Monday, January 23, 2012

Reading without Glasses

Sometime ago I read the advise to read without glasses. I started doing it and I found out that it was actually easier on the eyes to read without glasses or lenses. The disadvantage of course is that you have to keep the book very close to your eyes. In my case it means very close.

Unfortunately I can't do it with the computer because to look at computer screen without glasses is tremendous nuisance and the strain on my eyes is immense. Though I did try it for a week once.

I also read somewhere that if you never start wearing glasses for distant vision and keep reading without glasses, you vision will be good enough for you to be able to read without glasses, approximately -3 diopters. I wonder if that statement is true. If it is, we might be here on something and it would prevent a lot of grief. This mild myopia would be relatively easy to correct.

But I am also aware that you can't believe everything you read. Like the other day I read a book where the author claimed that wearing glasses does not make your vision worse. He sounded very sure of himself too but I am the living proof that it is a lie!

Anyway, reading without glasses or, if your vision is not too bad, doing all the close work without glasses might be a good idea.

The funny thing is, when I read with lenses in sometimes I have hard time focusing but with the naked eye I could see the page without trouble.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Is it easy to blink?

You probably don't even think of it. Blinking is what we do automatically without even thinking. It's like breathing, you just do it.

And yet, there is a right and a wrong way to breathe and to blink. If you have any anomaly of reflection, chances are, your blinking is wrong.

When I started practicing blinking, I was amazed to find out how "difficult" it was to do. The irony is, of course, that blinking should be effortless, it should be light, like a butterfly waving its wings. It was difficult to maintain this kind of blinking and you have to be aware of it all this time. And this quickly becomes boring...

People with nearsightedness blink hard in order to squeeze their eyes and get a little flash. Some develop a permanent squint. Worst of all, when they stare at something in order to see it better, they stop blinking altogether.

So, it's one thing to be aware of. When you catch yourself straining or staring, relax and adjust your blinking. Just practice light effortless blinking when you can. Blinking is a habit so I don't think it makes sense to put 10 minutes a day to practice "good" blinking when the rest of the day you blink hard.

So what's the connection between blinking and breathing? When people strain, they not only stop blinking but also breathing. They hold their breath and it can develop into a harmful habit. There are other aspects to breathing as well, though not necessarily related to vision. Essentially, the correct breathing habit involves diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing. Yet lots of people develop a habit of chest or even throat breathing that can lead to all kinds of problems, both mental and physical. Get any book on yoga if you want to know more about breathing.

Breath well. And remember to blink like a butterfly.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

For Best Vision web site

A while ago I found an interesting site dedicated to vision improvement, specifically myopia. The author claims to be an ophthalmologist but presents no info whatsoever. However he writes very well and is obviously an educated man. He's got some interesting ideas. He digs into subjects like anatomy of the eyes, eye muscles, etc.

For Best Vision

Of course I was immediately interested in what one can do in order to improve vision. Looks like the good doctor likes the idea of converging pictures, the "magic eye" principle. Strangely enough it can be done with computers and not only with books.

So what is it all about? The main principle is to train your eyes to fuse images in order to develop better binocular vision and to stretch certain muscles. This fusion is done in two ways: convergence, where the images are fused before the picture and divergence, where they are fused behind. You might want to print symbols that he suggests and give it a try.

I played with it but I cannot tell yet whether thee drills help or not. 

Another interesting idea: he compares good vision with a concentrated flashlight and myopic vision with very diffused light. With strong narrow beam you can look far but with diffused light you can only see close. He also gives an excellent illustration (a cartoon) about central fixation (An Eye of the Bird). He mentions shifting and saccadic movement but does not go into much detail about those. 

He also likes eye rotation exercises that Bates scoffed but he thinks they help to relax the muscles.

Unfortunately he put a bunch of videos on his site and later took them off without editing the rest of the contents so the site looks very sloppy. If you edit your writing, do it properly.

Anyway, it's worth a look.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chinese Acupressure

I found another article on internet that I might though would be interesting:

Natural Vision Improvement: An Alternative to Lasik Surgery

The site describes acupressure points that might release tension in 3 major muscles: superior oblique, inferior oblique and ciliary muscles. There is a point for recti muscles as well. You will find a chart with all the corresponding points.

Check it out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vision Fluctuates

My eyes feel strained again. It might be a good thing though, before they were straining and I could not even tell. Now I actually feel the strain. Not that it does me any good. I have to wear my contacts most of the day now so that could be a contributing factor too.

Anyway, try to relax if you can.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Henry Rawlinson

The picture above is of Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, famous for deciphering Persian cuneiform. What does it have to do with eyesight, you might ask? Actually, I want you to notice his eyes. It’s not a photograph but his eyes look so vivid and definitely not myopic in spite of hours that he (supposedly) spent working on unknown script. He was also a British military officer so my guess is he spent lots of time outside looking at the distance. Anyway, I think this portrait is exceptional. Here’s the man with perfect vision in spite of hours of doing close work. Somehow he avoided near-point stress. He should be an inspiration to all of us.

I think it's a good idea to put a portrait of somebody with a perfect vision where you can look at it often. Dr. Bates noticed that people's sight is affected by surroundings that included other people. That's why children of myopic parents are often grow up to be myopic. They pick up a staring habit from their parent. It does not happen every time but unfortunately often enough to give a rise to the false idea that myopia is genetic.

The way I see it myopic people developed a habit of staring/straining when looking at the distance and "relaxing" the muscle when doing close work when it should be the other way around. Even Bates himself admitted that the eye in the relaxed state is designed for looking at the distance: the ciliary muscle is relaxed and the lens inside the eye is flat. Dr. Bates in his book has some interesting photographs of people who stare and who don’t, sometimes even the same person (see online version of the book).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to Work with an Eyechart

First of all, let me tell you that I don’t like eyecharts. I think they are boring. I much prefer to look at the trees. But they certainly have their use.

I noticed that whenever I look at an eyechart as a chart trying to see how many letters I can make out I can almost never can make any. On the other hand if I just glance at it like an object (just something to look at) without trying to make letters I have some glimpses of improved vision. Sometimes if I just look at the eyechart for a few seconds the letters would come into focus but that does not usually last. The psychological switch is very subtle though and I cannot always get into the required state.

Another point is that eyecharts are different. Different eyecharts have different impacts. I like the one I made myself (just printed some letters on a sheet). I made several others too but they did not seem to be as good.

Actually the worse thing about the eyechart is its falsehood. People usually treat eyechart like a way to test their vision. Virtually every advice on the eyechart includes something along the lines to look at it until you can see a letter (or a line) clear (or clearer). Well, in my experience, if you can see one line or letter clearly, all of them become clear (except the very small ones, and sometimes even they are clear).

So I recommend you print your own eyechart. Don’t even bother with small letters, you can always print another chart with smaller letters when your vision becomes better.

For those of you who just want to print eyecharts and don't want to make your own, here's an excellent resource.

The main point to keep in mind is that you should be able to relax while you look at it. And if you remember the letters and are able to imagine them, it’s even better, I think that is what Bates called memory and imagination as an aid to vision.

By the way I am not good at memory/imagination thing myself but Bates reports some amazing stories. There is a case of a doctor who was cured when he was able to imagine that the printed letters were perfectly black.