Better Vision in Weeks

by Steven Carney on June 10, 2017

This is post #135, about improving your vision in a few weeks. I had better eyesight in 3 weeks and passed a 20/40 vision test at the DMV. Learn how to improve your eyesight below.

This site is a collection of breakthrough articles and resources at your fingertips, so feel free to browse the information here. Whether you have health, life or prosperity challenges, I can help you achieve the life you desire. I offer a unique mix of coaching, support and experience with multiple certifications and success with my own life challenges: a serious childhood illness, blood sugar problems, allergies, low thyroid, accident injuries, all overcome without drugs or common medical procedures.

According to multiple sources, about 60-70% of people struggle with vision problems. Some show up in childhood while others are claimed to be age related. Although many seem to be associated with age, they are often driven by unhealthy lifestyle choices and vision habits over years of time.

Indeed, the same lifestyle choices that lead to most chronic illness also contribute to vision problems, including unhealthy nutrition, inactivity, high stress, poor sleep and smoking. I cover these connections below and in many other posts on this site.

If you wear glasses or contacts for focus and accommodation problems (the ability of your eyes to focus clearly on close or distant objects), this post will be particularly helpful for you! I explain how your eyes are actually changeable and how vision, especially focus and accommodation problems can often be improved in weeks with the right combination of eye exercises and focus re-training (some people have stopped using their glasses after many years)!

Common vision problems

The most common vision problems affecting millions are:

1. Nearsightedness (or myopia), where close vision is good but distance vision is weak or blurry.

2. Farsightedness (or hyperopia), where distance vision is good but close vision is weak or blurry.

3. Presbyopia, where close vision is less clear, often claimed to be age related (like many age-related health claims, unhealthy lifestyle choices and habits contribute to this problem).

4. Astigmatism, where images can appear distorted and blurry because of an uneven cornea or lens which cause visual distortions.

https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/problems 

Also, for the problems listed above, you can have combinations of those problems at the same time (I’ve had myopia and astigmatism together).

There are also eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) which can add to the list of 4 problems above or occur together, such as cataracts and glaucoma. I’ll cover those eye problems later on (they are especially related to lifestyle choices), while they are less related to the ability to focus near or far (accommodation).

The incredible eye anatomy

Let’s start with the incredible anatomy of the eye, a truly wondrous organ, including its muscles and unique parts. Those key parts play a significant role in the 4-vision problems listed above (like any muscles, you can have some eye or lens muscles that are stronger and others that are weaker). Did you know that your lens, which allows your eyes to focus at different distances, is also controlled by muscles?

Here are several links showing eye anatomy, including muscles and how they help move the eyes and focus:

http://www.improveeyesighthq.com/eye-muscles.html

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/accom.html

As you can see, the major muscles for eye movements are the extra-ocular muscles. The oblique muscles also play a role in eye movement and eye shape. These muscles are all quite strong, stronger than they need to be (strong enough to change the eye shape), which is why they sometimes contribute to vision and focus problems.

My vision problems

I used to be farsighted during my early school years, meaning I had good vision for distant objects, but close objects were less clear. So I was prescribed glasses in my grade-school years. I hated wearing them so I muddled through without them most days.

Later, when I went through Architecture and design school, I was doing lots of close, detailed work under banks of fluorescent lights, getting hours of glare off white paper. After several years of school, I became nearsighted and my distance vision was less clear.

So my vision reversed from being farsighted to nearsighted (that was a big clue for me that this was not a disease or genetics, but work habits and how I used my eyes). With many hours of daily computer use since that time, my nearsightedness (myopia) has become even more entrenched.

In fact, there’s a widespread problem with computer users now called, Computer Vision Syndrome, a type of myopia and eye strain that develops from hours of eye/muscle use for close-in vision for computers, cell phones and tablets, leading to underused muscles for distant vision, including the important muscles of the lens.

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y 

Statistics

Years ago, I considered Lasik but they said my corneas were too thin (the front covering of the eye that is typically reshaped with Lasik). I was told that I probably had 20/70 vision in both eyes (20/20 is considered normal), plus an astigmatism in the right eye, and that objects beyond about 7′ would start to get blurry.

When I drive, I can see cars, pedestrians, signs and other objects just fine, but at longer distances, the edges and details can be a little fuzzy. Similarly, I can see trees and shrubs and flowers. I can pick out leaves, but the edges are blurry when they are farther away.

Fortunately, I can read street and highway signs okay (the white letters on the green backgrounds), but the edges of the letters can be a bit blurred at a distance. Because I’m an alert, defensive driver, I’ve avoided dozens of accidents over the years, something those DMV vision tests, based mostly on looking at small letters in that vision box, don’t account for.

Glasses and contacts don’t fix eye problems

If you wear glasses or contacts, did you realize that they won’t improve your vision or eye health long term? Like so many aspects of medicine, glasses or contacts are a kind of crutch. They don’t fix the eye problems at the origin (often the eye and lens muscles), especially those related to accommodation: that ability to focus and accommodate close or distance vision quickly.

That’s because glasses and contacts tend to treat the symptoms of those focus problems; they are like crutches you never get rid of. Similar to drugs and other medical treatments, they treat symptoms but rarely fix or cure the underlying problems long term.

Did you know? We spend about $40 billion on vision care (in 2015, see link below). And remember, corrective lenses can actually weaken the eye and lens muscles over time, meaning your prescription will need to get stronger every few years. That’s something I learned years ago, so I bought some of those pinhole glasses to help focus better at night while I watch TV, something I’ve done off and on.

http://www.visionmonday.com/business/dba/article/total-us-vision-care-market-revenues-reached-398-billion-in-2015/

Pinhole Glasses: Do They Work?

http://altered-states.net/barry/update303/ 

My dreaded DMV vision test

Last month, I had to renew my drivers license, including that vision test. In my state, they still rely on those funky, old-fashioned eye machines that you press your forehead against and look into. They are supposed to simulate 20/20 to 20/40 vision, plus double vision and peripheral vision tests.

I almost failed several years ago so I wanted to pass this time (if you fail, they can require an eye exam or restrict your driving in several ways), so I started dong some eye exercises, working with pinhole glasses and using eye charts (see below).

Guess what? I passed on the first try this time! I was able to read the first groups of letters easily (they were probably 20/40 vision), then she tested me for the peripheral vision with those tiny blinking lights on the sides, which I also saw easily. I had improved my vision noticeably in about 3 weeks (see eye chart details below).

Helpful exercises for eye muscles

Here are some basic eye exercises to help restore movement and focus at both close and distant vision (do these for several weeks and you should have some improvement):

A video with some Yogic eye exercises that helps balance the 6-main eye muscles by Nathan Oxenfeld (he got rid of his glasses after 15 years!):

These videos explain how you focus on objects that are distant or close, including the ciliary muscles of the eye lense which change the shape of the lense to focus at different distances:

An inspirational video about Meir Schneider’s incredible recovery from being legally blind in childhood (he went from 20/2000 vision to 20/60) and he doesn’t need glasses now:

Here is a good exercise for nearsightedness (myopia), which is what I developed from years of design work and computer use (and an exercise I used). It will help to improve distance vision along with palming, which helps to relax the lens muscles (they need to be relaxed in order to see distant objects clearly; chronically tight lens muscles from close vision will often mean blurry distance vision):

What I did to improve my eyesight

Not only did I do many of the eye exercises above several times per day for about 15 minutes, I started using my pinhole glasses every night. I wore them to watch TV for an hour or more, starting about 3 weeks before I had to renew my license (I don’t watch much TV like that but it was an easy way to work on improving my vision).

Those pin holes help you to focus more clearly, and because my TV screen is about 12′ away, it helped me focus farther away. I also put up an old Snellen eye chart, with letters sized for reading at a 12′ distance. Initially, I could barely read the 20/40 line with both eyes and the left eye. The right eye was noticeably worse, I could barely read the 20/50 line initially. You need at least 20/40 vision or better to pass the eye test at the DMV. So I knew I had to get better!

After 3 weeks of the eye exercises in the videos above (I chose several that seemed the most relevant), practicing the eye chart from a 12′ distance (I added a lamp because it’s on an inside wall with no lights nearby), and using pinhole glasses at night to watch TV, I could read down to the 20/30 line with both eyes and the left eye. The right eye improved to read the 20/40 line, although the letters were a bit fuzzy so I had to squint a bit. Still, I did see significant improvement over those few weeks.

I also used the pinhole glasses to read the eye chart, which again, helped me to focus on each line and each letter, which were clearer. I even read the letters backwards so I didn’t memorize them to fool myself!

The mix of eye exercises, using the pinhole glasses for TV and the eye chart, plus using the eye chart normally helped, and I was able to pass the DMV vision test on the first try (It took several tries years ago and they almost failed me). So I wasn’t given any restrictions or required to get a vision exam, glasses or contacts. Success!

Practice eye charts

Here are some eye charts you can print out if you want to check your vision or practice to improve it:

A standard Snellen vision chart for 10′ viewing, printable on a standard sheet of paper with instructions:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-test/

A more modern Snellen-type chart with sans-serif letters like the DMV uses in those eye machines or if they use a wall chart:

http://visionsource.com/patients/free-eye-chart-download/

Here are some sites with pinhole glasses you can order (you can also check E-bay or stores like Walmart), but look for well-made glasses with even pinholes running horizontally in a precise, even pattern across both sides):

http://www.pinhole-glasses.com/

https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&channel=suggest&q=best+pinhole+glasses&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjqgPSFv53UAhXLsFQKHSj2Dkc4FBDVAghVKAM

NOTE: Some sites that sell competing vision programs or eye glasses will claim that pinhole glasses don’t help long-term. But there is some good science behind them, and if you use them to exercise your eyes, along with other exercises, they can be a useful tool for long-term vision and accommodation/focus issues. I recommend using them while seated, not driving or moving around.

My own accommodation exercise

Did you know? Switching focus from near to far (and back) should be virtually instantaneous under normal conditions. We shouldn’t have to think about it or work at it (amazing huh?), the eyes and brain do it naturally! In fact, seeing objects at a distance requires the lens muscles to be relaxed, not tense or strained the way daily computer use causes (those ciliary muscles circle the lens so relaxing them is key for better distance vision).

Something I started playing with is a quick accommodation exercise for my weaker right eye (that also has astigmatism). I would wear the pinhole glasses at night to watch TV and I’d cover the left eye with my left hand. I’d relax both eyes with lids partly closed and I would also cover the right eye for a count of 10 (not rushing it), then quickly uncover the right hand to focus on the TV for 5 seconds.

I repeated that 5-10 times in a row to help get my right eye to accommodate faster and see better at 12′ of distance. BTW, using pinhole glasses also seems to help color intensity, an added benefit.

My accommodation exercise really seemed to help, as relaxing the eyes for distance vision is key, plus using the pinhole glasses to focus better. For me, those aspects were especially important for the right eye. And never forget that your brain is always involved in anything you do. It’s the key organ in perceiving and processing what you are seeing. Your eyes don’t work without it!

I mentioned earlier on that I would touch on some other common vision issues: cataracts, glaucoma and AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration). So here is a brief description of each problem and some common ways to help:

Other eye problems

1. Cataracts

Cataracts are a type of clouding of the lens which can make your vision blurry. Cataracts are thought to be caused by aging, but again, that’s largely false. It’s unhealthy lifestyle choices that drive these “aging” eye problems, the same ones that drive most chronic disease (heart disease, high BP, diabetes, arthritis, etc.). See the many posts on this site for details of how unhealthy lifestyle choices drive 80% of chronic diseases. The following links have some relevant lifestyle contributors to cataracts:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm

Cataracts: Inevitable or avoidable?

http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/prevention-of-cataracts.html

2. Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a rise in pressure inside the eyeball which can damage visual clarity and the optic nerve. A loss of peripheral vision can also occur. As with cataracts, lifestyle is a major contributor to the imbalance of fluid in the eye, including some prescription drugs (see links below).

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/glaucoma-2-cause.htm

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9710.php

https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/taking-control-lifestyle-choices-and-glaucoma

3. AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

AMD refers to a degeneration of the macula, the area at the back of the eye where vision and colors are processed (peripheral vision is often less affected). Symptoms include blurry, or grayed-out vision in the center of focus (a face might be blurry but you might see the head outline more clearly). As with cataracts and glaucoma, AMD has known lifestyle contributors, including smoking, inactivity and a lack of micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals, often used in treatment (see links below).

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration

https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/news/news/post/93-poor-lifestyle-increases-risk-of-sight-loss-regardless-of-genetic-predisposition

My future plans

As I’ve created a good foundation to improve my eyesight, I’ve decided to keep going. I have a goal to reach 20/30 vision in both eyes over the next few months. And I’m confident I’ll reach that goal! I’ve learned I can’t sit at the computer all day and not counteract that close work with more effort on distance vision. I look away more often to focus at a distance. I’ll keep doing the exercises and wearing the pinhole glasses at night for TV and checking progress with the eye charts weekly.

In closing

Vision problems, like many other medical practices, has created a treatment model of dependency and profits. Once the doctor tells you that you have a vision problem, they will recommend glasses, contacts or surgery. Few will tell you about eye exercises, pinhole glasses, focus exercises or other lifestyle factors that can prevent vision problems or help improve them.

Like medical doctors, ophthalmologists get little education in nutrition, activity, stress management or the things I did to improve my vision. They look at eyes as separate organs from the rest of the body while they tend to ignore the body and brain (never has any eye doctor mentioned nutrition, lifestyle or eye exercises to me)!

No doubt, selling you glasses, contacts or surgery is more profitable and keeps you in their loop (as I mentioned, it’s common to need new glasses or contacts every few years as your eye and focus muscles become dependent on them). Like medicine, the vision industry puts profits ahead of healthy vision for you and millions of other people.

If you would like to have better vision in a few weeks based on your own unique needs, working with a coach can help! I’ve been through these (and other) challenges and I’ve had significant improvement. Feel free to contact me at: steve@endsicknessnow (dot) com.

© 2017 by Steven Carney/End Sickness Now

 

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