I have long held the belief that 90+% of people that need glasses have correctable vision. My basis for this is:
- Roughly 75% of Americans wear glasses or contacts today. If 75% of the population needed corrective lenses before they were invented we certainly wouldn’t have been a successful species. We definitely wouldn’t have been very good hunters or gatherers. It doesn’t make logical sense that so many people can have bad vision and for it not to have been selected out with natural selection.
- I have personally tracked and measured differences in my vision that correlates to my lifestyle/and exercise.
- Stories my high school teacher told about his time teaching in rural Africa, when he tested the entire school, not one student had worse than 20/20.
- Professional athletes (baseball in particular) trains eyesight and seems to have success at it.
- If poor vision was structural (shape of the eye) I find it difficult to believe that eyesight would continue to get worse and worse year after year for most people given that your eye doesn’t grow much if at all in size from the day you are born.
Last week I saw an advertisement for a product claiming to have exercises to correct your eyesight. It got me thinking again about this idea and what really might work to help train your vision to actually ‘cure’ myopia.
The Bates method usually comes up. I think most of the methods he invented are ineffective or sub-optimal. I think we can do much better with our modern understanding of the structure of the eye, and with modern tools to help measure and more precisely give feedback about what does and doesn’t affect your ability to focus.
The key thing to measure is your far point. this is the furthest away that your eye will focus, and it maps to your prescription for a corrective lens. If you can focus to 1 meter away, then you need a -1 diopter lens to adjust to see to infinity. If you can see 1/2 meter then it takes a -2.0 diopter lens. 25cm far point is -4 diopters. If you measure your far point then you have a good idea of what your prescription would be.
I have been pondering a set of tools and a program that could be used to actually make this work. Something that would actually get people back to 20/20 vision would be a game changer. I’m fairly confident it can be done.