Follow-up on eye exercises

Follow-up on eye exercises to improve vision. (Was that on this ng?)
I heard on the radio about someone who was in Gabon as a Peace Corps volunteer, and she was living in a very thick jungle, so thick if they didn't keep cutting it back the area they lived in would turn into jungle again in 2 weeks, or maybe 2 months. So they only cleared the minimum amount of land that they needed, so in practice, one could never look more than 10 feet away.
Then someone she knew who'd been living there for a year? went to Kenya, wide plains and long views, but he couldn't see anything at that distance because he was used to no more than 10 feet.
He was probably a young man too, though she didn't say. Maybe I'm thinking he was in the Peace Corps too.
Anyhow, I think I almost do those exercises. In the day time, I look to the other side of the room fairly frequently (hard to do so now, at night, because the rest of the room is dark.) And I go outside!
But maybe I'll try them.
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On Monday, November 18, 2013 10:44:26 AM UTC-8, micky wrote:

This sounds like an apocryphal tale There's no physiological reason for suc h a condition to exist. And I doubt strongly that the person's field of vi ew was limited to 10 feet. I further doubt that the people could survive o n what could be grown in a 10' plot (was that the width? the length? the square feet?

Not having been privy to the rest of the threat, I can only comment that yo u might want to check into the validity of this scenario, whether through on -line research or by consulting an ophthamologist.
HB
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Good for you! Takes a bit of self discipline.
As with almost everything associated with the body.... Use it, or lose it.
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Crew members on the international space station are not only required to do X amount of exercising daily like running teathered on a treadmill, but spend time looking on a device to exercise their eyes.
otherwise they cold loose the abilty to see things that are far away. like a few hundred feet. although theycoul still see the earth at a couple hundred miles away.
use it or loose it.......
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Didn't know that.
I started questioning the whole concept of wearing eyeglasses when I first heard about split personality people having some characters with 20/20 and some characters that required coke bottle bottom glasses. Seemed like something more than 'camera construction' concept going on here. Then later, from a TV ad showing 'glasses' with tiny holes to relax the muscles in your eyes and remove the bias placed upon them by your glasses. Wearing those glasses for even a short time did some wild things to my eyes in straightening out the damage from using the 'crutches' of eyeglasses for so many years.
For example, I am slightly near-sighted and have astigmatism in the left eye. The left eye saw a standard TV not as 4:3 but actually as 3:4 it was so bad. Playing pool the left hand corner looks about 6 inches lower, downhill, those kinds of distortion. However, the left eye did NOT see any distortion if a pinhole opening were placed in front of it. That intrigued me, plus I could just as easily read the labels [tiny printing] on boxes across the room as be able to read a six point type in a telephone book in front of me! Something else is going on here. Those glasses, as primitive as they were, actually reduced my near-sightedness from being restricted driver to not restricted AND softened the astigmatism so the TV looked more square than 3:4, but moving the right direction.
Which brings me to the point, Eye exercisers exist! Can we get that for our home computers? Everybody spends at least an hour in front of one, why not 'exercize the eyes while there? Like, wear a set of plain piezo-glass LCD lenses alternatingly blank each eye and simultaneously flex the 'lens' to focus near, focus far?
Now THAT would help a lot of people.
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On 11/19/2013 8:51 AM, RobertMacy wrote:

It would not, because it is bullshit. From Quackwatch:
Since ancient times, many people have held the mistaken belief that poor eyesight can be cured by special eye exercises. This belief was brought to its highest state of fruition by a one-time reputable physician, William Horatio Bates, M.D., who in 1920 published The Cure of Imperfect Eyesight by Treatment Without Glasses.
In 1917, Bates teamed up with Bernarr Macfadden, a well known food faddist who published the magazine Physical Culture. Together they offered a course in the Bates System of Eye Exercises for a fee that included a subscription to the magazine. This venture met with considerable success and led many people to believe in the Bates System. However, the big impact of Bates's work materialized after publication of his book. This book attracted large numbers of charlatans, quacks, and gullible followers who then published scores of unscientific books and articles of their own on the subject of vision. Extolling the Bates System, these authors urged readers to "throw away" their glasses. Some of these writers even established schools.
...It should be obvious that these exercises cannot influence eyesight disorders as Bates claimed. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia result from inborn and acquired characteristics of the lens and the eyeball—which no exercise can change. As for eye diseases, the only thing the exercises can do is delay proper medical or surgical treatment and result in permanent impairment of vision. The claims Bates made in advertising his book were so dubious that in 1929 the Federal Trade Commission issued a complaint against him for advertising "falsely or misleadingly."
There is one rational method of eye training and eye exercises—orthoptics—carried out under competent optometric and medical supervision to correct coordination or binocular vision problems such as "crossed eyes" and amblyopic ("lazy") eyes. If the muscles that control eye movements are out of balance, the function of one eye may be suppressed to avoid double vision. (The suppressed eye is called an "amblyopic" eye.) Covering the good eye can often stimulate the amblyopic eye to work again to provide binocular vision for the patient. Orthoptics, surgery, or a combination of the two often can improve problems in pointing and focusing the eyes due to poor eye-muscle control.
Remember: no type of eye exercise can improve a refractive error or cure any ailment within the eyeball or in any remote part of the body.
http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/eyequack.html
The article is a good read. It includes quite a list of quack eye-exercise promoters and the legal action taken against them.
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Yes, it is a good read, thank you for sharing. However, to make solid scientific progress, just as one MUST question assertions, one must also NOT ignore observations. At least the Germans [when they debunked 'water witching'] added the caveat of, words to the effect, 'there may be more involved than we controlled in our experiments' allowing all the 'observed' experiences to remain in tact without referring to those experiences as 'bullshit'.
Mankind will not make any progress in controlling life on earth with a constant attitude of "that doesn't work" and "you can't do that"
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On 11/20/2013 9:02 AM, RobertMacy wrote:

That may be, but it is no more damaging than the OP assertion that glasses are totally unnecessary and all you need are exercises.
I am extremely near sighted. I've done the exercises and worn the patch to no avail. If the OP thinks it worked for him, then it did. I know it didn't work for me.
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ah, a breath of sanity. A well stated observation. Seems the only truth we can get from this thread is that vision is complicated.
Curious. Does 'time of day' affect how well your vision works, or is it constant? Or, food? Like after eating such and such, I have blurry vision.
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On 11/20/2013 10:43 AM, RobertMacy wrote:

It improves for the first couple of hours and maintains that level the rest of the day. No change due to food.
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On Wednesday, November 20, 2013 7:03:53 AM UTC-8, Mike wrote:

What you're describing is called "determination bias".
HB
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According to 'experts', your eye exercises didn't work. Go put on your glasses. ;)
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I never heard of eye exercises, yet I was trying it myself at times. I used one eye at a time. I could see clearer when I put glasses back on. I always found once I put my glasses on in the morning, I had to keep them on all day. Glasses make the eyes lazy.
Greg
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Not sure 'lazy' is the exact term, how about 'conform'? I too found that the earlier in the day I put on my glasses, the more I 'needed' them all day.
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Exellent example of a breakdown in logic.
Along the line of giving 'bad' advice ...
Rats fed poison with tender, loving care have a surprisingly high survival rate. Not that 'bad medical advice' is 'poison'; just came to mind as I read your reply.
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wrote:

An interesting issue. Do glasses make the eyes "lazy" or is something else going on here? Or some combination. One theory I have is that the brain is able to correct for *some* types of optical distortion, such as a certain degree of astigmatism. Like others, I have noticed that the more I wear my glasses the more I seem to need them but partly because the more I get used to seeing *really clearly* the less satisfied I am with the "ok but not really clear" vision I get without the glasses. Getting back to my early point about the brain being able to correct some defects... for the brain to do this it needs to have some consistency is the "picture" being sent to it from the eye. If you NEVER wear glasses then the brain gets used all the time to recognize the "bad patterns" and correct what it can and can get pretty good at it. Just like if you have one eye good for near vision and one eye good for far vision the brain works the two of them together seamlessly so you don't even consciously realize that as things get farther away the "picture" from one eye is getting used less and less and that picture from the other eye more and more. So the more you use glasses, the less your brain "trains" to correct the defects and it gets less and less able to do so. So when you Don't put your glasses on first thing in the morning your brain gets started right way trying to "fix" things. If you put your glasses on right away you are telling your brain "don't fix things today" and you wind up needing the glasses all day. All this is based on the "defects" being relatively modest. I don't think anyone who needs a high diopter correction, or who has bad astigmatism is likely to be able to "train their brain" to overcome it.
That's my wacko theory.
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wrote:

I think you make some good points. When I was younger my eyes were 20/10-20/15. I never needed glasses until I turned 54 (and "retired"). I soon wore "cheaters" and within the next year went directly to bifocals. Somewhere in there I developed an astigmatism. Apparently the muscles in the eye can correct for astigmatism until the eye "locks up" when presbyopia sets in.
A year ago I started wearing "distance" glasses, in addition to ones for computer use. It really came down to being able to see better with glasses than without. I can still get by without the distance glasses and recently passed a driving test without them.

Certainly the brain can correct minor (even some major) issues but it's not that quick and the brain will remember longer than overnight. When I was in high school they showed experiments with glasses that inverted the image. It took a couple of days for the experiment subjects to re-invert the image but after that it happened increasingly faster. I find that with lens changes (size, bifocal vs. progressive, etc.).

...at least that's my experience.
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