How To Maintain And Improve Vision


Can I improve my vision?

If you suffer from short-sight (myopia), far-sight (hyperopia), old age sight (presbyopia), strabismus (e.g. crossed eyes), lazy eye (amblyopia) or astigmatism then you can improve your vision. Many people with these conditions have done so. If they can, so can you.

Additionally people with more serious eye conditions have also had success.

How long will it take to improve my vision?

The time taken to improve varies for each individual and depends on their ability to apply good vision habits in their daily life. Improvements may be seen within a few days or weeks, but for some people it can take longer. Once you have started improving your vision, it's an ongoing process and it may take several years to reach a level of unaided vision that you are happy with. If you've been wearing glasses for many years, then it's not unreasonable that it can take time to reverse the process.

How To Maintain And Improve VisionLearning to see better with your own eyes is one of the most rewarding and exciting things that you can do for yourself.

How much can my vision improve?

It depends on you and your ability to apply good vison habits in your daily life.
Many people, even with quite high degrees of myopia, have improved enough to drive legally without glasses. Some people have gained better than 20/20 vision. Some people are happy to need their glasses only for driving.

Many far-sighted or presbyopic people have been able to regain the ability to read small print without glasses. Some are happy to not need their glasses for anything other than reading small print in dim light.

What are good vision habits?

Movement of the head and the eyes is essential for good vision.

In the same way that we can only perceive texture by moving our fingers over a surface, we can only see clearly by moving our eyes and picking up edges and contrast.

When looking at a picture only one part of the picture is seen clearly at any instant. The eyes are constantly scanning the picture, moving from one point of detail to another to enable the mind to construct the complete clear picture.

Relax and let the picture come to you.

To improve eyesight it is also important to minimise the effect of glasses on your vision. This means only wearing glasses when necessary, and then wearing reduced strength glasses. When driving you must be sure that your eyesight, with glasses if necessary, meets the legal requirement.

What are poor vision habits?

Staring is one of the principal poor vision habits to eliminate.

Vision is always lowered when you stare and eyes hate it. People with good vision feel strain and discomfort if they stare for more than a few seconds, people with poor vision are good at it and can do it happily for much longer periods.

When looking at a picture the whole picture is seen in equal focus. The eyes tend to be focused on the centre and spread their vision to see the whole picture.

Strain, squint, stare and try hard to see.

Is there anything I can do to prevent my eyesight deteriorating as I get older?

It is supposed to be inevitable that everyone will develop presbyopia (old age sight) and need reading glasses some time after the age of 40. Yet there are people in their 70's and 80's who still have good vision.

Applying good vision habits whilst reading and doing close work will enable you to maintain or improve your close-up vision.

Has wearing glasses made my eyesight worse?

Glasses are prescribed in the most challenging conditions for the eyes, the consulting room is dark and people are often straining to see. This results in glasses that are often too strong for use in normal conditions. Maybe you have had the experience of 'getting used' to a pair of glasses, the glasses initially feel uncomfortable but your eyes adjust to them i.e. strain to see clearly through them.

If you wear your distance glasses for reading, the glasses are too strong at that distance, and your eyes need to strain to see clearly. The same applies if you use reading glasses to see in the distance.

It is straining to see that lowers vision, and if glasses are encouraging this, then they can cause your eyesight to become weaker.

Is working at a computer harmful for my eyesight?

Officially there is no connection between using a computer at work and vision problems. However it is interesting to note that employers in the UK are legally obliged to give free eye tests to computer users and pay for basic lenses if required.

It is common to suffer from eye strain or dry eyes after a day at a computer screen. Many people believe that their vision problems started or got worse when they began to use a computer regularly.

Vision problems at the computer are caused by staring and straining. By learning and applying good vision habits, you can prevent eye problems associated with computer use.

Did my eyesight deteriorate as a result of studying?

There does seem to be a link between intensive studying and short-sightedness(myopia), but the conventional theory on myopia cannot explain this adequately. The conventional theory is that the eyeball grows too long, and there is no clear reason why excessive growth might result from studying.

Bates's theory that strain causes the external eye muscles to squeeze the eye into an elongated shape, and this causes myopia, provides a plausible explanation. People studying intensively are more likely to strain their eyes than those who are using their eyes naturally at all distances.

Learning how to apply good vision habits whilst studying will prevent the eye strain that can lead to lowered vision.

Why does my vision sometimes fluctuate?

Some people notice that their vision fluctuates. In fact everyone's vision fluctuates. It is often worse when people are stressed, tired, or ill. It is often better when people are relaxed, perhaps on holiday, or at certain times of the day.
This fluctuation is natural, and in fact is one of the things that you will become more aware of as you practise natural vision improvement.

Who is Dr. Bates?

Dr. William Bates (1860-1931) was an ophthalmologist practising in New York. He started to question traditional views on eyesight because they could not explain some of the things that he was seeing in his practice. He started his own research and developed alternative theories on the eye, some of which were ahead of their time. He recognised the link between the mind and vision, which even researchers today do not fully understand.

He discovered that it was possible to improve eyesight in many cases, and devoted his life to showing people how to do this. He published his research and techniques for improving eyesight in 1920 in a book called Perfect Sight Without Glasses.

His ideas were rejected by conventional medicine at the time, and are still not generally accepted today. However thousands of people have improved their eyesight using his methods.

Do I need to stop wearing my glasses?

Bates stated that the best approach is for people to stop wearing glasses altogether, but this is not practical for most people living in today's society. Modern teachers have found that students can be successful by wearing reduced strength glasses when they are needed. When driving you must obviously be sure that your eyesight, with reduced strength glasses if necessary, meets the legal requirements.

I suffer from frequent headaches, can natural vision techniques help?

Many people suffering from vision related headaches have been able to eliminate them by learning and applying good vision habits.

My neck is often stiff and painful, can natural vision techniques help?

People with vision problems very often suffer from neck problems as well. Many people have found that their neck problems have been alleviated when they start applying good vision habits.

Is laser eye surgery a good idea?

If you are considering laser surgery it is very important that you understand what is involved in the procedure and assess the risks.
Laser surgery is generally offered to people with low/medium levels of short-sightedness (myopia).
The underlying physical problem in myopia is that the eyeball is too long, and the surgery does not correct this. The surgery involves reshaping the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye), which changes it's refractive index. It is effectively etching your current prescription onto the front of the eye.

Some of the risks to consider are:

  • A fairly common side effect is dry eyes. The operation can affect tear production and lubrication. Seriously consider how you might feel about having eyes that never feel comfortable and require you to use artificial tears.
  • The operation can result in haziness, poor night vision, or starring. If the results are imperfect, it is not possible to restore the previous quality of vision that was achieved with glasses. Some people find such imperfections acceptable, others find it irritating and depressing.
  • It is likely that you will develop presbyopia (old age sight) and have difficulty seeing close-up earlier than you otherwise would. This may not sound too bad now, but don't underestimate just how frustrating this is.
  • Some people still need glasses for certain activities after the operation, and there is often some deterioration in vision after a few years.
  • A small % of people have serious problems and their eyesight is permanently damaged. The mental effect of knowing that you have voluntarily undergone this procedure in these cases is of course devastating.

In summary, it is a risk and you need to consider how you would feel about the consequences if it went wrong.

Why do so many children suffer from vision problems?

It is odd that vision problems are so common in children and it should be cause for major concern and research effort. Imagine the concern if such numbers of children were suffering from hearing problems or speech problems. For some reason eyesight problems can be written off as genetic and a pair of glasses routinely prescribed. However this is treating the symptom and not tackling the cause.

The proportion of children suffering from short-sightedness is increasing and medical studies have not adequately explained this. A likely explanation from Bates's work is that more intensive studying, involving a strain to see for some children, is the cause. And it is interesting to note that in countries in Asia with intensive education systems, myopia affects over 70% of children.

Why isn't natural vision improvement better known?

Perhaps because glasses, contact lenses, or surgery appear to be the solution to blurred vision.

The easy answer when we first get blurred vision is to get a pair of glasses. Everyone else does, so it must be right. They seem miraculous, suddenly everything is clear.

But glasses are just treating the symptom. And unfortunately they can cause the underlying problem to get worse, starting a spiral of worsening eyesight and stronger glasses.

Treating the cause of the problem takes more time and patience. But in the long run it is the correct solution.

Conventional medicine is not looking for any alternatives, and does not take Bates's work seriously. But they should. If even one person can improve their vision, and I am one of thousands who have, then there is a serious flaw in current medical understanding of vision.

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