision, (read 1/2 the letters). That passes most DMV tests.

              Otis> What we do know, is that if you are in high school, and go though college, your vision will go down at a rate of -1/2 diopter, for each year in school.

              Otis> I would suggest that, for now you have pseudo myopia, and if you can wear a +2, and read at 18 inches, you will see real improvement in about three to six months.

              Otis> That is indeed a tough choice to make, but it is better than wearing a minus lens all the time.

              Reply
  15. Todd, I loved your talk. Thanks for the write up, afterward.

    I am wondering what ongoing strategies to give parents so kids don’t develop this myopia in the first place.

    Do you have anything written up on the subject?

    Thanks,

    Roland

    Reply
    • Todd

      Roland,

      I haven’t written anything specifically directed towards myopia prevention in children. However, this is a very important topic. Quite a few contributors to the Discussion Forum for this blog have posted their experiences as parents, working with their children to practice good visual hygiene. With the advent of smart phones, iPads, computers and electronic game consoles, there is doubtless much more opportunity and inclination for even very small children to spend excessive time in close engagement with screens. It’s important to limit this near work, and equally to encourage activities involving distance focusing, such as sports and other outdoor activities. As a precaution, kids should wear plus lenses when spending time at the computer or other close up devices. Or even old fashioned book reading. (Does that still exist?).

      The problem is how to enforce these good habits with small children. It’s difficult, given short attention spans, weak motivation, and limited understanding. But clever parents always figure out how to make these activities into games. For example, ask your child to wear plus lenses for a while then take them off and see if the room looks “sharper”. Engage their observational skills and point out that the plus lenses will give them “super vision” and prevent them from seeing blurry.

      As with other habits like brushing teeth or tidying up, good visual hygiene can be taught even to children.

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Roland,
      Part of the answer, is that the parents must accept the advice of an optometrist, who presents the concept correctly. Here is the analysis, that is supported by science.

      http://myopiafree.i-see.org/soonicansee/index.html

      The issue is that an educated parent understand that their child must make a habit of reading though the plus lens, while doing close work.

      Reply
  16. Shanon

    I would like to know what was your prescription before you started with plus lenses?
    And how long did you spend doing the print pushing method before you see some positive results, and reverse completely myopia?

    Thank you very much Todd

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Shanon,

      Before starting with plus lenses and print pushing, my prescription was -1.00 in the right eye and -1.75 in the left. Including my correction for astigmatism, here is the full prescription I had at the last eye exam for which I have records (12/18/95):

      OD -1.00 -0.50 x 95
      OS -1.75 -1.00 x 93

      It took me about 6 months to stop needing minus lenses and about a year to reverse myopia to where I am today. I don’t have a current diopter refraction, but using the Snellen chart I’m 20/20 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left. There is no precise conversion to diopters, but it works out to approximately -0.00D in the right eye and -0.75 in the left. So in effect, I went down by about 1 full diopter in each eye. It may not sound like much, but becoming independent of glasses and lenses without any surgery was worth it.

      On the discussion forum, you can read reports from others who reduced their myopia by as much as 3 diopters or more. You can also check other forums and sites advocating the same defocus techniques that I do – such as this site:

      http://frauenfeldclinic.com

      Todd

      Reply
      • Hi Todd and Shanon,

        As an engineer, I wanted to establish the relationship between my visual acuity, and my refractive state. This is for my own satisfaction, and I enjoy the engineering challenge of doing this myself.

        I get an accuracy of 0.25 diopters, by carefully doing this measurement. The video is a simplified description in a few minutes of how to do it.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrfuLuibclY

        This requires a fixed, well-lit Snellen, and I must repeat this each week. This is why an accurate measurement is not possible in an OD’s office, with all due respect. But if a scientific study were to be conducted – I would expect each engineer to make these measurements.

        I would also add the importance of understanding the LEGAL requirements for visual acuity. They are that you must exceed the 20/40 line. (Obviously, you will do much better – as Todd has done it.)

        This type of science puts full responsibility on the person himself, to slowly go from -1 diotpers (about 20/50) to 0.0 diopters, (20/20). If the person has persistent resolve, it is possible to get to a reasonable level of both visual acuity and refractive status.

        Reply
      • Shanon

        it’s amazing Todd.

        I have some questions for you.

        Have you been using plus lenses from your last eye exam?

        Why in one year did you get 20/20 in right eye and 20/40 in left eye, but in the others years have you maintained your visual acuity without any improvements?

        I think people who have improved in one year, expect to keep improving in the next years.

        Thank you very much!

        Reply
        • Todd

          Shanon,

          I’ve not had an eye exam since the 1990s. Why pay for something I don’t need?

          I use plus lenses on occasion as a preventive measure when I’m doing a lot of reading, or as a “tune-up”. But 95-99% of the time I never use lenses of any kind.

          People ask all the time why I’m satisfied with 20/20 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left. The answer is that this has allowed my right eye to be very sharp for distance vision and my right eye to “specialize” in very close up vision. So my slightly myopic right eye can read fine print and read close up in perfect focus, slightly better than my left eye.

          In the technical terms this is called “mono vision”. That’s a misleading term because it suggests the loss of stereo vision which is absolutely not the case for me. The focal ranges of my two eyes are overlapping. At middle distances, both are in perfect focus. At the extreme, the “stronger” eye dominates. So the net effect is that I see with clear sharp vision from 6″ out to infinity. The range is of course somewhat less for each eye separately. But since I use both eyes, the net effect is no deficit at all.

          I do periodically work on on trying to increase the range of each eye separately, by patching, winking or just holding my hand at an angle in front of one eye at a time. Just to maintain flexibility and reduce the natural tendency of the eye to accommodate less with the aging process. At age 58, I have a slight degree of presbyopia, but I think it is much less than that of most of my peers. Many of my friends of a similar age are dependent on plus lenses for reading or minus lenses for distance. I need neither.

          So do I need to “improve”? I could probably work on increasing the range and flexibility of my eyes separately. But I really feel no need to improve, since with both eyes together I see everything with sharp clarity.

          Todd

          Reply
          • Shanon

            Perfect thanks, Todd.

            Tell me something more

            1. Did you improved your astigmatism using plus lenses?
            2. How many years have you been using plus lenses?

            And the last one, what happened with a persona called Bill, who experimented double and multiple images using plus lenses, but i don’t know if he improves or get worse using plus lenses? I read that in your forum

            I like your patience answering people

            I really appreciate what you are doing for others

            Thanks

            Reply
            • Todd

              1. My astigmatism spontaneously vanished. I tested myself, as you can, using the astigmatic mirror. If you have astigmatism, lines at a certain angle will be darker than the others:
              http://www.vision-training.com/en/Vision%20test/Astigmatism%20test.htm

              2. I started using plus lenses about 15 years ago. Quite frequently during the first year, less so for the next several years, and now only on occasion — perhaps once a week for 15 or 30 minutes.

              I have no idea what happened to Bill on the forum. People come and go. Some hang around longer, others check in every so often.

              I think that double and multiple images (diplopia), when it appears slightly beyond the edge of blur but not within the focal field, is frequently a promising and useful phenonmenon, as I explained in my talk, slides 29-32. You can read the notes for those slide, posted beneath the slides and video above.

              Reply
  17. Sunshine

    I just spoke with my optometrist’s office and found out my “full” prescription is -8.25 R and -8.00 L, but that the eyeglass prescription he wrote me is -7.50 R and -7.00 L. Does this mean this eyeglass prescription is already reduced and therefore can be used with active focus distance activities? They said something about the full prescription being too strong for most people and that I’d need bifocals if I went to my full prescription.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Sunshine,

      You have very strong myopia. It is common for OD’s to overprescribe as a result of the method they use to test for ultra-sharp distance vision — which tends to induce ever-increasing axial myopia when you keep wearing your distance lenses for close up work.

      Don’t obsess about whether or your actual prescription number is “right”. The key is to use active focus for both close work and distance vision. Your -7.5/-7 prescription may be fine for generating a slight degree of defocus for distance viewing. Test this by testing how far away you can focus, and keep pushing that limit. With your strong myopia, you can do print pushing without plus lenses. Either use your naked eye very close up (which will only be a few inches away at first). Or if you have contact lenses, wear plus lenses over the contacts such that your edge of focus is at a comfortable reading distance. If you don’t have contacts, order some lenses about 2 diopters weaker than your normal lenses, e.g.. about -6.25/-6. If your OD won’t do that for you, go online and order from zennioptica.com

      Todd

      Reply
      • Sunshine

        Thanks for the response Todd. I look forward to building these exercises into my daily lifestyle.

        Reply
        • Nate

          To Sunshine,

          I first heard about this form of myopia therapy from Todd about 3 years ago-and started it instantly. I started as a -6.75 diopter myope. Two years into it, I went for an optho exam, and they told me I was a -4.75. Since then I have progressed even more.

          But the world is still pretty blurry.

          Since you are a high myope, like me, it is easy to get discouraged. This works, but it takes time. For people like us, it will be years. I’m moving at about the rate of 1 diopter a year, maybe even a little less. But I am improving.

          The key is making it part of your life, and persistence.

          I plan on going all the way to 20/20, but that’s still years away.

          Nate

          Reply
          • Hi Dr. Nate,

            I think it takes a strong commitment for you to be effective, from -6.5 diopters. As you probably know, Todd helped his own children “get the idea” and slowly return their vision to normal. I think a major step forward, is when you notice that you own child is slightly nearsighted (-1 diopter and 20/40) and help him teach himself to wear a +2.75 diopter for all close work. More parents simply do not understand why it is necessary and wise to help a child with early prevention.

            I know that man optometrists are “conflicted”, in helping themselves SLOWLY return from -3.5 diopters to normal – but I encourage all parents to understand this issue – as described by this doctor Orfield.

            http://myopiafree.wordpress.com/od-success/

            The biggest problem is give responsibility to the person himself, which he might not want to take.

            But I believe that the explicit example of Todd’s success – will encourage others to use the plus to return their vision from 20/60 to pass the required DMV test, and then to 20/20.

            Thanks for your courage to work on prevention as a medical doctor.

            Reply
  18. Nate

    Todd,

    I just saw another hormesis article I think you would enjoy. It’s almost as if the author has been reading your blog.

    http://roguehealthandfitness.com/fitness-equal-health/

    Nate

    Reply
    • Todd

      Thanks for the link to that site, Nate. Some excellent information there.

      Reply
  19. Julio

    Hi folks

    I found this interesting link where we can learn more about plus lens therapy:

    https://www.healthtap.com/user_questions/505025-i-am-myopic-i-practice-plus-lens-therapy-and-i-have-seen-improvements-in-my-v

    In that link you can find a person who ask to OD about plus lens therapy and his conclusions about the method.

    Really helpful

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Julio,

      Subject: Part of the answer to the question asked by this person.

      Thanks for the link. Here is another link that describes the success that Todd developed in wearing the plus correctly, and finally confirming 20/20 vision for himself.

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

      This real issue, as stated by Dr. Prentice, is to help the person convince himself of the necessity of wearing a “plus for near”, when he has a starting value of 20/50 or so.

      Success depends on the resolve, and long term persistence of the person himself. This is why Todd was successful. Doctors can advocate plus-prevention, but it up to the person himself to do the real work of successful prevention – in my opinion.

      Reply
  20. Accipio

    Hi Todd
    I have been using your method for almost three months. I think my distance vision has improved, I have been using +1.00 reading glasses for a few hours most days.

    Recently I noticed that my vision seems almost hyper-optic, I can’t see as well as I used to up close.
    Last time I had a vision test (four months ago) my numbers were: Left eye -2.00 and Right eye -2.25 with astigmatism in both.

    Should I be concerned about this? Is there any way to avoid becoming hyper-optic while using the plus lenses?

    Thanks, A

    Reply
    • Todd

      Accipio,

      I don’t know your age, but the fact that you have difficulty with both near and far vision suggests that you have presbyopia — a reduced range of accommodation (focal range) that often comes with getting older. The majority of Americans age 40 and older have some degree of myopia. Presbyopia comes from hardening of the crystalline lens, reducing its ability to change shape. This is not a result of plus lenses.

      I can’t give you a foolproof way to prevent or reverse presbyopia. What I can suggest is to add an additional component to your routine: print pulling. Spend some time each day reading without plus lenses, sitting as close as possible to the book or computer at the edge of focus, which in this case is the near point — not the far point as when doing print pushing.

      I would also suggest reducing the amount of sugar (including sweet fruits) and starch (bread, pasta, rice) in your diet, since elevated blood glucose is associated with glycation of proteins in the crystalline lens.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Accipio

        Hi Todd,
        Thanks for your reply.
        I am sixteen. I have made sure to do some near work with out plus lenses.
        I had an eye test this morning and my eyes have not improved at all, and the Optometrist basically said that what I am doing is never going to work. Although disheartening, I will still continue to do these exercises.

        How long until I should expect some progress?

        Thanks, Accipio

        Reply
        • Todd

          Accipio,

          You say your eyes “have not improved”, but you don’t state what your Snellen scores or diopter measurements were before and after you started print pushing. Are you still at -2/-2.25? Also, I would like to know more about exactly what “exercises” you are doing. What plus lenses are you using? Are you print pushing at the edge of blur? For how long each day? Are you distance gazing? I need more details. You also said you were hyperopic and myopic at the same time. I’m not sure what you mean, unless you have presbyopia, which is uncommon if you are only 16.

          You need to trust your own measurements. Print out a Snellen eye chart, hang it on the wall and record your progress each week. Have you been recording this information? Let me know what your weekly progress has been.

          You say you have done “some near work”, but I don’t know what that means. Do you mean print pushing? Please provide more details. Without knowing more about your routine and frequency of print pushing, it’s hard to provide any suggestions.

          Todd

          Reply
          • Accipio

            Todd,
            Ok, after reading your reply, it suddenly struck me that I have been merely wearing the plus lenses, rather than using them AND actively stretching my focal boundaries (print pushing). I will make the change today. I have been using Plus 1.00 lenses.

            I haven’t been using a Snellen chart up till now, so I printed one out last night.
            When I said ‘exercises’ I meant wearing plus lenses.
            I do gaze into the distance; there are some power lines on a hill near my house that I know are there but can’t see yet.

            The Hyperopia that I thought I had, left when I spent a few minutes each day focusing on my hand as close to my face as possible.

            I have been recording my time spent using plus lenses and for the last three months, my daily average time has been just under three and one half hours. Lol all that time I was not print pushing, but just wearing the lenses, it did nothing.

            Yes, My eyes are still at -2/-2.25

            Thank you so much for replying, I really appreciate the time you spend writing response to everyone.

            Ahh I feel so stupid! :)
            Thanks again, Accipio

            Reply
            • Todd

              Hi Accipio,

              Glad to hear you figured out the problem! You are exactly right that in order to counteract your myopia, plus lenses need to be used in combination with the print pushing technique. Wearing them passively won’t do much for you.

              It will be interesting to see your progress now. Feel free to report it back here, or you might want to post your experience on the Discussion Forum, where there are many others sharing their experience and questions.

              Todd

              Reply
            • Hi Accipio,

              Let me and my 2 cents.

              No one is stupid here. Prevention is truly difficult, and requires a long-term effort.

              When you get you Snellen, put a bright light on it, for accurate visual acuity measurement.

              Your -2 diopter prescription MIGHT have an excess of -1 diopters. The ODs prescribe for, “best visual acuity”. That means they prescribe for 20/10 vision.

              You find this out by objective checking yourself. If you can read the 20/60 line (most of the letters), you might find you can read the 20/20 line though a -1 diopter.

              In any event, it is good to take time to truly see what line you are able to read 1/2 the letter on.

              Todd was successful, because he was willing to wear the plus for the long-term, until he got to 20/20.

              Reply
              • Accipio

                Hi Otis,
                Thanks for your reply.

                Ten days ago, after putting a bright light on my Snellen chart, I could just read the 20/70 line. After testing myself this evening, I found I could read most of the letters on the 20/50 line, although they were not clear.
                The progress is really exciting!
                I will update every month or so on the discussion forum.
                Thanks, Accipio

                Reply
                • Todd

                  Hi Accipio,

                  Great to hear of your progress. It would be fantastic if you could post your progress on a thread of “success stories” that I recently started over on the Discussion Forum. This will help others who are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And to get some ideas for what works and what doesn’t:

                  http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,1077.0.html

                  Keep up the good work!

                  Todd

                • Hi Accipio,
                  While I advocate plus-prevention, strongly, I also realize that real refractive change is very slow. Personal, objective reading of your own Snellen, at home, is how you check. This is real control of your own personal visual welfare. Let me add some objective milestone, that indicate success for yourself. The DMV requires 20/40, a very reasonable standard. If you continue, it will take about four to nine months, to begin reading 1/2 the letters correctly. There is no, “quick solution” here, only long-term persistence. I check my own Snellen, intermittently. But once you get int the “habit”, about once a week. You will see no change for some time. But if you “get the idea”, then, you begin to exceed the 20/40 line. That is real success, and should encourage you to continue. I wish you success, but be persistent. Most medical people, consider it to be impossible, to get back to 20/40, on your own. I think it is possible.

  21. Joey

    Todd,

    I came across this page and just started using active focusing in my daily routine about a week ago. I am 22 years old and my prescription is at about minus 6 in both eyes. The reason why I want to change my vision is because I went to a retinal specialist a few weeks ago and he told me that he wants me to do this laser treatment to prevent retinal detachment. I have notice this floater in my eye as well and I’m just afraid of losing my vision one day. I currently work a lot in front of a computer screen so I bought some glasses at zenni optical and set the prescription at minus 4.25. Besides doing active focusing, what other exercises can I do to help? Should I be wearing the minus 4.25 prescription or should I get another glasses lens for when I am not doing close work? The retinal specialist says he wants to do a laser treatment on my right eye and monitor my left eye. My goal is to do this laser procedure in my right eye and never have to do another one again. If I continue doing active focusing exercises daily, do you think I could get rid of my eye floaters and reduce my chances of having to have another laser procedure done? My goal is to reach 20/20 one day, but I’m still very skeptical. Thanks!

    Joey

    Reply
  22. herson

    Hi Todd, what´s your current plus lens prescription?

    What prescription did you use at the beginning?

    Reply
    • Todd

      herson: I already answered this question above. See the exchanges with Shannon, Steve and others. — Todd

      Reply
  23. Kevin

    Hi Todd thank you for the information and sharing this knowledge with everyone. Originally I was a -7D until I had PRK 10 years ago. I had fairly good results which lasted a few years. Then this year – the 10th anniversary – I noticed things were becoming off. Colors appeared washed out, things were fuzzy, and my eyes just felt “lazy.” An eye exam showed I was at 20/40. After using the print pushing technique while reading your site for the first time actually a couple days ago it seemed to clear up the lazy part with colors being washed out. However it was just one evening session and I know I’m not back to 20/20 yet. My question is: is it necessary to use plus lenses or can one simply stick with print pushing and progressively decrease the text size on a computer and/or sit further back since the plus lenses just shrink the image so it is like using your distance focus instead of near focus? Thanks again for all the info and for your help.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Kevin,

      The core technique is print pushing; plus lenses are mainly useful only when your myopia is less than about -2D (See point #25 in the summary text above, below the slides and video). That’s because at 2D, your edge of focus is around 19″ away. (Diopters = 1 / focal distance in meters and one meter = 39.37 inches). So plus lenses bring the edge of focus in closer to a more comfortable reading distance. However, you can also chose to just sit farther back if you wish!

      And don’t despair if your Snellen score fluctuates. Two steps forward, one step back. Visual acuity varies with time of day, energy level, diet, emotions, lots of factors. The main thing is to be consistent and persistent in your habits. You will get back to 20/20 — perhaps even 20/15 — if you really want to improve.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Kevin

        Hey thanks for the reply and the help once again Todd. I’m currently sitting at a -0.75 OS (20/30) and -1.25 OD (20/50) and I can read pretty small print at around 2 – 3 feet from my computer screen. Honestly I’m kinda tired of sitting further back as I’m pretty far now or scrutinizing at smaller text so I’m thinking of moving onto plus lenses since I can already see the screen clearly. I wasn’t sure if shrinking text size made a difference as I’ll still be focusing on a screen the same distance away. If I understand right the plus lens will take the near focus out of the equation even if I am reading close up and “trick” my eyes to use distance focus for close up. Then I apply the same print push principles. I’m also thinking of easing into the plus lenses since this is new to me. Do you think +1D for both eyes is safe or should I get different lenses for each eye since they are quite different?

        To be honest I am quite nervous about trying the plus lenses. I’m nervous doing anything with my eyes these days as I felt it has been a huge battle over pretty much my whole life. Haha, the eye doctor said that “I need glasses.” And I was like no way. It’s funny even back when I was a small kid I knew that the glasses were just doing something wrong to me!

        Thanks again for clearing this up Todd.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Kevin,

          It sounds like you are ready for plus lenses, since otherwise you are having to sit too far away from what you’re reading. Don’t be nervous about something that is going to actually improve your vision, rather than degrade it. If you have any reservations, try it in small doses. Do an experiment — read for an hour or so with plus lenses at the edge of focus, then take them off and look around the room. Tell me you don’t see things more clearly already. Of course, we all know that progress with print pushing doesn’t happen that quickly — it requires a repeated series of exposures to incremental defocus over weeks and months for the changes to become permanent. But you can illustrate the directional benefits even within a few short sessions.

          To chose the correct plus lenses, I suggest making a visit to your local pharmacy and heading over to the “reading glasses” rack, where you’ll see the full series from about +1 to +3 and higher. Try on various strengths and see which ones allow you to read at a “comfortable distance” then perhaps go 0.25 diopters stronger to give yourself some room for improvement.

          There are different ways to approach your unequal degree of myopia in each eye — which by the way, is normal. You can just power through with the fixed correction that you’ll find in the pharmacy reading glasses. This will tend to improve your dominant eye (which is your less myopic left eye), but may not bring your right eye along as fast. That’s not necessarily a big problem, since your binocular vision will still improve. But if you want to reduce myopia in your right eye to even things out, you can purchase inexpensive custom plus lenses from zennioptical.com for about $7-20, depending on the frames you want. To find the right correction, try on various pairs of pharmacy readers and cover each eye separately to find the strength that gives you the comfortable reading distance, but this time “handicap” the stronger left eye by 0.25 diopters, so that your right eye begins to carry more of the load. Then make note of the correction that worked for each eye and order online from Zenni your custom lenses with different corrections for each eye.

          Another method of bringing the weaker eye along is to tape some thin white paper over the plus lens of the dominant left eye, or just occasionally partially block the left eye by holding your hand tilted from your nose. Or you can wink your left eye shut — it gets easier with practice — for a few minutes at a time. I illustrate all three methods in slide 33 of my talk — scroll up and check out the slides, which may take a few minutes to load on your computer.

          Good luck!

          Todd

          Reply
          • Kevin

            Thanks for clearing things up Todd. Like I said I’m kinda nervous but I’m also pretty excited about this because I feel like I’ve come across this “secret” that should be common knowledge by all whether as prevention or improvement. I been telling all my friends that have glasses about it! Hope they catch on too! Thanks again Todd!

            Reply
        • Hi Kevin,
          My 2 cents.
          I appreciate that you are “nervous” about wearing a plus for near. It truly takes a “bold person” to fully commit to wearing the “plus for near”, and no minus for distance. (With reason and self checking.)
          I would suggest checking your distant vision using this chart. Just click here, then on “Display” several times. You will get 20/60 letters. Stand 20 feet a way, and see if you can read 1/2 the letters.

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

          I personally check my own Snellen, and if I exceed the 20/40 line, I avoid wearing a minus (except to drive).

          For near, I wear a +2.6 for ALL CLOSE WORK, consistent with comfort. Am I nervous about doing this? No, it is safe. Wearing any minus, just makes matters worse.

          I know this conflicts with “official optometry”, but then, I care about my own distant vision – profoundly.

          You are probably about 20/40, if you check. But it is a bold step to wear the plus correctly. It also take about six months to get back-to 20/20, if you have the resolve to do it.

          Reply
  24. ini

    Hello,
    I have just come across this and I am very down reading all of this. My eldest son just received a prescription of -10.25sph/+1.00cyl/100axis and -10sph/+1.0cyl/100 axis today while the younger one got -6.5sph/0.5cyl and -5.75sph. I am very worried and scared for them especially my eldest who is 6 and the younger is 4. I am short sighted wearing -5/-5.75 and my husband is also short sighted wearing -6.5 on both eyes.

    I am so confused I do not understand all your description on what one should do. Please is there any chances for my boys and us. Please I await your response.

    Thanks a lot
    INI

    Reply
    • Todd

      Ini,

      What ages are your sons? What did they do to get to -10 and -6.5 at a young age? Do they read or play games very close up a lot of the time? The first thing you can do is limit their time reading or at the computer or games. Get them to play outside more. The second thing you can do is to make them hold the book or game as far away as possible, just barely being able to see things in focus.

      There is always hope. But you need to first address their vision habits .

      Reply
  25. Kevin

    Todd, sorry again for the bother but I couldn’t post this on your “Improve eyesight – Throw away your glasses” page. There’s a part of the article there regarding a study done with children and how their eyes worsened after constant use of undercorrection lenses I’ve been trying to make sense of and maybe I’m having a hard time with the language but here goes:

    “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.”

    If I understand correctly this means that since your eyes can only focus (accommodate) on things that are clear or blurry because the children wore undercorrected lenses all the time they were not “training” their eyes anymore when looking far as it was too blurry, their eyes gave up, and consequently there was now minimal stimulus even when looking close? The part I do not understand then is the last bit for why weaker lenses should only be used for distance viewing? Wouldn’t their regular prescription for close work put the focal point past the retina still? It just seems to kinda contradict and I’m pretty sure I just don’t understand the language. But I would really appreciate it once again if you could help me clear this up. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your question. First, I see an error in my original paraphrase of the Hung and Ciuffreda article. I should have written:

      “progression of myopia in children who wore undercorrected lenses is explained by the fact that they wore these all the time, not when just distance viewing.”

      That is consistent with my subsequent sentence:

      “Based upon this analysis, the proper use of undercorrection would be to wear the undercorrective lenses only during long distance viewing.”

      In simple terms, undercorrected minus lenses worn during distance viewing provide a slight hyperopic defocus that induces axial shortening if sustained. However when worn for close work, they still act as minus lenses, providing myopic defocus, canceling out the benefits achieved during distance viewing. And if more time is spent at close work than near work, the balance is towards net worsening of myopia.

      To avoid this consequence, Hung and Ciuffreda conclude:

      “…we suggest the following: full distance refractive correction in conjunction with a low plus add at near to minimize the level of chronic retinal defocus and hence myopic progression.”

      The authors, Hung and Ciuffreda use a slightly more sophisticated model that emphasizes the perceived change in retinal-defocus during a near-to-far or far-to-near viewing cycle. But I think that a simpler and equally predictive explanation is to consider the absolute degree and direction of defocus, rather than changes in this magnitude.

      Here is a link to the full article, which you can download and read in its entirety:
      http://www.oepf.org/sites/default/files/journals/jbo-volume-15-issue-3/15-3%20Hung-Ciuffreda.pdf

      While I agree with their recommendation for near work, I disagree with their recommendation for full distance correction. I think is because they are more concerned with prevention and don’t follow their own theory through to its logical conclusions — to embrace myopia reversal.

      Whether or not you buy into the original IRDT theory or my interpretation of it, the predicted effect is the same: use your undercorrected lenses only for distance viewing. Use your naked eyes or plus lenses for close work. Wearing undercorrected lenses for near work will cancel out the benefits from using them for distance viewing.

      Hope that helps.

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Kevin,
      Quite frankly, ODs do not like preventive studies – that show that the plus could be used effectively at 20/40 to 20/60, to get back to 20/20. I just report the FACTS of a study, where the kids were required (forced) to use a plus for all near work. (The details are described here):
      http://myopiafree.wordpress.com/study/
      In summary, the kids who wore the plus (as described) did not go down. The kids who wore a full-strength minus, went down at a rate of -1/2 diopter for each year in school.
      This, to a certain extent, explains why Todd was successful, with a -2.0 to -1.0 diopter prescriptions.
      This study was highly significant, with a p-value of 1 in 1,000,000, for each year.
      The children were not taught how to use the plus properly, and did not understand the purpose of wearing the plus. But it is proof, that *if* the plus were worn by more “force”, it could be effecting under the intelligent control of the person himself.
      In my judgement, this confirms the objective and scientific truth in Todd’s success.

      Reply
  26. Devaki Kunte

    Hello Todd!!

    Greetings from India!
    An excellent speech by you – thanks for that!
    My daughter who is 9 years old has just been diagnosed with myopia, with -0.5 for the left eye and -0.75 for the right eye. Both of us parents do not have glasses
    It came as a surprise to us, because of the following:
    1. TV watching – not more than 30 mins/day (if at all)
    2. Time spent on Mobiles/ gadgets – nil
    3. Both parents don’t have glasses
    4. Lot of sports time – she swims daily for about 1.5 hours, plays badminton twice a week!

    Though I have to accept that her eating does not match with the amount of exercise she gets, we are working on that now !

    I have observed that she stoops on her notebook when she writes. But she says she sees things clearly now that we have got her glasses as prescribed.
    After going through your talk, I had a few questions as follows:
    1. What power glasses should she use and when and how long?
    2. Will it not worsen her condition even more if she is not wearing the prescribed power?
    3. Is the blur – focus exercise and print pushing advisible for her too?? Should she do that while reading / writing/ studying – she is still not required to work with computers.
    4. Should she wear the prescription glasses at all? When? At school? While reading?
    5. Are there any specific eye exercises she should do?
    6. I read that myopia doesnt progress above -3D if glasses are not used – but what if I dont want her myopia to progress at all? I would in fact like her myopia to get back to normal eyesight.
    7. Any other suggestions from you?

    Best regards and a big thank you!
    Devaki Kunte

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Devaki,

      You are fortunate that your daughter has mild myopia and good visual habits. By catching it early as you have, her prospects are very good to halt or reverse it.

      My general recommendations are on slides 23-36 above. With myopia at 0.5-0.75D, she can read at the edge of focus at 1.3 – 2 meters, which is too far for reading and computer use. She’ll probably need something close to +1.5D reading lenses, which will bring her edge of focus down to between 1/(1.5+0.5) = 0.5 meters (19 inches) for the left eye and 1/(1.5+0.75) = 0.44 m (17 inches) in the right eye. That’s a pretty comfortable reading distance. But go to the pharmacy and have her try various strengths (+1.25, +1.5, +1.75) to find a pair that makes reading comfortable for her at the edge of focus. Her myopia is similar enough between the two eyes that it will work to have the same strength lens for each eye.

      For TV viewing, have her sit about 2 meters back, a comfortable viewing distance, so that she can see images in focus, but so that if she were to move even a few inches back, the image would start to blur. In the classroom, have her choose a middle row not too close, but not too far back to be able to see writing clearly.

      Have her use the lenses about 1 or 2 hours daily, when doing homework or at the computer. Take frequent breaks every 15 minutes or so. The rest of the day, no plus lenses are needed.

      The choice of whether to wear prescription glasses — minus lenses — is yours and hers. I would advise against this, but if you must, have her use the lenses only when absolutely necessary for distance viewing. They should never be worn for reading or close work — that is the root of the problem! Of course, I expect your OD will disagree with me on this point, because that is their training. Point them to the articles linked on the final slides of my talk to get the other side.

      As for eye exercises, print pushing should be sufficient. Occasionally play games with her to see if she can read distant signs or license plates, and encourage her to do this on her own.

      Make sure that she is getting a diet that does not include too much sugar or starch, but includes vegetables with brightly colored phytonutrients like carrots, peppers and broccoli and good Indian spices like curry and turmeric too! Healthy fats are good for the eye too, particularly those from fish and grass-fed meats.

      Don’t take my word for the effectiveness of print pushing. Print out a Snellen chart and check her Snellen score in bright light at 20 feet back. Check her again after she has practiced print pushing for a week, and weekly thereafter. Let me know if she is improving.

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

      Best of luck!

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Devaki,

      I know it is critical to make a wise choice, and have your child wear a plus lens (magnifying glass) for all close work. The plus has been used for the last 50 years, for prevention, or to “slow down the rate at which it gets worse”. The medical opinion is perhaps divided, but here is a study that shows that the plus can be effective. I would review this study with your optometrist or ophthalmologist – and ask for their opinion, on having your child avoid the minus, and wear the plus for all close work.

      http://myopiafree.wordpress.com/study/
      The result of this “bifocal” study were highly significant. But equally, the study suggest that the parent understand that while the “minus” (prescription) is impressive, it simply does not solve the problem. I an wearing a +2.5 diopter, as I type this, and as Todd did it, to prevent myself from becoming nearsighted.
      For further medical reference, read these statement by a Dr. Kaisu, who also recommends the plus be worn for the purpose of prevention, and recovery from mild nearsightedness.
      http://kaisuviikari.com/wordpress/
      I supported other children, with this effort, and it works. But the child must take wearing the plus seriously – to be truly effective.

      Reply
  27. Jing

    Hi,

    Thank you for the wonderful information. I have been able to improve my vision in the past when my vision was -3.00, which improved by 0.75 when I was on vacation for a month. However, this was almost 10 years ago and I then got really busy with school.

    Now that I’m on maternity leave, I have some free time and would like to work on improving my vision again. Unfortunately, my prescription is now -6.50 on both sides! What sparked my interest is feeling my vision improve during my pregnancy – I know it is related to water retention.

    I will be getting new glasses in the new year. I’ll be picking up two (or three) and wondering what prescriptions you would recommend wearing:

    1. At home/at work (I work in a clinic setting)
    2. For Distant work (driving/going out)
    3. For close work (computer/reading)

    I am very excited to begin this journey.

    Thanks Todd!

    Reply
    • Todd

      Jing,

      Congratulations on your new child. Maternity leave seems like an ideal time to work on vision improvement, since presumably you can ease off a bit on reading and computer work and enjoy motherhood!

      With a -6.5 prescription, you have strong myopia, so you’ll need some weakened minus lenses for driving and even any activities that require medium distance vision. I’d recommend shaving 0.5 diopters off your distance prescription — see if -6.0D works for you. If your OD won’t prescribe them, just order them from zennioptical.com for $7 to $20 per pair.

      For close work, you have two options:
      1. Try reading at the edge of focus without any glasses. You’ll have to hold the reading material about 15 cm (6 inches) in front of your eyes to focus. This seems awkward, but try it for short times, and try pushing back an inch or two to read at the edge of focus, where the blur just starts. Blink periodically to see if that helps clearing.
      2. Order some undercorrected minus lenses that allow you to read at the edge of focus at a comfortable distance. As a general rule, this will require achieving about a +2D “net” refractive state. Since you are at -6.5, this would be achieved by you wearing -4.5D lenses. Again, you can order these inexpensively from zennioptical.

      Good luck and let us know how your journey goes!

      Todd

      Reply
  28. Reece Haynes

    Hello Dr Todd.

    I did submit this before but it was as a reply to a reply that you wrote so I’m reposting it in case you didn’t see it.

    I’ve just watched the above video and read through parts of the other posts. I’ve been following the methods in the De Angelis book which I own. It advocates using forceful blinking (Contraction-Relaxation-Blinking movements) to focus defocused print. I’ve managed to reduce my astigmatism in at least one of my eyes ( down to 0.25) but I cannot tell if that’s because I stopped wearing minus lenses or because I started practising print pushing. My myopia is around -3.00 in both eyes. I haven’t managed to decrease it but the rate of increase has slowed greatly. ( my eye test before last ( when I still wore glasses) showed an increase of -1.00 in both eyes whereas the most recent one showed an increase of -0.25 in one eye). I think that if I started wearing plus lenses for screen work and took more breaks to focus into the distance I would probably start to improve. However, I use the forceful blinking nearly all the time which stops me needing to use glasses but I usually do print pushing for an hour ( in one chunk with a short break every 15 minutes) every other day. I personally think this isn’t enough but after watching the video I now realise that I can use the technique whenever I do close work, which is good!
    I was very interested in what you said about ghosting because I’ve noticed that lines appear sharper and darker to me than other objects and that there is a ghost image around them that is fainter. I’m glad that you’ve picked up on this because I always thought it was just what happened in myopia. Now I can use it to my advantage! I just hope I can keep it up because I tend to lose patience quite quickly. Also, being a student I find it difficult to remember to move back from my workbook when writing.
    However I find it very difficult to go out in the dark because the forceful blinking has a much smaller effect ( I assume because of the lack of light). I suppose that will be good motivation in addition to having clear sight! Also as I’ve just turned 17 I understand I still have a lot of time to reverse the damage.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this as I do tend to be bad at writing succinctly.
    Reece

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Reece,

      It’s encouraging that you have at least slowed the rate of progression of your myopia and reduced your astigmatism. The forceful blinking method is fine, but my personal view is that it provides only a short term benefit. Print pushing is more promising for long term improvement. I definitely encourage you to integrate print pushing into your daily routine of reading and computer use. And certainly you can work on merging ghosted images — make it into a fun game and play with it!

      Thanks for sharing your experience and I hope you can start to see a real decrease in your myopia, not just slowing down the rate of increase!

      Todd

      Reply
  29. Joe

    Hi Todd,

    I really enjoyed your lecture. I have been desperate to improve my vision for years but thought it impossible. My current prescription is:

    R: – 5.00
    L: – 4.75

    I also have astigmatism in both eyes. I tried print pushing on the train without my glasses for a week and did feel that when I put my glasses back on that my distance vision had become sharper.

    Encouraged, I have purchased glasses in .5 steps down to – 2.00. I had two questions if you wouldn’t mind terribly.

    1. Do you think someone with a powerful prescription like me can ever regain ‘normal’ vision?

    2. I have noticed an increase in the number of floaters in my field of vision since I started the exercises (I have always had quite a few). I am seeing an optician about this today but I was concerned that exercising my eyes is somehow going to precipitate the appearance of more and more floaters.

    I hope you are well, all the best

    Joe

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Joe,

      Definitely you can get from -5 prescription to normal eyesight. Several have done it starting from even stronger prescriptions than you — check out my Discussion Forum and also frauenfeldclinic.com and powervisionforum.com.

      That said, don’t expect an overnight transformation. It will take you more than a year in all likelihood. Think of it the same way you would think about training for a marathon or weight lifting. Make the investment and it will pay off. The good news is that you can integrate this into your daily routine — you don’t have to go to any “gym”.

      Floaters in the eyes are no fun. There is some evidence that people with high myopia are more prone to floaters, but I think it is a separate problem. And print pushing won’t make that any worse — if anything, reducing your myopia will improve your situation.

      Todd

      Reply
  30. Paul

    Hey Todd,

    thanks for sharing your findings! Unfortunately, I am myopic and I want to improve!

    It’s now ca. 4-5 months that I am doing print pushing with my myopia of -1.50 diopters. For distance, I rarely use my undercorrected lenses of -1.25 diopters.

    Is it normal that I do not see any improvement after 4-5 months? I really mean it – NO IMPROVEMENT. The distance for print pushing is the same, I cannot increase it.

    You said you’ve been able to quit wearing minus lenses after 6 months, but I will not. I believe I will even not be able to do that after 10 months. It’s really frustrating.

    How do I do print pushing? I stay at D2, sometimes a little bit further, but there is no strong blur where I have difficulties in reading or so. Occasionally, I stay at D1 and switch between D1 and D2.

    Sometimes, after print pushing, I see improved vision (not that much) but after sleep, those little improvements are erased and I am back where I was.

    What can I do?

    Thanks for your answer,
    Paul

    Reply
    • Todd

      Paul,

      Sorry to hear about your lack of results with print pushing. I can’t explain why the technique seems to work better for some people and less so for others. It’s probably a combination of many factors, including genetics, age, diet, persistence and technique. In quite a few cases, progress comes easily; in other cases it comes only after considerable effort. I’d agree that seeing absolutely no progress in 4-5 months is frustrating and might cause you to question the technique and give up.

      Here’s a few suggestions to try:
      1. Alternate between D1 (clarity) and D2 (slight blur) frequently to be sure you are inducing defocus. Try occasionally blinking to get clarity.
      2. Try increasing your D2 by periodically pushing further back. If you don’t increase the distance, you won’t make progress. This could be what you are missing.
      3. Spend at least 1-2 hours print pushing every day, but take frequent breaks every 15 minutes or so.
      4. Don’t overdo it or tire your eyes. You should never feel pain or soreness or get red eyes.
      5. Consider your diet. A diet high in sugars and starches (bread, cookies, pasta, potatoes) can raise insulin levels and weaken the structural tissues in the eye. This can be a reason you see only short term improvements that are not sustained.

      I also suggest that you register for the Discussion Forum and post your experience and questions there. You may get additional suggestions there.

      I hope some of the above suggestions help you move from frustration to progress.

      Best,

      Todd

      Reply
  31. Maia

    HI Mr Tood

    I recently found a research about under corrections and myopia progression, where specialist say the following:

    Conclusions
    Under-correction of myopia produced a greater degree of myopic progression than did the full-correction. This finding is consistent with nearly all of the earlier studies in humans. Full-correction of myopia would be beneficial and most efficacious in children and young adults with myopia. Clinicians should prescribe the full myopic refraction, in the absence of other contrasting case history aspects.

    This is the link: http://www.journalofoptometry.org/en/under-correction-of-human-myopia-/articulo/90334414/

    They said that human eye cannot adapt to myopic defocus like animals, and there is 3 different studies supporting that.

    I think this contrast with plus lens and myopia control

    What you think?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      Mala,

      I’ve explained similar studies elsewhere. As the Discussion section in the Vasudevan et al. study makes clear, the children were instructed to wear their undercorrected lenses during all waking hours. Similar results were seen in another study by Chung et al in which the subjects were instructed to wear their lenses all the time. Vasudevan et al. cite a contrasting study in which opposite results were achieved:

      Tokoro and Kabe compared the myopia progression rates, as well as corneal power, crystalline lens power, and axial length, during a 3-year period in a total of 33 children who entered the study with low myopia. Of these individuals, 13 were prescribed the full-correction to wear at all times, 10 were provided with an under-correction of one diopter or more to wear at all times, and the remaining 10 were prescribed the full correction and advised ‘to be worn in case of need’. The mean change in refractive error from the study was considerably lower in the under-corrected group (0.47D) as compared to the fully corrected group (0.83D). The axial length increase and crystalline lens power changes were greatest in the full-time full correction group, and least in the under-correction group.

      The key phrase here is “in case of need” — presumably meaning that the undercorrected lenses were only worn for distance. In fact, that is exactly how undercorrected lenses should be worn – and the degree of under correction should be only slight enough to generate incremental defocus. Too strong an under correction will causes the eyes to “give up”. It’s like trying to lift weights that are too heavy.

      Wearing minus lenses for close work is very counterproductive. I explained this in the diagram of Slide 16 of my talk. Minus lenses worn for close work shift the focal point of images behind the retina, causing hyperopic defocus. This causes the axial length of the eye to increase, causing further myopia. In this regard, a slight under correction may be more comfortable and easier to tolerate for close work than a full correction, so it may be used more of the time for close work, accelerating axial lengthening. Remember than only incremental defocus in either direction can be detected and thereby effect changes in axial length.

      By contrast, in the study by Tokoro and Kabe, where the undercorrected lenses were worn only “in case of need” (i.e. for distance), this axial lengthening process during close work would be absent, and by contrast, axial shortening would be effected by wearing the lenses for distance viewing.

      This supports my advice to use slightly undercorrected lenses only for distance viewing, and to use either plus lenses or the naked eye for near work — but always at the edge of focus (D2).

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Mala,
      There were a number of problems with the O’Leary study. The major reason is that the terminated the study, before it was completed. It was a very biased study – at best. Here is a study that contradicts the O’Leay study, for your interest.

      https://myopiafree.wordpress.com/study/

      In this study, the plus was used, and was successful for the purpose of prevention. The results were Highly Significant. In statistics, 0.05 is SIGNIFICANT, and 0.01 is HIGHLY Significant. In this study, the children wearing a minus went down at -2/3 diopter per year. The kids with a plus lens did not go down. There are quite a few people who want to believe that any prevention – is impossible. Todd just proved to himself that prevention is possible – because he did it himself.
      There must be a fair and reasonable review of studies that contradict each other. More basic scientific (primate) research, shows that prevention is indeed possible.

      Reply
      • Maia

        Hello Otis

        You say this in your site:

        You can down-load this proposal, and review the parameters of this study for further analysis and discussion. It is based on the a successful prevention study conducted by Dr. Francis Young. The result of his tests were highly-significant over the five years of their study.

        —————————–

        However
        I would like to see the original study, because you do a summarized information. Where is the original data of Dr. Young?

        Is it a recent study?

        Thanks, Otis

        Reply
        • Hi Mala,

          This is the original data by Dr. Young, showing the average change for “plus lens wearing kids”, and “pure minus kids”. The study was conducted for 5 years.

          http://www.myopia.org/bifocaltable4.htm

          This was a study where the kids were given NO information about the need to wear the plus, STRONGLY, when at 20/40, and -1 diopter. The “plus group”, did not go down at -1/2 diopter per year. The “strong minus” group went down at -1/2 diopters per year.

          This data is very difficult to “read” – I agree with that point.

          This strongly suggests, that “plus prevention” is possible, if the person takes long-term wearing of the plus very seriously — which is something (tragically) a young child can not do. There is much more in Dr. Young’s research (44 published papers), that suggest the wisdom of self-taught prevention, if you can still read the 20/40 to 20/60 line. This data validates that science, behind Todd’s success.

          Reply
        • Hi Maia,
          Here is the study by Dr Young. Note that a “pure plus” could not be used – although it would have been more effective.
          http://www.myopia.org/bifocals.htm
          His other 44 papers must be read, to truly understand the “big picture” of all natural eye’s with self-measured refractive states. I try to simplify this picture, with these graphics.

          https://myopiafree.wordpress.com/graphics/

          https://myopiafree.wordpress.com/graphics-2/

          I hope you understand the goal of getting a scientific understanding of the behavior of all natural eyes.

          Here is a scientific picture, of the effect that a minus always has on the eye. (It suggests that the minus is a “high risk” solution.

          https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wildsoet/images/neg_lens_induce_myopia.swf

          All of this, suggests the possibility, of “just prevention” for those people with the strong resolve to do it.

          It is very clear that no OD has any interest in self-motivated success – that does not involve an optometrist.

          Reply
          • Maia

            How have been your experience using plus lenses?

            What is your current prescription?

            Thanks Otis

            Reply
            • Hi Maia –
              Where I got the plus prevention concept.
              I encountered an OD, who recommended the plus – for all close work, before you go below 20/40, and -1 diopter. I taught my nephew to wear the plus – for all close work. He avoided that -1/2 diopter per year, for each year in high school, college and grad school. He is about 45, and still wears the plus, to always objectively pass the required Snellen test by the DMV.
              FOR MYSELF:
              I am wearing a +2.75 diopter while I type this, to prevent “re-entry” into nearsightedness. I objectively read my standard Snellen at 20 feet. (Betweew 20/20 and 20/15). I wear NO “prescription” lens at all – because I confirm 20/20 myself. My refraction is slightly positive (essential for very-clear distant vision.)
              Reading with a plus, is the right thing for me to do. It is very comfortable, and is based on excellent science.

              Reply
      • Maia

        In this study, the children wearing a minus went down at -2/3 diopter per year. The kids with a plus lens did not go down.

        The kids with a plus lens really stop myopia progression or slow down myopia progression?

        I dont understand.

        Thanks Otis

        Reply
        • Hi Maia,

          I know is it difficult to understand WHY it is both wise and necessary to wear a plus, though the school years. Here are “better organized” statistics, takes from Dr. Young’s study of the natural eye’s behavior. If a formal study, I would expect an engineer to understand these statistics. They show, for each year, the “plus-wearing” kids did not go down.

          https://myopiafree.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/vis_6_17_p_pdf.pdf

          It does take “enlightened self-interest” to wear the plus properly (as Todd did it). Here is a proposal for pilots (who MUST pass the 20/20 line), for your interest.

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

          Obviously, this is science, and not medicine. It truly does require long-term motivation to return to 20/20, from 20/40. Most people lack the interest to do it.

          Reply
    • Hi Miai,

      Any study that is “cut off”, before it is run to completion, it NEVER A VALID SCIENTIFIC STUDY.

      “The study was meant to run for three years but after two
      years, when we found out we were making the children’s eyes worse,
      we had to stop it prematurely.”

      This statement seems at odds with the statement in the
      methods section of the Vision Research paper that:

      “…results were only analyzed after the last reading of the last
      patient was collected.”

      +++++

      This is basic scientific fraud. But you must remember – the bias is intense, the tell the public that the “minus lens is safe”, and TRUST the strong minus you are given – that it is not making matters far worse.

      This is truly putting the foxes in “charge of the chicken coop” – to make this type of “professional bias”, very clear. Here is a better review of this biased study, FYI.

      http://www.optometryforums.com/o-leary-bifocal-study-and-discussion-cathy-t7358.html

      In fact, the minus (while understandable in an office, is proven is science to have an adverse effect on all normal (emmetropic) eyes.

      https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wildsoet/images/neg_lens_induce_myopia.swf

      It is difficult to say that the minus lens is even “safe”, when pure science proves that it can never be safe.

      Anyone in an office, should be prepared to discuss this issue with you (and trust your intelligence), before he puts a strong minus on your face, when you still can read the 20/30 line.

      That is indeed the second-opinion.

      Reply
  32. Maia

    Hi again

    They said that a myopic eye has problems with emetropization mechanism. If you think about it, could be possible because in your presentation about myopia a modern yet reversible disease, you talk about a study in humans but with healthy eyes with healthy emetropization mechanism, they adapt to defocus.

    But in myopic people, the results could be different.

    You reverse your myopia and that is fantastic, maybe some myopic yes can adapt and others not.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Maia,
      It is true that no one can predict results. That is always a tragic assumption. This study showed that real determination, and support from an optometrist, Dr. William Ludlam, resulted in recovery from about 20/400.

      http://myopiafree.i-see.org/PREV73.TXT

      I personally, believe that prevention should be a “negotiated”, discussion and solution, while you can still read the 20/40 line, (and self-check yourself at -1 diopter). It would be up to you to “accept” help at that point – if you had the interest.

      It is not totally impossible to do that, but as Todd stated, it truly takes long-term personal insight and resolve to do it.

      I estimate it took Todd about six months to get his distant vision back to normal, from about -1.5 diopters. But no one can ever guarantee results.

      I personally am wearing a +2.5 diopters, just to RETAIN MY 20/20 vision, because of what I learned from Dr. Ludlam and Dr. Raphaelson, who helped his own children with “plus prevention”. I wish a better relationship could be established with such intelligent doctors. I would ask them what they do to help their own children, avoid entry, or to get out of 20/40 vision. See what they say about that issue.

      Reply
  33. Maia

    Hi Mr Todd

    Where can i find the research?
    Is it recent?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      The “research” article by Tokoro and Kabe is quoted right from the URL link that you sent me in your note! Open the link and just scroll down to the Discussion section.

      For further related research, you can consult the biological mechanism references on Slide 39 of my talk, which I reproduce here:

      1. Birnbaum, M.H. (1988). Myopia and near-point stress model. In Myopia & Nearwork. Butterworth Heinemann.
      2. Drexler, W. et al. (1998). Eye elongation during accommodation in humans. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science. 39 (11) 2140-2147
      3. Hung, L.F., et al. (1995) Spectacle lenses alter eye growth and the refractive status of young monkeys. Nature Medicine, (1) 761-765
      4. Hung, G.K., Ciuffreda, K.J. (2003). An incremental retinal-defocus theory of the development of myopia. Comm. Theor. Biol. 8: 511-513
      5. Irving, E.L., et al. (1991). Inducing myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism in chicks. Opt. Vis. Sci., (68): 364- 368.
      6. Read, Scott A. et al. (2010) Human optical axial length and defocus. IOVS, 51 (12) 6262-6269.
      7. Schaeffel, Frank et al. (1988). Accommodation, refractive error and eye growth in chickens. Vision Research. 28 (5) 639-657.

      Todd

      Reply
  34. HansK

    Hi Todd,
    what can we do if we are not able to increase D2? This would mean that the distance has increased, but the amount of blur is exactly the same.

    Maybe it is the technique we are missing to clear the blur at D2? It’s really frustrating while there are others (like warnbd or you) who improved SIGNIFICANTLY.

    Some of us (in the forum) have problems and do not improve, even after 6 months of print pushing (http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,1121.0.html).

    What can you recommend us to do? Did you do more research on this topic?

    Kind regards,
    Hans

    Reply
  35. LIJU G CHACKO

    Hello Mr Todd,
    Thanks for your presentaion. I have avoided wearing glasses since I have watched your presentaion on youtube. From November,2014 I avoided my glasses. My Eye sight has improved a lot. Now I can read computer screen , see Shop names.. . My eye glasses power requirement came down to around -1.5D (as per chart in your presentation), I have not check my eyes with an optometrists. 5 months ago eye glasses power was -2.5D for both eyes. Thank you lot for disclosing the hidden truth.
    Best regards and a big thank you!
    LIJU G CHACKO (KERALA, INDIA)

    Reply
  36. Steven

    Hi Todd

    I need a suggestion from you.

    My situation is as follows:

    I´m working as a computer teacher in a school, and im doing some print pushing since my last visit to your blog in november 2014, however I have a problem because my eyes are slightly different and while i use my 1D plus lenses, cannot do effectively print pushing with both eyes, and also it is difficult patch my eye at work.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      You can order a cheap pair of glasses from zennioptical with a different correction in each eye, or try a set of manually adjustable lenses from Adlens.

      Reply
      • Steven

        Hi Todd

        Thanks for your advice

        I want to buy an under corrected glasses.
        However is it necessary astigmatism correction too?

        My current astigmatism prescription is:

        0.5 Right left eye and 0.75 right eye

        Thanks for helping people

        Reply
    • Hi Steven,
      My 2 cents.
      Any astigmatism, of less than -1.25 diopters, can be ignored, or converted into “spherical equivalent”. I strongly recommend you check your own visual acuity with this electronic Snellen. Just click here, and then on the word “display” several times. (20/60 letters will appear).

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

      Stand back and see which line you can read 1/2 the letters correctly. (If it were me, and I read the 20/40 line, I would stop wearing a minus lens — except to drive a car.) Most people lack the persistence for long-term plus wear, a human failing. The fact that the plus can be successful, with this problem, was recognized many years ago by Dr. Prentice.

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

      For a “light” prescription, avoiding the minus (with confirmed 20/40) is very wise. But the long-term motivation is indeed difficult, with a reasonable goal in mind (pass the 20/30, and 20/25 line, yourself, objectively).

      Todd did it, because he had a strong belief that it is possible. But he did not quit, and kept wearing the plus – to pass all legal requirements to drive a care (read the Snellen with both eyes open, and better than 20/40.

      I thank Todd for his efforts. It is all free for those who have the motivation to understand the “Prentice report”, that all prevention is personal.

      Reply
  37. donjoe

    This is 2015 and we’re on the Internet. Isn’t it far more likely that people reading these materials here will not be avid book readers but rather avid computer users and possibly avid smartphone and tablet users? I think your instructions should focus more on “PC monitor pushing” and “mobile phone pushing” than “print pushing”. OK, for the latter the instructions can probably stay the same, though some cautionary advice could be included because phones tend to have even smaller fonts than the books that ruined our eyesight in the first place, but “PC monitor pushing” is a whole different story: for high-degree myopes this would require a second pair of negative-diopter glasses specifically undercorrected to work at usual PC monitor distances. (This is in contrast to the outdoor glasses which would still only be undercorrected by 0.5 and wouldn’t help at all with “PC monitor pushing”.)

    Or am I getting something totally wrong here?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Your point is well taken, but most of us understand that “print” is just a catch-all term for text, whether seen in a book or on a screen. Our bad reading habits lead us to bring the text closer than we should, regardless of font size.

      The choice of whether or not to use plus lenses vs. undercorrected minus lenses or the naked eye is simple: Choose WHATEVER solution allows you to read at D2 (the edge of focus) given your specific refractive state and the distance of the text or object to be viewed.

      A myope with a correction of -2 or higher (20/150 or higher) can comfortably read a book or computer at about 20″ with the naked eye, so no plus lenses are needed. If the myopia is weaker, than plus lenses should be selected to bring D2 to 20″ or less.

      Now let’s assume that smart phones are comfortably read at 10″, Then a myopia with a correction of -4 or higher can print push with the naked eye; as myopia is reduced, he or she can resort to plus lenses of increasing power.

      Undercorrected negative diopter lenses would generally NOT be required for close work unless the myopia is VERY severe. In any case, moving from books at 20″ to cell phones at 10″ makes print pushing only easier, with or without plus lenses.

      Todd

      Reply
      • donjoe

        “Our bad reading habits lead us to bring the text closer than we should, regardless of font size.”

        No, this can’t possibly be right, font size is crucial – we adjust our reading distance to ensure readability and we bring books/smartphones/tablets too close precisely because the fonts are too small to be read comfortably, which happens pretty much all the time because historically we’ve gotten used to small fonts due to the practical constraints imposed by book sizes and formats. The Snellen chart itself measures visual acuity based on the font size: if you have 20/20 vision you should be able to resolve letters that subtend 5 arcminutes of viewing angle vertically, which is just enough to perceive the horizontal lines of the letter “E” distinctly if the thickness of each black line and each white space equals 1 arcminute of viewing angle (so black-white-black-white-black takes 5 arcminutes). Font size is absolutely crucial in making text readable and thus in forming our reading habits, good or bad.

        “A myope with a correction of -2 or higher (20/150 or higher) can comfortably read a book or computer at about 20″ with the naked eye, so no plus lenses are needed.”

        Right, but then again 20″ may not be an ideal PC monitor viewing distance, especially with today’s larger monitors: too large a monitor viewed from too short a distance will put too much of the content outside your retinal fovea (where you can resolve fine details and read text) and will make it hard for you to concentrate on everything you’re supposed to be watching or working on. With my -2.5-ish myopia and a practical monitor distance of about 30″-35″ (assuming a 1080p monitor with a diagonal of 22″-24″), I will be way beyond D2 and unable to exercise my eyes during the most convenient daily activity for doing this (I do the overwhelming majority of my text reading and fine detail resolving on a PC monitor). To push D2 out to 30″-35″ in this case I would need a second pair of very small negative diopter glasses (-0.5 or so? I’ll have to experiment to find out). Above I was expressing surprise that you never mentioned this kind of situation even though I think it’s very frequent – a lot of people have -2 or worse myopia and a lot of people use large monitors at a distance of ~30″: there should be at least some mention of small negative diopter lenses for computer reading in the context of your method. Not everyone is reading primarily books, smartphones, tablets and laptops – large desktop monitors are still very much a thing. :)

        Reply
        • Todd

          Donjoe,

          Perhaps I could have been clearer:

          1. I’m not saying that font size is unimportant as a determinant of D2 or clear reading distance. In fact, font size is the whole basis of the Snellen chart, which I understand quite well. Denying that would be absurd. My point was that “regardless of font size” bad reading habits (i.e. reading at a distance that is too close) is the main driving force behind myopia development. In other words, smaller font size will impact the quantitative degree of the problem, not the qualitative fact of the biological principle of defocus-induced axial lengthening.

          2. You have a good point regarding larger monitors. For a given degree of myopia, a larger monitor with larger font can be read at a longer distance. And this will of course affect the “effective” D2. In the examples I gave, I was making an approximation using average size font, e.g. 10 or 12 point font displayed on a typical small monitor with typical magnification. But this will change as the display size gets magnified. It will also be influenced by the color contrast, brightness and other factors. Even your fatigue will influence it.

          3. The principle remains the same, however: Finding D2 is a practical matter. Sit back until you are at the transition point between the print being crystal clear and the onset of the slightest degree of blur. That is D2 for the specific conditions of lighting, font, contrast, fatigue, etc. Now if the monitor is large and the font is large, perhaps you are comfortable sitting more than 20″ back. Heck, if you were using a large 70″ monitor in a conference room, you might find that D2 becomes several feet! Unless you need to physically touch the monitor, there is no problem with such a long distance.

          4. You are right that minus lenses can be useful for print pushing — but only for strong myopes, e.g. those with a prescription higher than -2D. Those lenses should be UNDERCORRECTED minus lenses — about 2D weaker than normal distance lenses. So if you have a -6D prescription, you would use -4D lenses for print pushing at about 20″ for normal sized font in typical conditions. But, as you point out, this might vary if your normal monitor size, font size, and monitor distance are different. To find that, I’d recommend the following procedure:

          – Go to the pharmacy wearing your normal minus lenses
          – Go to the reading glass rack and try on various strength plus lens “readers” OVER your minus lenses, i.e. stack the lenses
          – Practice reading text that is about the same size and distance as what you want to read on your computer. Maybe print out a page with that size screen font and bring it with you to the pharmacy.
          – Order some minus lenses that are the sum of your minus prescription and the plus lens “readers”. E.g. If your normal distance prescription is -5D and you read the desired font size comfortably with +1.5D lenses, then order some -5 + 1.5 = -3.5D lenses for print pushing.

          I have referred to this procedure in several provisos comments and on the discussion forum as “under correction”, but you are right that I could probably emphasize this more in my main presentations. Thanks for bringing it up.

          Todd

          Reply
      • donjoe

        Also, short viewing distances below 25″ tend to increase eyestrain and fatigue: http://office-ergo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Monitor-Viewing-Distance.-Ankrum-D.R..pdf

        Since most of us have a Resting Point of Vergence 35″-40″ away from our faces we should be trying to do as much of our daily visual work with display technologies that allow us to see clear images placed somewhere around that distance (i.e. large computer monitors / TVs / projectors), at least if avoiding fatigue is a major aim. In this view, prolonged use of smaller screens and print formats should simply be avoided as much as possible (plus-lens eyewear doesn’t help our eyes converge at shorter distances, it only helps with focus, so it won’t eliminate the biggest cause of fatigue).

        Reply
  38. Jasmine

    Hi Todd,

    First of all, great presentation. This is something I have strongly believed in ever since I was a tween, way before I was aware of how scientifically true it actually was.

    I do have two questions/concerns though:

    1) I work as a nurse. Up to 10 hour shifts. It’s vital – quite obviously – that I see exactly what I’m doing at all times. I also drive there and back on my own, adding another 20mins each way to my day where I need to see 100% clearly. My eyes are -2.5 & -2.75, meaning I need those glasses on my eyes in order to operate throughout the day. I can easily do the exercises while studying or during leisure time after work, but my question is this: Will the long hours I spend working with my glasses ON, reverse the few hours I spend at night exercising them with my glasses off?

    2) As a child, my mother always told me never to try on my grandmothers hyperopic glasses, because it would “wreck my eyes”. Is that true? Will using plus prescriptions, as well as aiding in the recovery of my myopia, slowly make me hyperopic?

    Thanks,
    Jasmine

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Jasmine,

      I’ll try my best to answer your questions:

      1. Hung and Ciuffreda, in their research, indicate that it is the “time averaged” effect of hyperopic vs. myopic defocus that results in a net stimulus to elongation or shortening of the eye’s axis. That would suggest that use of full strength minus lenses will tend to at least partially cancel out the benefits of plus lenses or lens-free print pushing. If you follow their thesis, however, you can mitigate the problem by wearing SLIGHTLY undercorrected minus lenses for your daily activities that require distance vision, e.g. working in the OR. Simply shave about 0.25 off your normal prescription. Most opticians will do that for you; if not, then order from zennioptical.com. You can progressively reduce in increments of 0.25 as you get better. Or just by some continuously adjustable lenses from Adlens with a simple one time $30 investment, and dial them down as your eyesight improves. Change your prescriptions gradually and you’ll never find yourself struggling with inability to focus on important daily tasks.

      My personal view is less pessimistic than Hung and Ciuffreda. I think that the concentrated time spent deliberately print pushing, at the edge of focus, provides a strong positive stimulus that tends to outweigh the weak reverse stimulus of wearing minus lenses for distance. The key is to AVOID wearing your minus lenses for close work. That is really the downfall of minus lenses. So I wouldn’t stress out about using minus lenses for distance viewing, especially if it is for only part of the day. Spend as much time as you can without wearing any glasses at all, and spend time looking at distant and near objects in alternation.

      2. I really don’t see how wearing “hyoperopic” or plus lenses could possible “wreck” your eyes. If you are starting out myopic, you have first pass through emmetropia (normal vision) before you transition to the other side and become hyoperopic. There’s no risk that your vision will suddenly “flip”. That would be quite amazing when you think of it, wouldn’t it?

      Good luck,

      Todd

      Reply
      • Jasmine

        Thanks Todd for your speedy reply,

        Regarding the first point, I will grab a pair of lenses that are .25 weaker than what I have, and see if I can adjust to those during work hours. I hope I can, but if not (b/c of how alert I have to be while nursing), I will stick to print pushing.

        Regarding your second point, I didn’t actually mean I’d become only hyperopic & cancel out my myopia… I actually meant is it possible to develop both together.. There are some people with this problem, aren’t there?

        Reply
        • Todd

          “Regarding your second point, I didn’t actually mean I’d become only hyperopic & cancel out my myopia… I actually meant is it possible to develop both together.. There are some people with this problem, aren’t there?”

          Yes, simultaneous myopia and hyperopia can result from presbyopia. This can happen as we age, but typically occurs only above age 40, as a result of stiffening of the crystalline lens. But that is a slow aging process — not something that can happen as a result of short term focusing exercises. So I would not worry about it. :-)

          Reply
    • Hi Jasmine,
      My 2 cents.
      1) It is obvious, that you must wear those -2.5 diopters, when driving a car. You should always check your own Snellen, to make certain you pass the required DMV test, which is to read (at least) 20/40 or better. For “long-hours” of close work (that we can not avoid), you should take your glasses off, period. Your work should be clear at 18 inches – or make adjustments accordingly.
      2) Being nearsighted, it is almost impossible for you to ever become, “hyperopic” (Refraction of greater-than +1 diopter, using a Snellen and trial-lens kit.) Most people who slowly get to 0.0 diopters, will QUIT wearing the plus for near, and go pass the DMV. Thus their eyes will always remain emmetropic, or normal, and stay there.
      The “plus” (hyperopic glasses) has been used in this way — (by optometrists — on their own children) protected them from becoming nearsighted – in the first place – for life.
      For now, you can only take your minus lens glasses off – for all near work. That would be a start.
      Today, I wear a plus lens, to avoid becoming myopic – a second time. Todd is correct.

      Reply
      • Jasmine

        Hi Otis,

        Thanks for your answer.

        1) Well my work isn’t exactly considered “close work”. Nursing requires both close and moderate-far range of vision, but also requires you to be extremely sharp. I worry than any blurring will interfere with my performance, but perhaps with only .25 weaker lenses, it’s just that – a fear. I will buy a cheap pair to try it out. No glasses is just not an option – I’d be fired in a second, if I didn’t harm a patient with sharp instruments first.

        2) I guess so. You and Todd have answered this question. What I feared was that both Myopia & hyperopia could occur together. If that’s not possible, and it’s only one way or the other, then I guess plus lenses could only do me good. I plan on grabbing some tomorrow from my local chemist.

        May I ask how you cured yourself of Myopia the first time? Was it by exercises like these, or by lasik eye surgery?

        Reply
        • Hi Jasmine,
          I do not consider my advocacy for, “just prevention”, to be a cure. I was forced to have cataract surgery, that got me to a “positive” refractive status – that I verify myself. I am well aware, that people who have Lasik, put their nose into long-term close work, develop a second-case of myopia. That is what I WISH TO AVOID. You might think my wearing of a +2.5 diopters as I type this, but I take self-prevention very seriously.
          I can not tell you what you should do. Obviously, you need your distant vision. But I have found that ODs consistently over-prescribe the minus – attempting to get 20/18, 20/15, and even 20/13, with out understanding the risks of wearing an over-prescribed lens, 24/7. I would strongly recommend you take your -2 diopters off, and see if you can read at 18 inches. In fact your eye will be much more relaxed if you can do that. That is the same thing as wearing a plus, if you have naked-eye 20/40.

          I do not know if you read my post, about “prevention minded” ODs, but here is what I ask them to do, for people who can still read the 20/40 line, and need to get back to 20/20 (and will forcefully wear the plus, all the time.)

          Editor> … he hasn’t lost his zest for evangelism and
          constantly warns others against accepting negative lenses too
          readily without examining the alternative.

          Otis> Parents should know that there is an alternative for their
          children,” Brown said. “But this alternative stops later on in
          life. If they can stop myopia early, they should be able to take
          advantage of it and use the preventive process. The biggest advantage to trying the positive lens approach
          is that it is completely harmless. It can’t hurt.” But, Brown
          continued, “it could help tremendously. If the child is 8, 9, 10
          or 11, how important is it that he have 20/20 vision immediately?
          If the condition has developed over a year or a year-and-a-half,
          what’s the matter with waiting a year or a year-and-a-half to
          clear your distant vision with a plus lens — if it means your
          whole life?”.
          +++++
          I supported my sister’s children, and they were successful. (Although they did “fight” the idea of their wearing the plus – for a certain period of time. The “sticking point”, is to get the person to understand that there are certain consequences, if they do not take plus-prevention seriously, at 20/40.

          Reply
  39. Rajni

    Hello Dr Todd,

    I’ve just watched the above video and wanted to ask you if you have any specific set of exercises for 5 year old who has recently developed nearsightedness with -1.5 diopter?
    Can i reverse his eye sight back to nomral with eye exercises?
    are there any supplements which can help to regain his eye sight other than eye exercises?

    What would you recommend for his plus lens prescription?

    Can you please give me some advice?

    -thank you very much,
    Rajni

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rajni,

      Exercises for a 5 year old? Most 5 year olds don’t have the attention span, persistence and ability to engage in exercises that would seem boring and pointless to a child of that age. Perhaps your kid is different. But there are a few things you can do to reverse his myopia or at least prevent further progression:

      1. Limit time with smart phones, tablets and computers, or books, and encourage your son not to hold the device closer than about 18 inches. Encourage frequent breaks.
      2. Pick out some +1.5 or +2 reading glasses from the pharmacy, and have your son wear them while working with electronic screens or books. Have him test the lens to see if he can at least read in focus close up.
      3. Encourage outdoor activites in bright daylight. Time at the playground or in nature. Fun sports like soccer. Read this article and take it seriously:
      http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120
      4. Limit sugar in the diet and be sure he gets enough protein and natural fats. High sugar diets promote myopia.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Rajni

        Thank you so much Dr Todd. Really appreciate your suggestions. My son is very disciplined.He has been doing few exercises(looking up/down/right/left ,moving eyes in clockwise/anticlockwise direction, looking at a nearer object and then on a far object) on daily basis from past 2 weeks.

        He has multiple food allergies. So I think he might be having some nutrition deficiencies but he doesn’t consume sugar at all.

        is it ok if he wears glasses in school and while watching TV?

        Once again thank you so much for your time.

        -best regards
        Rajni

        Reply
        • Todd

          Rajni,

          Certainly it is OK to wear glasses for distance — TV, school. But try to reduce the prescription, lowering it by 0.25 diopters. And avoid glasses entirely for close up reading.

          Todd

          Reply
  40. Raja

    Hey todd

    I was wonder should I be concerned about getting double vision or ghost effect. also if I do double vision will it go away on own?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Raja,

      There are some rare neurological conditions in which monocular diplopia (double vision in one eye) can be a sign of a serious neurological conditions, but generally double vision is a simple refractive error, and one that can be resolved:
      http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/double-vision-diplopia-causes-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment

      As I mentioned in my talk, double or multiple vision is often a good sign! If one of the multiple images is sharp, then at least that image is in focus. As your myopia decreases, you can eliminate the multiple images and cause them to fuse into a single image. As mentioned in my talk, the approach is to focus with intention on the sharper of the 2 images and try to ignore the fainter one. For example, overhead electrical wires often appear as a double image with one dark, thin, crisp wire superimposed against a blurry fainter grey image. Pay attention to the crisper image. Stare at it and trace it with your eyes. With time, it will become darker, crisper and sharper, and the secondary image will fade.

      This was my experience and that of many others.

      Todd

      Reply
  41. Steve

    Hi Todd

    I went to my Optometrist to my annual exam, however he told me that my astigmatism has decreased about 0,25 in my right eye and 0,50 in my left eye.
    But Myiopia has increased in my right eye, about 0,50 and 0,25 in my left eye.

    I have been doing print pushing since november 2014 with plus lenses, and I have decreased the time in front of the computer significatively.

    i dont know why my right eye has increse if i do print pushing just with my left eye because it was weaker.

    So I decided to visit another optometrist who says the following:

    Right Eye: Sph: 0,75
    CYL: 0,25

    Left Eye: Sph: 075
    CYL: 0,25

    I´m confused, why different results and why myopia increase if im doing print pushing.

    What could be wrong?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      Steve,

      Hard to know exactly what is going on with your vision. You state that your myopia “has increased in my right eye, about 0,50 and 0,25 in my left eye”. Do you mean INCREASED BY or INCREASED TO 0.50 and 0.25? This seems inconsistent with the second optometrist measurements of 0.75 in each eye. In any case, these are all very low degrees of myopia, and the day-to-day variation makes it hard to be precise. Also, many measurements made by ODs are not accurate, but are biased towards selling you glasses, particularly at such low levels.

      It’s more reliable for you to print out a Snellen chart and test yourself in bright daylight. Follow these instructions to measure your Snellen, then let us know what you find:

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

      If you are 20/40 or less in each eye, you should be happy! Then you can work on getting to 20/20 or even 20/15. Read how “Shadowfoot” did it:

      http://gettingstronger.org/2012/04/how-one-person-improved-his-vision/

      Todd

      Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      How I check my refractive status.

      I go to the OD also – for medical checks. They are totally necessary. But I find that they are not all that accurate in their measurements. They do not have the time for accuracy. The reason is that they THINK you want extreme vision. This means that when you read the 20/30 line (on your Snellen) you will probably be prescribed a -2.0 diopter to get you to 20/10 vision. I do not agree that I need 20/10 vision. I need to pass the DMV requirement. Todd supplies a good Snellen for your own objective testing. But I like to check my refraction at low cost. Here is how I order “test lenses” for about $24. The reason is that an exam costs about $150, and I just can not afford that on a regular basis, and I do not need 20/10 vision. I need the “independence of mind”, to do this myself.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbpH1_rBN_0

      With a very low “astig”, I can use the simple spherical lens that I order. I can also repeat measurements of my own refractive status – and with greater consistent accuracy.

      (This does not replace a medical exam. But virtually no OD in his office has any real interest in me protecting my distant vision – for life.)

      Personal objective testing, is the basis for trusting science.

      Reply
    • Hi Steve,

      Just my 2 cents.

      Are you willing to check your own Snellen? Are you willing to accept a temporary compromise on visual acuity?

      But, I always wonder. Does ANYONE actually look at a Snellen – at all Here is some commentary that I totally support.

      http://endmyopia.org/a-mind-bending-premise-2020-is-irrelevant-to-your-prescription-needs/#comment-273

      I always get the impression that some people that I talk to:

      1) Never look at a bright-Snellen at home.
      2) Want to quit wearing the plus as soon as possible.
      3) They expect almost instant results.
      4) They an not accept a compromise.
      5) They think that they MUST HAVE the vision they see though a minus lens.

      In my opinion the above attitude, against systematic plus-wear, will always kill any serious preventive program. But if there is to ever be such an organized scientific program, each person would have to assess these issues – before the program started. (I believe this type of honesty would work with highly motivated pilots – who MUST pass the 20/20 line, objectively, under their control.)

      I am an engineer – so I do not fear wearing a plus, and keeping good objective vision. I know for certain that no OD or MD has the motivation or interest to help me, so I MUST help myself.

      This does not mean I am “anti-medicine”. It just means I must objectively verify that I always pass the required DMV line, objectively, and wear the plus for all close work – as I doing it now.

      Reply
  42. kkrockstar

    Hello Todd,
    My myopia prescription is ‘-0.5 with 80 degrees angle for left eye’ and ‘-0.5 for right eye.’ If I have to start reading glasses with plus powered lens, what power reading glasses I need to use?

    thanks and regards !

    Reply
    • Todd

      Your myopia is very mild, as is your astigmatism. Just go without glasses as much as possible. For print pushing, watch the video again and review the slides. It’s all clearly spelled out how to go to the pharmacy, try on various reading glasses, and find a pair of glasses that allow you to read your books or computer comfortably “at the edge of blur”.

      Reply
  43. Edwin

    Hi Dr Todd, thank you for your insight. I wonder if using pinhole glasses will be of any help on reversing my myopia?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Todd

      Pinhole glasses are provide immediate “symptomatic relief” to myopia by increasing focal range. In that sense, they are a “crutch”, no better than using minus lenses. They don’t address the root cause of the problem, they don’t reshape the eye. The point of print pushing and plus lenses to address the root cause of your myopia by reshaping the eye.

      Reply
  44. Marlon

    Hi Otis
    How long have you been using plus lenses?
    I want to buy the secret of perfect vision by David De Angelis, and i saw your name in the book.
    Did you helped to write that book?
    Is it your Friend?

    A lot of websites on internet talks about you and plus lenses, I wonder if you really have decreased your prescription, but confirmed by an OD?

    It is important to know about other experiences.

    Thanks Otis

    Reply
    • Hi Marion –
      1) I have been wearing a plus for all close work for about three years.
      2) Good, David is a pioneer in plus-prevention.
      3) I edited parts of the English Language version, since David is Italian, and I could clarify the optometry language part of his book.
      4) I consider Todd, David, and other prevention minded optometrists my friends.

      5) Websites: Yes, we need more people to understand how critical it is to start with “just prevention” while you can still read the 20/40 line on your, “home Snellen”. I had cataract surgery about three years ago. That re-set my refractive state to zero diopters. (Self-measured, because it is wise to do it yourself.) I do not need and OD to confirm or deny my refractive state – since optometrist have no interest in successful prevention. Only *I* have that interest.

      Prevention (at 20/40) is a very slow process. The plus must never be considered a “cure”, and it is definitely not “medicine”, nor can it be a “medical procedure”.

      There is a great deal of objective science, that shows that it is possible – if you are willing to do it yourself – as Todd did it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toforDzK6iE

      This is my statement about making “claims” of success.

      Reply
    • Hi Marion,

      Marion> A lot of websites on internet talks about you and plus lenses, I wonder if you really have decreased your prescription, but confirmed by an OD?

      Otis> The best answer to OD confirmation, is to have the optometrist successfully change her refractive state, from -3.5 diopters to zero diopters, under her control.

      https://myopiafree.wordpress.com/od-success/

      But equally, few optometrists have any real interest, in self-prevention, by following Todd’s advice, methods and personal, objective measurements.

      Threshold prevention (with the plus and other “methods”), is a matter of scientific education, insights, and long-term motivation. Few people have the motivation to do what is so obviously necessary.

      Todd was successful — because he was not under “medical control” — but there are quite a few optometrists who will approve of this type of personal and objective success.

      Reply
  45. donjoe

    Here’s a thought: if viewing an object closer than D1 or farther than D2 leaves the eye outside the range of transformative exercise, wouldn’t it be enough to simply adjust the print-pushing/screen-pushing distance based on the _weaker_ eye’s D2 to make this eye the focus of the exercise rather than leaving it behind? If the print is pushed out only as far as the weaker eye’s D2, for the stronger eye this should be somewhere at or nearer than D1, and in this case we would expect the stronger eye to get the “free ride” and the weaker eye to do all the work of improving. (Background: I’m really trying to avoid any weird-looking devices like eyepatches or diffusers here because I intend to do most of my eye training at work and I don’t want to look weird doing it.)

    Reply
    • Todd

      donjoe,

      Not sure I understand your proposal. If you pull the print close enough for weak eye to be at (or even close to) D2, then the strong eye will see everything in focus. It will automatically jump in and take over, and the weak eye will do no work. A good analogy is lifting a heavy object with both arms, where one arm is much weaker than the other. The stronger arm will bear most of the load, depriving the weak arm of getting the workout it needs to become stronger.

      I understand your concern the cosmetic aspects of patching etc. Two good-looking options: (1) order custom lenses from zennioptical.com in which the weak eye gets the appropriate plus lens for reading at D2, and the strong eye is given a slightly higher plus correction (by about 0.5 diopters) higher than it’s D2; (2) order adjustable lenses from adlens.com. I prefer option (2) because you can continually adjust each lens separately as your vision improves.

      Todd

      Reply
  46. Lalo

    Hello. I am new to this whole eyesight restoration movement. I started on this journey on early March. I had bought the night and day contacts and left them on for a couple of days. When I took them off, my vision had become even blurrier than before. That led me to look up ways to restore eyesight. After a couple of days, my vision went back to the way it had been.

    Nonetheless, I did not want to go back to wearing contacts. I stopped using contacts and did not use my glasses all the time. My contact prescription was a -6.00 and glasses -7.00 on both eyes. I’m 26 so this began to worry me.

    I’ve done one session of print pushing and i see what Todd is talking about. Nonetheless, i bought some readers and that’s when i saw a positive change. I started wearing a +1.75 to look at my phone screen and computer screen. After two days….my eyes are able to see things from afar…i was able to read my schools fight song banner for a couple of seconds from afar. My concern is, I dont know if this change is tko quick. My eyes did get red. I see a vain more pronunced though it is going away…and my eyes arent as tense when i roll them…dont know if its a good or bad thing. I also feel like i can see my dear duct skin…dontknow what it is called…a little bit more. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
  47. Marlon

    Hi

    There is some problem if you use plus lenses while you are reading at the computer?

    I know would be ideal if i read a book using them, but some people says that could damage my retina because the computer screens are illuminated.

    I wonder if Todd wore plus lenses for more than 5 hours per day while he worked. Because that could be so tired for my eyes.

    I work about 6 hours every day in front of a computer

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      You don’t need to wear plus lenses or print push 5 hours a day! A few hours a day, with breaks every 15-30 minutes, is adequate. Don’t overdo it or push yourself to the point of fatigue. Your eyes need rest.

      Don’t worry about computer screen illumination.

      Reply
  48. Renata

    Hello, Todd,

    I just encountered this website. I have been freaking out about my worsening vision for the past few weeks. Ok, but maybe I should tell you my story first to really, really explain the gravity of my situation. I had perfect vision up until I was 7 years old. I noticed I could not see the TV as good as before, so my mom took my to the doctor, and here I was, wearing -2 prescription in both eyes. My eyes were getting worse every year through school, about 1 diopter every year. So, at 18 I was wearing about -8 in contacts (had switched to contact lenses at the age of 14). At 18, my vision worsening slowed down considerably, almost stopped. At age 35 now, I wear -9 (in contacts) and -10.25 in left eye and -10.50 in right eye (glasses) in both eyes, I also have astigmatism in both eyes.i kept the same eyeglass prescription for 10 years now, even though my eye doctor advised me to go up, which I strongly refused. Ok, now about my current problem. I started this office job about 1.5-2 months ago, where i stare at the computer all day long, and it is a very high paced and stresfull job. I noticed couple of weeks ago, that my left eye has worsened considerably and then my eyeball has been hurting while at work, I am guessing I went down at least 1 diopter, if not 2 (which would put me at -10 or -11 in contacts and around -11 or -12 in glasses), and the difference between this eye and tbe other eye is significant now. I am pretty sure i will have to quit this job immediately and take a break for a month or so. My question is – is it possible to somewhat improve my eyesight or at least get my left eye to where it was before? Isn’t my vision too poor for this method to work? At the doctor, I cannot even see the first line on the chart, I can see it only really blurry about 5 feet away (without glasses or contacts). If i am without contact or glasses, I can read the letters in a book from about 4 or 5 inches with one eye or the other, not both, because they cannot focus the objects or letters that close. I am terrified i will go blind, all the eye doctors I talked to said that was the way my eyes were, and that was it. Could you please advise me on my situation, because I have lost any other hope!!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Todd

      Renata,

      Oh my, oh my. Your myopia is indeed extreme. But something doesn’t add up here. You say you can read a book at 4-5 inches. That would mean a correction of -9 should fully correct your vision. -11 would be overkill. You must have some old glasses lying around with a -8 or -9 diopter correction. When you put them on, how far can you read on a Snellen chart?

      Start with -8 or -9 lenses and start print pushing. Listen to the talk again carefully, and read through the slides carefully. Everything is explained there.

      If you are truly dedicated, you can reduce your myopia. Make the effort, and report your progress back here — or on the Discussion Forum.

      Reply

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