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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101 Comments

  1. 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
  2. Renata

    Todd,

    I know it sounds weird that i can see letters in a book from 4 or 5 inches without correction, but as I said, it is with one eye or the other,not with both. I measured the distance with tape measurer this morning. Then i looked at the Snellen chart – with my glasses on I can see 3 lines with my left eye and 5 lines with my right eye from 20 feet away. And these are some old glasses that i got 10 years ago, -10.25L and -10.50R. My doctor says that once the eye shape changes, it cannot go back. What is your oppinion on that?

    Reply
  3. Lalo

    Okay…so my eyes look better now. I have used plys lenses to look at screens when they are up close. And it IS working. I have flashes of clarity…i can see thungs with detail for a ciuple of seconds at a time throughout the day….

    My question is…is using plus lenses in such way a good way to get rid of myopia. I do see it working. My other question is…why do people who actually need plus lenses develop such need? Too much far sighted wor? Not enough close work?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Todd

      People who think they “need” plus lenses as “reading glasses” normally do so in response to presbyopia — hardening of the lenses that comes with age — which makes it harder to focus on close up objects or fine print. If they would instead try “print pulling” — holding the print as close as readable and pulling it in every so slightly — they could avoid or reverse presbyopia.

      Reply
    • Hi Lalo,
      Just my 2 cents.

      I am “over 60”, so it is PRESUMED that I have “presbyopia”. (i.e., I can not read at 24 inches, unless I have a plus. This is just false.) I also had cataract surgery, with a “fixed lens”, that presumes I can not “accommodate” at 24 inches. This is false also. The entire eye, can change by 1.5 diopters, even with a FIXED LENS in the eye.

      YOUR QUESTION: Is it wise to wear the plus, to go from 20/40 to 20/20, under your control? I can not tell you what you might choose to do. For myself, I am sitting here, reading a typing though a +2.5 diopter lens. I have self verified 20/20 vision, and wish to keep it that way. (Yes you are correct, most people do not, “see it that way”).

      The wisdom of wearing a plus, comes from a “plus” study conducted by Dr. Young. The “strong minus group”, went down at -1/2 to -2/3 diopter for EACH YEAR IN SCHOOL. (Became seriously myopic in five years). The systematic “plus wear” children, did not become seriously myopic. If people actually looked a scientific facts, they could understand WHY wearing a plus (at 20/40) is necessary — through the school years. But it definitely is a scientific issue for each person to understand.

      Reply
  4. Alison

    Hello Todd

    I would like to know how have you been your progress using plus lenses.

    What were your first plus lenses prescription?

    2D or 1D

    I need to have an idea to start doing print pushing effectively

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Todd

      I started with +2D. But the key is to chose whichever plus lenses allow you to read at the edge of focus while sitting at your computer. Go through the video and slides again — it’s all there.

      Reply
  5. Katherine

    Hi! Excellent talk! I am very interested in natural vision improvement. My issue is that I’m not able to give up contact lenses at this time. I normally wear them for 6-8 hours a day, but I know this method works best with glasses because you can take them on and off.

    I did order a pair of contacts that are a couple of diopters lower than what I’m currently wearing (current: -3.25 left eye, -2.00 right eye. New contacts: -2.75 and -1.50) Will wearing the new lenses, combined with magnifying lenses during reading still help me to improve my eyesight? Eventually I’d love to give up all glasses and contacts.

    Reply
  6. tommy

    Will not wearing plus lenses affect the result?

    Reply
  7. Tony

    Hello.I want to ask you something Todd.I have -4.00 both eyes.Will print push work if i wont use plus lenses during all my journey to 20/20?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Plus lenses are not essential to the method, but they make it a lot more convenient once your myopia is reduced to less than -2 diopters (equivalent to 19 inch edge of focus). Adding plus lenses brings in the edge of focus closer, making it easier to practice print pushing. But you could also just sit farther than 19 inches away from the computer if you want. You might tire of that when the computer is quite far away. So that’s why we use plus lenses!

      Reply
  8. John

    Todd will print pushing work by watching movie subtitles without glasses?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Yes

      Reply
  9. Rob

    Hi Todd.

    I have watched your very exciting presentation several times and get the idea behind reduced prescription and print pushing. My problem is the starting point. Today I am using glasses with the following prescription:
    Right: -3.25/-1.00*60
    Left: -4.75/-1.00/160

    And also use a pair for computer work which are:
    Right: -2.50/-1.00*60
    Left: -4.00/-1.00/160

    My right is the dominant one for long distance viewing and the left one takes care of near distance viewing.

    What I notice is that my left eye is getting the blur level faster than the right one (for long distance viewing). This is more visible when using my computer pair for long distance viewing. It is almost like the right eye feels OK with the lower prescription but the left one gets a very blurry view. using my long distance glasses makes the difference less visible since the blur level is far away but it is the same situation. My question is how to start with a reduced long distance prescription? I have ordered a pair with 0.5D lower prescription and try using only the left eye for long distance viewing (right eye closed) and print pushing. But It would be more usable if I could use both eyes for long distance viewing. Should I aim for a even lower prescription for my right eye (I know you answered earlier comments on this)? And my other concern is the blur level. Is 0.5D less for the left eye a too big leap? At what distance should the blur level occur in order for the active focusing to be most effective without straining the eye? For me it occurs just a couple of meters in front of me (left eye).

    Hope you could give some advice on the starting prescription.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rob,

      It’s actually the norm to have a different refractive state in each eye. This is called “mono vision”, often an adaptive response, allowing the eyes to specialize and thus cover a greater net focal range.

      If you want to reduce your overall degree of myopia, start by putting the effort on reducing myopia in your weaker (left) eye. Do that by relatively handicapping your dominant right eye, so that your left eye is forced to change. You can do that by winking the right eye shut periodically, or (more comfortably) taping diffuser paper over the right lens or holding your right hand along your nose, angled to let some light in. (You’ll be seeing the back of your hand but your brain will tend to just filter that out). Alternatively, you can under correct the right lens to induce a strong blur, so that the brain will pay attention only the the left eye, which is at the edge of blur.

      The most flexible way to do this is to buy some adjustable lenses from adlens.com, and continually fine tune the adjustment to blur out the dominant eye, allowing the weak eye to pick up the slack. The analogy is how you would strengthen a weak left arm by preferentially working it in the gym.

      Once your two eyes are more even in myopia, you can then use balanced lenses (undercorrected or plus lenses, depending on distance and degree of myopia) to continue reducing your myopia.

      Todd

      Reply
  10. Hi, I learned about print pushing techniques and have been practicing it in combination with bates method for about 2 months now. However instead of signs of progress, I feel like its deteriorating!

    I have prescription of -3.0 D spherical correction with -0.5D astigmatism correction on Right and -2.75 D spherical correction on Left.
    I was prescribed contacts of -3.25 D on Right and -2.5 D on Left.

    I have been practicing print pushing for about an hour 4-5 days a week and almost daily the Bates method (say 6 days a week). I do not use plus lenses for print pushing, but with my naked eye, contacts removed and glasses apart.

    I have glasses of correction -2.25 D on Right and -1.75 on Left ie. 1D lesser in each eye. I use glasses when on a walk, TV, movies and others.
    I use contacts for about 8-10 hours a day, might be extended in some busy days.

    Am I doing it wrong?
    How long each day should I practice print pushing?
    Is the time allocated not sufficient?
    Or do you think I am doing print pushing wrong way?

    I have watched the above video and the slide a number of times. And I think I still might have trouble finding the exact position I must try to focus.
    It would be great if you guys could publish an animation video showing the characters on the screen, timely moving back and forth as we are supposed to do during print pushing and showing us in the video how actually the texts should appear as we move, how and when should we consider moving back and forth !

    Reply
    • Todd

      Sorry to hear of your struggles with print pushing, Anup.

      Go back to the video around the 18 minute mark or look at slide 26 on “Print pushing”. The slide shows precisely what the print should look like at D1, D2 and D3, and shows how to achieve this by leaning towards or away from the print. I think this illustrates the concept as well as any video could.

      You mention that you are print pushing an hour a day, but you wear contacts for an additional 8-10 hours a day. Wearing full correction contacts may be the problem, undoing the benefits of the print pushing. Your myopia is weak enough that you should not need to wear contacts while working at the computer or reading a book. You should be able to read in focus at less than 33 centimeters (13 inches) from your face. If that’s uncomfortable, then use under-corrected lenses while reading perhaps -1 to -1.5 diopter lenses and sit a little farther back.

      I’d also suggest for distance getting yourself some glasses that are under-corrected by 0.5 diopters.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Thanks Todd!

        I shall be more cautious now while I print push.
        I also have decided to avoid contacts as much as possible. Rather than using under corrected contacts, it will be easier to get glasses.
        I shall now work on computers and do reading books completely without correction and practice print push almost all the time ( not to exceed 4 hrs mark as it said 3-4 hrs a day ). Or can I keep on doing it all day long? However I don’t think its a good idea, is it?
        I shall also reduce the use of full correction lenses to 4 – 5 hrs a day, using them only when absolutely needed.

        Please correct me if I decided wrong!

        Thanks again.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Good plan, Anup. The amount of time that you choose to spend print pushing is more art than science. The key thing is to be sensitive to fatigue. If you find you are getting tired or experience soreness or “red eye”, then you are overdoing it. Rest from reading is as important as good reading hygiene.

          Equally important: test your Snellen at least once a week, under similar lighting conditions, and similar time of day or state of restfulness. Self-testing your Snellen is the best way to track your objective progress.

          Good luck!

          Todd

          Reply
          • Thanks Todd!

            And yes, not to forget, I have just started and I know I have yet to see the changes in myself. However I strongly believe myopia can be reversed as I read your presentation.

            Reply
  11. KBLC

    Hi Todd,

    if someone reads at the edge of focus, there is no stimulus for the eye to change its shape, isn’t it? Because edge of focus means no defocus.

    So if I push to D2, seeing that little shadowing (i.e. defocus), the blur should clear up — if not, should I go back to D1 and try again after 1 minute or so?

    Essential question: Does the material have to clear up at D2 to apply stimulus to change the shape of the eye? Can you learn that – while being at D2 – “saying in your mind “now”” so that you can (even if temporary) clear the blur?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi KBLC,

      You are right — one really needs to push into D2 (the edge of blur) to achieve defocus. In reality, this is very close to D1 (the edge of focus). I find it useful to alternate between the two in order to be sure I’m at the edge. It’s kind of like finding the edge of your driving lane by occasionally hitting a few bumps in the divider.

      Here is the full distinction that I first drew in 2011:

      http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,8.msg781.html#msg781

      Now to your question: Blur sometimes clears readily, other times it doesn’t. That depends on the specifics of your situation — genetics, age, time of day, fatigue, adaptability. Clearing is a good sign that your eye is adjusting, but sometimes the eye is less responsive. You also have to distinguish immediate, short term change, from permanent change. Clearing is not a sign that your eye has permanently shortened. It is only an indication of short term response. It takes repeated cycles of stimulus and clearing to effect permanent change. Conversely, you don’t necessarily have to experience clearing to achieve long lasting change.

      In short, clearing is a convenient sign that you are working at a range where the stimulus is effective. But I wouldn’t take it as an absolute essential.

      Nevertheless, I think it is useful to wander back and forth between D1 and D2, rather than staying always at D2. Otherwise, how do you know you are at D2? You want to provide a frequent and moderate stimulus that your eye will respond to. Just as with lifting weights or any kind of training, a stimulus can be too weak to be effective, or excessively strong — in which case the eye or any organ just “gives up”.

      All this said, I see print pushing as an art as much as it is a science. I provide only guidelines. While the technique has its roots in biology and studies in different species, the specific protocols for print pushing have not been tested or validated in clinical trials. So you have to experiment and find what works for you.

      Hope that helps,

      Todd

      Reply
  12. Todd,
    I admire your objective success, in reading the required 20/20 line on your “home” Snellen chart.
    When you started this preventive process, (with some myopia), when, and how did you decide to stop wearing a strong minus?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Otis,

      I stopped wearing my minus lenses cold turkey. I forgot to take them with me on a two week vacation. When I found my vision improving as a result, I abandoned my minus lenses and never looked back. I could do that because my myopia was relatively mild. If it had been stronger than about 2 diopters, then I might have opted to use undercorrected minus lenses for a while.

      Later, I came across Brian Severson’s work (and yours) and added periodic use of plus lenses as an “adjunct” to facilitate myopia reduction. Plus lenses aren’t strictly necessary as long as your use your eyes correctly and frequently push them to the limits of their focusing ability. But they are a real help when you read a lot, both as a preventive measure and to work your way out of myopia.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Hi Todd,
        I agree that getting rid of a minus lens – is a major step in successful prevention. So many people have a problem taking that “minus off”, even the slightest amount. They are indeed addicted to it – like a drug. But like a drug (with suspected side-effects), it just makes matters worse. I suggest for people with a “mild prescription”, that they get a “bright Snellen” and read it. Some people with “mild” can read the 20/40 line!! That passes the required DMV, test. For the person who checks – he can do almost everything – with no minus lens. (But get a “minus” for driving – be reasonable.) I support wearing the plus, because that gets ‘rid of’ that near environment – which is the real “cause” of the problem. So, yes, if you have great fortitude, you can get “out of” a -2.0 diopter prescription. But it takes strong personal determination to do it. I hope other people can help their own children with this type of “vision saving” process – because the optometrist can’t help you with it.

        Reply
  13. Rob

    Todd,

    Your talk focus on myopia but do you have any thoughts and information regarding presbyopia? Could the same techniques that you describe be applied to manage presbyopia as well? If yes, would you recommend to consider exercising to improve both myopia and presbyopia at the same time or should I just focus on myopia? Reason for my question is that I have reached the age where near vision is a challenge.

    Kind regards,
    /Rob

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rob,

      The answer to your question is: yes.

      Presbyopia is a stiffening of the crystalline lens that reduces its ability to accommodate, to change between near and far focus. It is typically associated with aging, kicking in after about age 40. Net focal range is controlled by a combination of the eye’s axial length, and the ability of the crystalline lens to change shape.

      Presbyopia typically manifests as a reduced ability to focus on very close objects, and in that way it is similar to hyperopia or farsightedness. But it is really a reduction in net focal range, so that a person can suffer from loss of both distance and close up focal ability at the same time.

      One natural adaptation that allows one to overcome presbyopia is “mono vision” — the tendency of each eye to specialize, one for distance and one for near work. Thereby, in combination they can cover a wider range. I myself have some degree of presbyopia, and I’ve allowed my left eye to specialize more for close work and my right eye for distance. What I find is that with two eyes working together the brain chooses the focus of the whichever eye is in better focus.

      It’s still a good idea to maximize the total near to far focusing ability of each eye separately. You can work to improve near vision of each eye separately, or both together, by “print pulling”. Periodically challenge yourself by reading close print or fine print at the limit of what you can see in focus. Do this often, and you’ll find your range improves.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Rob

        I agree with your explanation. I am trying to reduce my myopia by print pushing without glasses and also using lower prescription glasses. But my presbyopia is affecting my exercises. I have very little distance (sometimes none) where I see clearly without glasses. Should I start using reading glasses on top of my normal glasses and do some print pushing? Or just use weak reading glasses and read very close up? Appreciate any suggestions based on your experience when it comes to myopia reduction while developing presbyopia. Too bad I did not have this information 5 years ago. It looks like a bigger challenge when you are 40+.

        Kind regards
        Rob

        Reply
        • Todd

          Rob,

          As you indicate, presbyopia impairs both your far and near vision. Your goal for near vision should be to read without glasses or contacts. For that, the preferred method is “print pulling”. Start by reading at whatever distance you can without glasses, and continually test that distance by bringing the reading material in closer, to the edge of blur. For that, you should not need any glasses at all, just patience.

          You might consider buying some adjustable lenses from adlens.com. They are really neat, as they allow you to continually dial in the precise degree of correction that keeps you at the edge of blur, whether that be for reducing your myopia or your hyperopic presbyopia.

          Todd

          Reply
          • Rob

            Thanks Todd. I will definitely buy a pair of adjustable lenses if they ship to europe. What do you think would be a good approach to alternate between print pushing and print pulling? Doing 15 minutes of one and then change or dedicating longer times eg a day for each before changing? I think short times reduces overall strain but might provide too little stimulus.

            Regards
            Rob

            Reply
            • Todd

              Rob, there’s not a lot of data on this, so you pretty much have to go with personal experience. Alternation seems quite reasonable to me — the frequency is something worth experimenting with. Changing things up also will counteract the tedium and keep it fresh and fun like a game. Since there is no absolutely right way to do this, it’s best to keep the principle of hormesis in mind: the right level and frequency of stress is that which stimulates change but does not lead to overtraining, injury or pain. It is as much art as science. Don’t obsess about specific tactics, try to understand and adapt the general principle to your own circumstance.

              In this context, you might find interesting my other article on the concept of “stress oscillation” to promote allostasis — a fancy term for increasing your range of capability in both directions. Very relevant to your presbyopic narrowing of focal range.

              http://gettingstronger.org/2011/08/get-stronger-using-stress-oscillation/

              Todd

              Reply
              • Rob

                I will add some near focus training. If I mange to lower my myopia will I experience higher degree of presbyopia? Any experience?

                Regards
                Rob

                Reply
                • Todd

                  Reducing myopia doesn’t directly cause hyperopia or presbyopia. Presbyopia is typically a result of hardening of the crystal lens, or lens spasm, reducing your range of focus. Practice both print pushing and print pulling to maximize your “allostasic” or adaptive range.

  14. Pranav

    Hi,

    I really appreciate your work Todd. I have a query regarding print pushing.My prescription is -2 D in both eyes and my main work on computer involves editing images and videos, so there’s almost no text to work on. The images are zoomed in to such extent that we see only pixels. I spend almost 12-15 hours in front of the screen. How can this technique be applied in this case?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Pranav,

      Your myopia is mild. At -2D, you are ideally situated to work on resolving image focus at a comfortable sitting distance (around 19-20 inches from a screen) without using any glasses or lenses. Text is not necessary; you can equally work with any high contrast edge features. Are you able to fixate on such edges of the pixelated images you describe?

      As your myopia reduces, you may want to buy some weak plus lenses and sit close enough to be working at the edge of focus.

      Sitting in front of a computer for 12-15 hours a day presents its own challenge. To avoid eye fatigue, be sure to take breaks at least every hour. Get up, walk around and shake things loose. Even when seated at the computer screen, try to look around the room at different objects or people in the room now and then.

      Todd

      Reply
  15. Barbara Torres

    Very interesting I will definitely be practising this method as I have spent a fortune on a Visrectomy on both my eyes and now I cannot see outside when the light is bright. Its frustrating.

    Reply
  16. Linda Davis

    You said for distance, get glasses with -5 D less. How do I do that without a prescription? Adlens does not offer high prescriptions like I have.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Linda, I said 0.5 D (half a diopter) less, not 5D less!

      I mentioned two providers — for different purposes:
      1. Zennioptical.com – for online custom lenses and frames of ANY prescription, even high ones. Use them for you undercorrected distance lenses.
      2. Adlens.com – for adjustable lenses, that can be dialed into a wide (but limited) range of diopter corrections. Use them for print pushing.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • Linda Davis

        Sorry, I did mean -.5D :-)
        Thank you!

        Reply
        • Linda Davis

          Oh, will this method really work for me? I am at -9.75 in both eyes. ( I wish I discovered this years ago!)

          Reply
          • Todd

            Yes, it will work. But only if you are patient and determined. I suggest you read the comments on the Discussion Forum, where others like you share their tips.

            If you want to read some testimonials from an independent site, not associated with me or my blog in any way, take a look. You’ll see that those who succeed are those who stick with it:

            http://darwinian-medicine.com/is-nearsightedness-a-reversible-condition/

            Reply
            • Linda Davis

              So, if I use reduced distance lenses for walking, TV, movies, etc and then use my original glasses for driving, won’t that reverse whatever improvement I may have? (I think I read that I should not use reduced prescription right now for driving.) I assumed I could use the -.5 decreased lenses for driving since that is a small reduction.

              Reply
              • Todd

                Linda,

                Print pushing for near work and under-correction for medium distance will not be cancelled by some driving with your full prescription glasses. You could also consider trying a minor under-correction of 0.25 to 0.5 diopters for driving, but to be safe, first test your Snellen rating by printing out an eye chart and checking your vision at 20 feet, in a well lighted room, just as the DMV would:

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

                Todd

                Reply
                • Linda Davis

                  So, I want to understand my print pushing. It is ok to use my naked eye, correct? I am about -9.5 now. I see you have said to use the naked eye or to use under corrected lenses with plus .2 D added.
                  How long do I read at D2 and then at D1? Do I alternate between the two every second or so, or wait minutes between?
                  Also, when I read at D2, should the words clear up then, or will that happen after weeks/months of this print pushing?

                • Todd

                  Linda,

                  D2 and D1 are very, very close. Think of it like the difference between lifting a way at the edge of your comfort level vs. just beyond what is comfortable. You want to be right at the edge. So it is not so much about “alternating” between two distinct states — blur vs. non-blur — but rather about occassionally testing yourself to be sure you are staying close to that edge. So mainly you are reading at D1 (edge of focus) and occasionally checking for D2 (edge of blur) perhaps every few minutes. Eventually, you are barely conscious of this habit. Certainly you can’t be oscillating every few seconds or you would be unable to concentrate on reading. You’d probably go crazy!

                  When you push very slightly into D2 and blink, the print should clear and that becomes the new D1. If the print remains blurry, back off. This should happen every time you read — not after weeks and months. What happens after weeks and months is that D1 and D2 distances become longer and you can read by sitting farther away from your book or computer.

  17. Jun

    I want to ask you how much is the degree of how long it took back to normal vision

    600 degrees eyes can also use this way Reading needs with low degree of glasses or naked eye directly

    D1 and D2 reading should be moved back and forth when you have to remain in D1 and D2

    Reply
    • Todd

      Jun,

      It took me a year to get normal vision, starting from about OD -1.00, OS -1.75.

      There is no exact answer to your question about how long it will take you. It depends not only on how strong your myopia is, but how committed and persistent you are, on correct technique, and on diet, age and genetics.

      I don’t know what you mean by “600 degrees eyes”.

      D1 and D2 are VERY CLOSE. So moving back and forth just means periodically testing to make sure you are at the edge of blur. If you move back and see no blur, you were sitting too close.

      Watch the video carefully. The technique is explained there, and all your above questions are answered there. You can also visit the Discussion Forum and ask questions there.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Jun

        “600 degrees eyes”=== -6.00D

        I age is 26 parents are not myopia

        OD -4.75 astigmatism 0.75 OS -6.00 astigmatism 0.75
        Very bad in the eyes I hope you can give me some advice

        For example, Reading computer watching movies I should be Low wear prescription glasses or Don’t wear glasses to read

        I watch your video Prescription only mentioned in -3.00 D I don’t know my -4.75D -6.00 D eyes how should do

        Reply
        • Todd

          Jun,

          Your myopia is moderate at -4.75. Many people who succeed with print pushing start out with much stronger myopia: -6, -8 or even higher. Go to the Discussion Forum and you’ll read accounts of people who started out much worse off than you:

          http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php?topic=8.0

          Since your myopia is stronger than -2, you will still need to wear minus lenses when at the computer and certainly when watching movies! If you reduce your prescription by about 2 diopters, to -2.75, that should work for print pushing at the computer. Plus lenses are only useful once your myopia improves to about -2D.

          The best strategy may be to buy adjustable lenses from adlens.com Then you can dial them so that you are always reading or viewing at the edge of blur.

          Todd

          Reply
  18. Rob

    Hi.

    I have started using a lower prescripton (0.5D) and practicing print pushing. Print pushing is ok but using the lower prescription gives me a headache. Any suggestions? Shall I make the transition slowly by using lower prescription more and more each day? I only use my old glasses when driving. Appreciate strategies for coping with the initial strain.

    Kind regards
    Rob

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rob,

      A headache, eye strain or eye redness are signs that one is moving too quickly. The right course of action is always to back off — either reduce the degree of undercorrection (e.g. use lenses that are only 0.25D lower vs. the 0.5D you are attempting), or reduce the amount of time spent with the undercorrected lenses. People always want to improve fast, but often you have to walk before you can run because our organs, be they eyes or muscles, take time to adapt to a stimulus.

      In fact, I would say the single biggest mistake people make applying hormetic stressors is to overdo it. This applies equally to overtraining with weights or running, crash diets and sudden fasting, and–in this case–going overboard with excessive defocus.

      The secret to print pushing is that you should barely even realize you are doing it! You should feel a slight tinge of discomfort, nothing more than that.

      Back off, my friend!

      Todd

      Reply
      • Rob

        Thanks for the reply. Will the training do any good if I do not use low prescriptio all the time? I am thinking the effect will reset. Being a long distance runner I know that rest equals build up. Maybe you can look at this in the same way?

        Reply
        • Todd

          You don’t need to be print pushing or using undercorrected lenses all the time to see a benefit. While it is true that some degree of what you call “re-set” or backsliding will occur between print pushing session, concerted sessions of an hour or two every day will allows you to make steady progress, just as the benefits of your running every day or every few days don’t disappear due to rest between training sessions.

          The point is to be consistent and continually push to achieve longer and longer distances between your eye and the text.

          Reply
          • Rob

            I will try to look at the exercises as strength training for the eyes. Another question regarding prescription: when do you decide to lower the prescription another step ie 0.25D. Do you need your vision to be stable on your current lowered prescription or should you go down earlier?

            Regards
            Rob

            Reply
            • Todd

              Yes. Don’t reduce your prescription until you eliminate distant blur from your new prescription. If you want to save money while you are reducing your prescription, you can get inexpensive glasses online from zennioptical.com, or even adjustable lenses from adlens.com

              Reply
  19. Linda Davis

    There is no “reply” link after your last response to me. So, I have to use this area as if it is a new comment. This is my reply to your answer #38.
    I guess I misunderstood what D1 was. From your slide, it looks like the words are completely in focus for D1. So, that was my starting point.
    Also, when I blink, there is no clearing, it is still slightly blurry. Unless, I am too far from the print….

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Linda,

      Yes, D1 is completely in focus, and D2 is slightly out of focus, but close to D1. If you are at D2 and blinking doesn’t clear it, then move back to D1, but periodically (every several minutes) shift a little to make sure you are right at the edge. There is no problem staying at D1. The main point is not to get any closer than D1.

      Todd

      Reply
  20. Rob

    Hi Todd.

    Two questions regarding progress and measurement:

    1. Is it OK to measure the distance to the blur horizon using a standard text, a ruler and your naked eyes or do you need to use your glasses and a snellen chart to get the blur distance accurate? I Believe the interesting thing is to get the relative change between each measure time.

    2. What progress rate should you expect when starting to use the exercises. Is 1D/year, 0.25D every three months a realistic expectation?

    Kind regards,
    /Rob

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Rob,

      The distance to the edge of blur (D2) and the Snellen chart tell you two different things. D2 is measured by distance to typical font size in a book or on a computer screen. The Snellen chart uses much larger font letters, measuring the size of font you can discern at a distance of 20 feet. There is probably a correlation between the two, but in absolute terms they are different.

      You are correct that the most important thing is to chart your relative progress under CONSISTENT lighting conditions. However, the benefit of using the Snellen chart is that is it universally recognized as a standard, so you will be able to compare yourself to the general population, and a large body of research.

      (Todd Becker’s invented concept of “D2” has a much more limited following, as much as I would like for it to catch on :-) )

      Regarding the rate of progress, I don’t have a solid enough scientific database to give you any assurance. An informal survey of the comments in this forum indicates that this rate of progress varies considerably. There are some like “Shadowfoot”, a college age student, who progressed very rapidly. Others, like jimboston made zero progress. Another trend I see is that the first diopter of improvement is typically rapid, and it slows down after that.

      Do your own reading through the forum. Informally I would say that with diligent effort, good health, good diet and good genes, you could reduce your myopia by 1 to 1.5 diopters in the first year — but it could be higher or lower.

      Todd

      Reply
    • Just my 2 cents.
      1) Todd was successful – because he verified his own Snellen – and had the self-confidence to go “cold turkey”. In other words, no OD was involved in his successful work. I do not know what your current “prescription” is, but I almost all eyes are over-prescribed by at least -1.0 diopters. Check your own Snellen – you might be close to 20/40. (20/40 PASSES the DMV test requirement.
      2) Once you check your own Snellen (assume you read the 20/40 line with bright light) the next question is can I quit wearing the minus, when I have 20/40 – about -1 diopter. The answer is – with wisdom. The second question, is how will it take to get a +1 diopter change – assuming full dedication to wearing a +1.5 diopter for all close work. Todd is correct. Some people will see no change on their Snellen. The reason is that they quit after a few weeks. The people who have used the plus with total dedication, manage to get a change of 20/40 to 20/20, in about one years. Here is a video of my Snellen, with refrences to a source for yourself.

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

      Very few people take the time to do this type of self-checking. They are looking for easy and fast solutions. I think that both Todd and I agree – that there are none.

      Reply
  21. Rob

    Hi Todd.

    I am wondering about night vision. Why do you get worse night vision when you get myopia? Is there any scientific explanation? And do you need to practice during such light conditions in order to reclaim your night vision?

    Kind regards
    Rob

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi Rob,

      Myopia often makes night vision worse, sometimes causing a certain degree of “night blindness”. Here is a good overview of the situation:
      http://www.surgerydoor.co.uk/advice/healthy-eyes/eye-conditions-and-topics/night-vision-the-facts/

      The most relevant point in the above discussion is this:

      Road lighting levels at night are obviously lower than those found by day. This causes the pupil of the eye to become larger during night driving than under brighter conditions and the increase in pupil size can accentuate any existing small errors in focussing, causing a blur.

      The key point is that as the pupil enlarges to allow more light in, focal range is reduced. This is analogous to what happens when the f-stop in a traditional camera is increased to allow more light into the camera under low light conditions. An increased f-stop results in a reduce depth of field. To illustrate what I mean, take a look at these two photographs of the identical scene taken at low (f2.8) and high (f16) f-stop settings:

      http://www.canadiannaturephotographer.com/fstop/fenceposts.jpg

      By contrast, in bright daylight, your pupils contract like a pinhole camera, sharpening focus. You can achieve the same thing by making a tightly clenched fist and looking through the “hole” formed between your bent fingers and your palm. Try looking at your computer and notice how everything sharpens up!

      To your last question: nighttime offers an excellent opportunity to work on your vision! I find that looking at bright neon signs or the tail lights of cars present clear double images that you can work on fusing into a single image.

      Todd

      Reply
  22. JJ

    Hi Todd,

    Thank you for all your work helping others out of myopia and spreading the word – I cannot express how amazed and grateful to have discovered plus lens therapy.

    1) My prescription is OD -6.00 and OS -5.75. My work desk is 34 inches reading distance, which is too far to be able to read using a weakened OD -4.50, OS -4.25 “close-up” prescription. I have tested with +1.25 lenses from the pharmacy and it seems I need OD -5.50, OS -5.25 to be able to read the screen. However, this is also the strength for my “distance” prescription.

    Are there any issues with wearing -5.50 and -5.25 for both desk work (since it is 34 inches away) as well as distance? This means not having a “close-up” prescription. For paper reading, which I do away from my desk, I am comfortable going without lenses and print pushing that way.

    2) From reading the article comments and forum, I see it is important to take frequent breaks and focus on distant objects. When I print push paper-reading, I can’t see very far when I look up without lenses, to focus on distant objects. Should I still look up every now and then to try and focus on objects say 50 inches away, for “focus in the distance” breaks? I realize that is not very far away, but that is as best I can focus.

    3) As we continue to print push, will we need new prescriptions every 0.25 change, or 0.50? I suppose it really depends on every individual’s progress. I am trying to get an idea how many pairs I will be purchasing.

    It will be a long way until a weak prescription, from my myopia – but I have my eyes set on the first diopter reduction, and will go from there.

    JJ

    Reply
    • Todd

      JJ,

      The -5.50/-5.25 lenses you mention are perfect “under-corrected” lenses for true distance activities like TV, watching a lecture, etc. But for desk work, you should try going without lenses entirely. If that is too uncomfortable , try lenses that are about 2 diopter less than your current prescription, e.g. -4/-3.75, and sit 20″ away from the screen or book.

      For breaks from print pushing, just focus on whatever you can focus on in the room, at the “edge of focus”. You can even do this while walking around by concentrating on the objects that are just at your edge of focus as you walk around. Make it something of a game and have fun with it!

      You can buy new lenses 0.5 diopters lower at time. To save money, get them online from zennioptical.com. You can also by continuously adjustable lenses from adlens.com. Not the most fashionable glasses, but very practical and that will save you some money!

      Todd

      Reply
      • JJ

        Thanks Todd.

        I am also trying to find a Snellen chart suitable for people with strong myopia (I am -6.00, -5.75). Should I use the chart at the I See website? I don’t know if I can even see the big E clearly at 20 feet.

        JJ

        Reply
        • Todd

          JJ,

          If you can’t read the largest E (which corresponds to 20/200 or about -2.5D), try reading it at 10 feet (and double the Snellen and diopter to 20/400 or -5D), If you can only read the large E from 8 feet, then multiply the 200 by the ratio of 20/8 and you get a Snellen of 20/500 and a diopter of -2.5 * 20/8 = -6.25 diopters.

          Get the idea?

          Todd

          Reply
  23. Hi sir,
    my glass is 20/200
    do I need to continue using it in a daily basis while doing the reverse myopia excercise?

    because I study in university and I only use my glasses in some of my classes like calculus and physics.
    can I continue using my 2/200 glasses for my classes or remove them while doing the excercise or will it only worsen my poor eyesight?

    Reply
    • Todd

      Get some undercorrected lenses for distance. Subtract 0.5 diopters from your normal distance prescription. For print pushing (what you call “reverse myopia exercise”) you need no glasses at all because your myopia is severe. Please review the YouTube talk again or the slides above. It is all explained there.

      Reply
  24. Rodrigo

    Hi Todd,
    I have low myopia (-1.00 left eye and 0.75 right eye). My eyesight is almost awesome at daytime, or any other moment with sun available. My question is: How can I improve my night vision? I’m blind as a mice at night and while on ambient light. Sorry for my bad english.
    Cheers,
    Rodrigo.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Rodrigo,

      It is quite normal to have much better visual acuity in daylight or bright light and poor acuity at night — so-called “night myopia”. This is because brighter light increases your depth of field.

      As you progress with print pushing in ordinary light, this should improve. Also eat brightly colored vegetables — carrots, peppers, etc. — and fish oil to improve the sensitivity of the rods and cones in your retina.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Tyler

        Hi, my name is tyler and i have moderate myopia with -3.75 diopters in each eye. Do i need glasses from adlens or zennioptimal to improve my vision? And should i use those glasses in my classes?

        Reply
        • Todd

          With any myopia greater than -2, no plus lenses are needed. You should be able to read in focus at near distance, so do that with books and computer. For classes, get lenses that are 0.5 diopters weaker than normal (i.e. -3.25) and sit in the front row. You can order those from Zenni.

          Reply
      • Princw

        We have the same situation sir. I can see clearly at short distance but really got a hard time on long range letters. Maybe 2 meters away.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Yes. Watch the video and follow the suggestions. Also register for the Discussion Forum and read the discussions there. — Todd

          Reply
    • My 2 cents.
      You are very lucky to have a low prescription. If you checked, you would find your vision to be about 20/30 to 20/25. (Would pass the required DMV test of 20/40.) If you wish to further improve image sharpness at distance, I suggest obtaining +2.5 diopter reading glasses (for about $9, ) and use them for all close work. This is just “slow and steady” work. It requires a belief in objective science. As your vision objectively improves, you Snellen chart will become even better. You night vision – will improve equally. It just takes a strong will to do it.

      Reply
  25. Coco

    I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your article. I’ve just begin looking into that subject because I think I’m not using my progressive bifocal when I read on the computer. I was looking into some online glasses company because my glasses are never under 1000$ and I can’t afford to change too often. But I then thought of using my old glasses that have a lower prescription, do you think there is any danger in doing so? Should I just stop using them if I get headaches? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Todd

      If your older prescriptions are 0.5 diopters lower than your current ones, they could be quite useful to wear for distance vision. You can also buy prescription glasses for less than $20 on zennioptical.com, or adjustable lens glasses from adlens.com for about $30.

      Reply
      • Coco

        I looked into the adjustable lenses but they don’t cover my -13 diopters. I didn’t know about Zenni though. The cheapest I found was 150$ but Zenni are much cheaper! Thanks!

        Reply
  26. Andrea

    I have been doing alot of research on under corrective lenses and the same test keeps coming up about how they had to end it short because it was weakening children’s eyesight more rapidly than the kids wearing the correct prescription. What is your thought on that? And how is this approach different?

    Reply
    • Todd

      I addressed this question in my post, “Improve eyesight – and throw away your glasses“, under the section head “Misunderstandings”.

      The key point is that one should not wear undercorrected lenses all the time, but only for distance vision. For reading and close work, one should do print pushing using either the naked eye (for myopia of greater than 2 diopters) or plus lenses (for myopia of less than 2 diopters).

      Todd

      Reply
  27. Austin

    Can this help with Pigmentary dispersion syndrome?

    Reply
    • Todd

      I don’t know

      Reply
  28. KBK

    Hi Todd,

    did you have the issue not being able to distinguish between D1 and D2? I often have this, just not if I wake up in the morning.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Todd

      KBK,

      Not suprising, because D1 and D2 are really not that different – barely distinguishable. It’s like the difference between touching your finger to a wall and holding it one millimeter away from that wall. Or between being able to lift a heavy weight at the limit of your ability and not being able to lift it at all.

      D1 is perfect focus, D2 is the slightest indication of blur, the onset of blur. Because the eye is dynamic, changing constantly, you will shift between D1 and D2 constantly even sitting at the same distance from your reading material. Therefore, the best practice is to keep “testing” yourself by moving back and forth every few minutes to re-establish that you are at the right distance.

      Does that help?

      Todd

      Reply
      • KBK

        Hello Todd,

        no, I did not mean that. When I wake up in the morning, I can easily distinguish between D1 (let’s call this “D1 morning”) and D2 (I can see further than my arms length). Clearing up a slight blur in the morning is very easy to do.

        But after a while, I can’t distinguish between D1 and D2 anymore. In the afternoon – at “D1 morning”, where I should see clearly – I do not. There is something like “creamy blur” as if I see through “dirty glasses” (using my naked eyes).

        So throughout the day, my vision deteriorates (?). I do not use a minus lens for close up. And for distance, I use a slightly undercorrected prescription.

        This issue prevents me practicing active focus. This is not like a “normal myopic blur” you experience when you push to D2 where you can see that “borderline”. I see no blur like that, BUT I also see no perfect sharpness.

        Reply
        • Todd

          Hi KBK,

          Aha, now I understand that you experience significant eye fatigue as the day wears on. Do you also find it easier to distinguish blur from crisp in brighter light? This is a typical pattern, and one that commonly we see as people age. Not sure what I can suggest other than to practice active focusing earlier in the day and in brighter light. You may also find that it helps to adopt a diet lower in sugar, rich in brightly colored vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, etc), and supplement with some fish oil and vitamin A.

          Todd

          Reply
      • kuber

        please approve my request to join the forum.its been pending since 45 days while i have so many exoeriences to share that happened with me in these 45 days.
        Kuber ,a (-4.5 /-4.5 D ) wearing 26 year old guy determined to reach 20/20. Just started though.

        Reply
        • Todd

          My sincere apologies for the oversight and delay, Kuber. Somehow I missed your original request, and am just getting back to the blog after extended travel.

          Your account is approved and I look forward to see you post your experiences on the Forum.

          Todd

          Reply
  29. Van

    Good to hear that myopia can be saved. But I don’t think you have talked astigmatism.So my problem is here,-4.0 and -4.5 myopia each eye,-1.5 astigmatism both eye. Doctors said my astigmatism is worse than myopia,usually astigmatism doesn’t this bad compare to thoes people have same myopia.I was so sad hearing this.So how do I handle my astigmatism? Print pushing looks hard for me,because I can see many words and I can’t tell where is blur edge. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Todd

      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, astigmatism is not directly addressed by print pushing. However, as myopia decreases, astigmatism naturally tends to weaken. You can also look at doing specific exercises using the astigmatic mirror and Tibetan wheel, as described in Leo Angart’s book, “Improve your eyesight naturally”

      Reply
  30. John Jorba

    Hello Todd,

    Thanks for your presentation and this post. I read it and have been trying your methods for the past two weeks. I consider myopia severe: -7R, -8.25L as noted by the most recent ophthalmologist, but I believe that was a slight overcorrection for a -6.5, -7.75 true prescription as those glasses seem to work fine.

    I don’t have to drive and am a programmer with a lot of dedication, I think I can give your method a fair shot, even over a time span of years. I have many hours available to me daily doing close screen work, with which I’ve been print pushing with a patch over my right eye until the left eye evens out (using a pair of -5,-5 from Zenni — great website, by the way).

    My question is this: If I find the quality of life acceptable to go completely naked eyes when *not* doing close work, should I? I understand your description of hormesis, but I want to clarify how it applies to far sight.

    Should I wear under-corrected lenses when not doing close work, if I am fine in a blurry world without glasses whatsoever? As you can imagine, with my myopia my eyes cannot really focus on anything, so I would lose out on your technique of reducing ghosting on sharp edges (to be honest, I haven’t been able to get that to work even with strong lenses, perhaps you can elucidate). But, the blurriness doesn’t bother me.

    I’m more concerned with efficacy — if it’s more efficacious to not wear glasses at all at far lengths even with a myopia of my severity, I will do so. If it makes no difference, or is recommended to use under-corrected lenses as I do with near work (perhaps to a different degree?), I will do that instead.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    Reply
    • Todd

      Hi John,

      Should you go cold turkey with the naked eye? Not if you have severe myopia. I find that gradualism generally is the best approach to applied hormesis. If a little stress is good, it doesn’t mean a lot of stress is better. At some point your focusing mechanism just “gives up”. Better to apply incremental defocus. Thus, use 0.5D undercorrected lenses for distance vision. Then graduate to progressively weaker lenses as you approve. You can buy new pairs, or get some adjustable lenses from adlens.com.

      You’ll find it is also a more sustainable practice to stay with gradualism vs. the cold turkey approach.

      Hope that answers your questions.

      Todd

      Reply
  31. JUN

    I saw your reply above a few questions

    D1 is perfect focus :Just focus on the retina form 100% of the perfect image

    D2 is the slightest indication of blur : From the 99% clarity
    beginning Sharpness 98% 97% 96%…… Have entered the focus of D2

    Such as when watching TV
    The characters and subtitle is not the same size how I should define D2 focus

    Reply
    • Todd

      Jun,

      It is true that the definition of D2 is somewhat dependent on font size of text. It doesn’t really matter much in practice whether you work with large text or “subtitles”. Just be consistent and work with either one, and you will find that your vision improves over time.

      Todd

      Reply
  32. Tanya

    Hey, question for Todd and Otis: About undercorrection, would wearing it all the time accelerate progress? My rx is -2.75 and I just got a pair of -1.75. I know it’s best to not rely on glasses but I can’t help but wonder if such extreme undercorrection could move progress along faster. Also I print push without any lenses due to my prescription level; would it be ok to start using plus1? I need to get the most out my training because I can only do it for 30 minutes a day. Looking forward to your response. Happy holidays

    Reply
    • Todd

      Undercorrection is not advisable “all the time”; use it mainly for distance viewing. Since your myopia is in the range of -2 to -3, you can read books and computers crisply at between 10 and 20 inches with your naked eye. That’s very convenient for print pushing. You can try the +1 lenses as you suggest, but you will have to read at a closer distance. If you are comfortable with that, it’s fine.

      Reply
    • Hi Tanya,
      I do not want to “dispute” a prescription as such. But I find that a large number of OD, OVER-PRESCRIBE the minus. You could almost remove 1 diopter from that prescription. But the ONLY way to check this – is to set up your own Snellen, and read it yourself. (Too many people omit this step.) If you can read the 20/40 to 20/60 line, you can probably read in good light with a +1 on. Your distant vision will of course still be blurry, but, you can do all reading with no glasses on at all. (This is your personal choice, of course.) This is the same idea as Todd’s, print pushing. I wear a plus for all close work, not 30 minutes a day – so you know how I feel about this situation. It is a long-term proposition, for you. Here is the eye-chart for your home use:

      http://www.i-see.org/block_letter_eye_chart.pdf

      Put a bright light on it for consistent and accurate results. It does take a lot of courage to do this – for some reason. Be prepared – this is a slow process. For me, exceeding the 20/40 line after six months, would be a success – because it passes the DMV requirement. Do not ask for “perfect”, ask for reasonable.

      Reply
  33. Shane

    Todd:

    So I have heard of lens-induced myopia and told my eye doctor to give me a Plano pair of glasses (not negative or positive) with anti-reflective coating for driving purposes. I’m only -1 in both eyes. Also have astigmatism in both. The eye doctor suggested a 0 plus/minus prescription, to avoid negative lenses, but a correction for my astigmatism. At the store, it did help me see slightly better…

    My question: would a pair of zero plus/negative lenses with only astigmatism correction still damage my eyes or cause lense-induced myopia?? Any drawbacks?

    -Shane

    Reply
    • Todd

      I don’t see any downside to your suggestion of plano lenses with astigmatism correction. However, you might want to work on naturally reversing your myopia using exercises such as the astigmatic mirror or Tibetan wheel, as described in Leo Angart’s book, “Improve your eyesight naturally”. You can also google these methods online.

      Todd

      Reply
      • Prince

        Hi sir! I have myopia, and I’m hoping to get a 20/20 visual acuity for I am going to study in a police academy. I need help sir.

        Reply

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