Presbyopia, the need for reading glasses afflict a lot of people when they reach their mid 40’s. First you notice that you have difficulty reading in low light, such as menu cards in dimly lid restaurants, and than you begin to have trouble reading small print. You may also find that you need to hold the text further and further away until your arms are not long enough for you to read. You may try squinting, but that does not help much.

Unfortunately optometrists will often assume that you need reading glasses when you reach your mid 40’s. I know of many cases where there was no apparent test made just the recommendation that you consider by-focal glasses. This automatic assumption that you loose your ability to see near objects when you reach your mid 40’s, is an unfortunate mass-belief that all too many people are buying into.

The decline in eyesight is so linear that tables has been made correlating vision with a person’s age. At age 10 you have about 20 diopters focusing ability. You are expected to have lost half of your original accommodative power at age 30 and at 40 about two thirds is gone. Less than 5 diopters focusing ability is considered to be Presbyopia. At age sixty your focusing powers are supposed to be practically non-existent. Eye-care professionals consider Presbyopia to be present is virtually 100% of people over 50. Fortunately this does not actually reflect reality.

There are two main theories attempting to explain Presbyopia. The influential German scientist Helmholtz (1866) suggested that Presbyopia was caused by a hardening of the lens and Dutch Ophthalmologist Donders (1864), attributed Presbyopia to a weakening of the ciliary muscle fibers in which the lens is suspended. During the last 135 years there has not been a lot of progress since this is also the explanation most eye-care professionals will offer today.

However not everyone agrees. Researchers Saladin and Stark (1975) published a paper where they investigated the strength of the ciliary muscle. They discovered that the ciliary muscle actually continued to contract after accommodation was achieved, suggesting that the muscle had additional strength and could be contracted even further. According to Tamm et al., (1992) estimated that the ciliary muscle force should not be zero until 120 years of age.

How effective is Vision Training?

The Vision Training approach assume that presbyopia is due to loss of muscle tone. When you were 18 years old you could go out dancing all night and was not affected by this the next day. Try this at age 40 and you will realize that your body have lost some of the flexibility you took for granted at age 18. This decrease of flexibility also affect the eye muscles.

Vision Training exercises for presbyopia involve training of the eye-muscles as well as sharpening the mind-body connection. Presbyopia respond very quickly to Vision Training. Especially if exercises are started at the onset of diagnosis. Indeed, most people can avoid reading glasses if they start the exercises when they realize that they are holding their reading material at arms length.

Reading glasses are not inevitable. Its not about age but rather lack of flexibility.

This is what one participant wrote

I USED to wear eyeglasses from the time I wake up till the moment before I sleep. I am informed by my ophthalmologist that I have myopia and need +275/+225 grade lenses for my “old” eyes. In July 2000 she prescribed reading lenses, which I obediently and expediently purchases (expensive). At age 47, she says I am lucky to stronger-than-normal eyes. Age 40 would have been the ripe period for the occurrence of “presbyopia” – that’s when one starts to adjust the distance when reading that comes with difficulty in focusing and need for squinting. I also would not drive without my glasses on. It was then an already long accepted “Facial Innovative Technological Enhancement” procedure for me to be using graded lenses almost the entire day. I was also diagnosed to have astigmatism. It has then become difficult for me to drive at night without wearing my contact lenses and my reading glasses together as I needed the contacts to see far, and the reading lenses to read the speedometer.

One night, I forgot to wear my contacts – I had to wear my reading glasses over my regular eyeglasses for driving. Funny as it was, I still felt ridiculous – and more so not being paid for the comic bit! Watching TV likewise became strenuous from a normal distance without my glasses on.

All this was the “bleak” eye scenario for me before August 2000.

It was on this same month that I took this “See Without Glasses” seminar, which prescribed exercises to correct eye problems. Beginning August 26 until late November of the same year, I would do the Palming, the Tibetan wheel and “Sunning” exercises for at least three times each day. Although the first two exercises would cause perspiration over my eye sockets, arms and elbows (even while doing this in an air-conditioned room). I would feel very relaxed and a bit energized after each 20-minute cycle.

Since then I have not put on my contact lenses at all and have never found any need for my reading glasses except when driving st night for long distances. Even I have stopped doing the exercises since November. Night city driving no longer requires any of my glasses. The more significant development is I no longer have any use for my reading glasses. For such a useless expense I have used them only twice since buying them. My ophthalmologist describes this as improved “accommodation” in my eyes.

These days, I would only put on my glasses watching TV basketball only to read the tiny scorecard at the corner of the screen.

Otherwise, I find no other good reason to still be using these spectaclesat all. My vision has improved to a considerably comfortable level.

I am not one who is fond of taking seminars but I would choose always to take time to learn solutions that are “natural – organic” if you will. The exercises given are simple and convenient and doable anytime anywhere.

The philosophy is commonsentical. Of course, for anything the be successful, self discipline and determination remain two ingredients self-imposed and hardly ever taught.

I share all these as I believe everyone was born to have the natural gift of a clear eyesight. Great technological advances have not only causes the destruction and deterioration of natural capabilities within and around us, it has now purposefully overlooked age old imperatives to harness our most natural inner strengths and qualities. Sometimes, much to the detriment on an entire planet, mkost of the time the cunning annihilation of a simple concept. Eye deterioration is one aspect of our lives fuelled by this irresponsible proliferation of new millennium medical manipulation. It may be a good time to look closer into our eyes and rediscover what we have available within to keep them from further evolving into oblivious uselessness and “dysfunction.” Or just simply to keep them well or as good as they were when given the first time. For at the end of the day, it is inner-strength which pulls through and redefines betterment – if not for the quality of our lives, perhaps even just for the quality of our eyes.

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Saturday, July 14, 2001 by Dyords Javier

Post script:

Dyords keep talking to his ophthalmologist about Vision Training. She did not believe what he was saying. So he invited her to come to Leo’s workshop and see for herself. Dr Carmela Isabella did indeed come to the workshop and found it very interesting. 

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