Can the pilot "clear" from 20/50?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Otis Brown, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Otis Brown

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Prevention Minded Friends.

    Subject: Is it possible to clear vision from 20/50 to 20/20?

    Re: Possible "Spontaneous" vision clearing with a plus.

    Jack is a pilot and wishes to become a military pilot.
    Currently, his vision is 20/50. He was never provided with
    information concerning the use of the plus for prevention.
    Apparently the people who examined him thought that he regular
    "eye-length" myopia, rather that "preventable" myopia.

    It will be interesting to see if he can clear his vision from
    20/50 to 20/20 through his own intensive use of the plus.

    If he is successful then, he has "accommodation myopia". If
    he is not, then he has "eye-length" myopia. Unfortunately, no one
    can make this determination of this fact until AFTER he has
    cleared his distant vision to 20/20.

    Enjoy the discussion.




    Dear Jack,

    Additional response.

    Jack> Just a little about me and my past -- in case you wonder, I
    am 27 years old and I became a commercial pilot around 6
    years ago overseas and 5 years ago, I immigrated to the US
    to pursue a career in aviation in the States. I am
    currently in training at the US Army Aviation Logistics
    School, I am going to be working on the AH-64D Longbow
    Apache helicopters as an avionics and armament systems

    Jack> My goal is to apply for Warrant Officer Flight Training as
    soon as I get to my active duty unit. Nowadays, our long
    day training schedules and poor lighting conditions - like
    anywhere in the Army - are really hard on my eyes ... The
    U.S. Army requires 20/50 uncorrected distant vision for its
    pilots which is even more difficult than the current US Air
    Force distant visual acuity requirements. I passed all my
    physicals so far, maybe sometimes with a little squinting
    but lately it has become a worry for me.

    Otis> If you previously had 20/20 there is a reasonable
    possibility you can return to that level.

    Jack> A few weeks ago I was not even able to read the 20/50 line
    by the time I was ready to go to bed.

    Otis> Good -- in the sense that it is very important that you know
    exactly your starting point.

    Otis> It is important that YOU make all the measurements -- so you
    trust and believe them. 20/50 is your base-line position.
    With a trial-lens kit you would determine your refractive
    status to be between -3/4 to -1.25 diopters.

    Jack> Throughout 1996 to 1999 I passed 3 ICAO flight physicals
    with 20/20 vision -- and had to squint somewhat.

    Otis> It is profoundly tragic that they did not recommend the use
    of the plus for prevention at that point. I think they are
    OBLIGATED to DISCUSS THE OPTION -- they think they have no
    obligation, even to send you to web sites that discuss this

    Jack> In 1999 I took a First Class FAA flight medical in Oklahoma
    and passed that with 20/20 also.

    Otis> That establishes you eyes are fundamentally capable of 20/20
    -- and you have no true-MEDICAL problem.

    Jack> In February 2003, I had a detailed eye exam in South Dakota
    where I was told I had -.50 right eye (20/20-), -.25 left
    eye(20/20), both eyes 20/15. In January 2004, I took the
    military entrance processing medical and I looked through
    the Armed Forces Vision Tester box and was able to read
    20/20 on both eyes.

    Otis> Had you started working with the plus -- and looking at your
    eye chart -- you would be 20/20 now.

    Jack> My vision started to deteriorate since I started Basic
    training last July. I was able to see this once I started
    my career training. I do a lot of classroom work, reading
    books, working on equipment, playing guitar whatnot, and I
    simply can't spend much time on outdoor activities.

    Otis> This is true of all of us. At the Military Academy students
    entering with 20/25 vision go down by -1.3 diopter in four
    years -- to 20/80 to 20/100. And this is the AVERAGE for
    the entire class! An no one says ANYTHING about this to the
    entering students -- who might wish to work with the
    preventive method.

    Jack> Like I said, a few weeks ago I was not able to read the
    20/50 line on the chart I printed out from I
    have read the excerpts of your book and started using mild
    +1.25 plus lenses I got from our post exchange.

    Otis> There is a "discipline" to learn here. Plan to go to a
    stronger plus -- and read at the "blur point". Go to the PX
    and select approximately a 2.5 diopter lens. Read something
    through the lens. Push print (push away from you face) till
    it blurs. Then move in slightly -- until you can read
    comfortably. The purpose is that the effort is to have the
    maximum effect for vision clearing.

    Otis> There are two ways to use the plus. You should "experiment"
    with these two methods. I would use a stronger plus for
    both reading and computer work -- consistent with comfort.

    Otis> Feel free to ask any questions about any subject. That is
    the only way we can learn. I provide answers based on
    scientific data -- but not perfect answers. I believe in a
    "fighting chance", but I can not guarantee results.

    Jack> I also would like to help other fellow aviators who doesn't
    know this alternative approach.

    Otis> I appreciate your thought. Help yourself first. Only AFTER
    you reach 20/20 can you help others.

    Jack> I see many kids in my company wearing minus lenses and I
    feel sorry for them since those lenses are making their eyes

    Otis> You are RIGHT. I "arm-twisted" my sister's kids about this
    issue. They finally "got the idea" and always used the plus
    -- and always passed the DMV test.

    Jack> So far I got one fellow soldier started using the plus lens
    approach to prevent myopia.

    Otis> I have prepared a proposal for students entering Embry
    Riddle. You might find it interesting. It is under
    "Aeronautical College" on my site.

    Jack> Again, a big HOAH for your contributions to the aviation
    community whether in the civilian or military life.

    Otis> Thanks! Maybe in the future, when pilots-help-pilots
    becomes the rule, we will be able to start a preventive
    effort at Embry Riddle -- or with others who have a strong
    desire to protect their distant vision through the college


    Otis Brown, Nov 15, 2004
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  2. Otis Brown

    RM Guest

    Exactly Otis. Just paralyze the ciliary muscle and if he measures myopic
    after that he will be SOL. He will need a minus lens. Ask him if he had a
    cycloplegic exam when he was tested in the military.
    RM, Nov 15, 2004
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  3. Otis Brown

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Friends,

    Subject: Jacks decision -- under his control

    Whatever Jack might decide to do -- is up to him.

    He might decide to drop the subject tomorrow, and
    that will be the end of that.

    Or he might choose to "work" the issue. He
    has the intelligent, tools and "reasons" to
    do it.

    Since you do not know if he has "accommodation" myopia,
    or "cornea" myopia, or "eye-lenght" myopia, I will
    add another catageory -- normal-eye myopia, where
    the natural eye controls its refractive state to
    its average visual enviroment.

    Let us see what Jack chooses to do.


    Otis Brown, Nov 15, 2004
  4. Otis Brown

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Prevention minded friends,

    Subject: Overview of methods of solving problems.

    There is a simple way to deal with nearsighedness -- put a
    minus lens on it. Almost everone is "happy" with that solution --
    until they get stair-case myopia, most likely induced by an
    over-prescribed minus lens.

    There are two suggested ways to PREVENT nearsighedness.

    1. Bates, who objected strongly to the use of a minus lens, and
    advocated "relaxation", and "exercise.

    2. Raphaelson, who objected to the minus, and advocated the plus.

    The real difficulty is not these advocacies, but rather to
    have the person prove to himself that he can clear back to 20/20
    by his own efforts. Clearly this takes serious motivation and

    Here is a pilot who is doing this work. I do not know if he
    will be successful, Here is his evaluation at this point.



    Jack had problems with the 20/50 line as per this
    original post. At that, he could not even
    pass the Driver license test in most states.

    He now reports 20/30 or so, with some 20/20.

    This is indeed a struggle, and takes great


    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    Dear Jack,

    Otis> I apreciate your desire to clear your vision from 20/30 to
    20/20. I will help to the best of my ability. I do this
    work "for free". My purpose is to help you get back on your
    "career track", with "solid" 20/20 to pass ALL military visual

    Subject: Current status

    Jack> "Hi Otis,

    Jack> Anyway, I am checking my eyesight everyday about twice or
    three times.

    Jack> First check, early morning, when I get up, today it was
    amazing, I was able to read 20/16 line perfectly. My right
    eye is worse than my left eye, but even with the right eye I
    was able to read all 20/20 line.

    Otis> It should help to understand that there is a NORMAL
    difference of about 1/2 diopter between the eyes. For now
    just work on 20/20 for both eyes together. After you
    achieve that, then we will talk about each eye. One thing
    at a time.

    Jack> Second check, I do it at noon. I can read 20/26 easy with
    each eye and can read 20/20 with both eyes after resting
    them a little. 20/16 is a little hard to read.

    Otis> The standard is that you read 4 out of 5 letters to pass the
    line. It does not matter if they are slightly blurry, only
    that you "guess" correctly.

    Jack> Third check is at night before I go to sleep. It is around
    the same what I see at noon, maybe just a little worse. But
    I tell you, 2 weeks ago, I was having headaches squinting
    just to be able to read 20/30 line at night. I use my +1.25
    everywhere I can.

    Jack> Just FYI, I use Joel Schneider's eyechart which I got from and I have only 10 feet usable space in my room so
    I use the 20/10 line as my 20/20, 20/15 line as my 20/30 and
    so on ...

    Otis> That is fine -- it is close enough. Only when you are
    scheduled to go for the FAA or Military test should you
    verify at 20 feet with a high-quality chart.

    Jack> Shoot, I don't have a lot of time, they are closing, but
    anyway, I will just stop by PX now and get another plus

    Otis> The people who have "worked" their way out of nearsighedness
    report "variability", i.e., two steps forward -- one step
    back. Just be patient -- and keep "pushing".

    Jack> I will get back to you on Friday hopefully.

    Otis> I think you understand the issues correctly. Do any of your
    friends wonder what you are doing?

    Otis> I am certain you would help me if our situations were
    reversed. That is all that matters.

    More commentary:

    John> I got the +2.50 and have been using it since Wednesday. I
    had a little bit hard time at school when working in the
    Apache cockpit I had to get close to 15 inches sometimes,
    and I had to just remove the lenses sometimes.

    Jack> Anyway today I came to the comp lab with +1.25 lenses
    thinking the same thing and they feel like plano lenses
    after +2.50s... I feel like I am able to pick up a just
    little more detail with +1.25 s on...

    Otis> Other pilots have "experimented" with various strength plus
    lenses. You should do the same. Wearing a weak plus around
    the house is a good idea. You are moving your "near"
    enviroment out to "infinity" as much as possible by this

    Jack> I am an impatient guy, I kind of get frustrated sometimes.

    Otis> So am I. I have been "impatient" for a large number of
    years. I want to do more -- but I am stopped cold by "the
    powers that be". The clearing rate as near as I can
    determine it is about +3/4 diopter per year. I think you
    are close to 20/20 -- but must continue this work AFTER you
    reach 20/20.

    Jack> I have been using plus lenses for 3 weeks now but my sight
    is still the same. In the mornings it is usually OK with a
    20/16 - 20/20 but later in the day it goes down to 20/26 -
    20/30 and stays there for the rest of the day. I get
    frsutrated thinking it will stay like this all the time.

    Otis> This is why no one can "prescribe" prevention. It take too
    much individual resolve to deal with the eye that "hangs" at
    20/25. Please read "Shawns" statement about this issue. It
    took him about six weeks to clear. (i.e., teen to 20/20
    on my site)

    Jack> I make the Army standard alright but I wanna have 20/20
    vision at all times.

    Otis> A good pilot will pre-flight his airplane. A good pilot
    will personally verify his vision -- and will "control" to
    20/20, with out waiting for the 6 month eye test. That is a
    matter of personal responsibility.

    Jack> I am positive that if I go in flight training worse than
    20/20 the Army will make me wear glasses or contacts during
    flight training especially night flying. I will keep
    pressing on and hopefully will succeed...

    Otis> The standard FAA flight test is room-illumination Snellen.
    Please make that your standard. The issue of "dusk" vision
    I will talk about after you get to reliable 20/20.

    Otis> I will forward this to some freinds who are "fighting" the
    same issues and are doing similar work to clear their
    distant vision. One man started at -2.75 dioters and is now
    close to passing the Snellen-DMV (20/40). Another is at
    20/20 (from 20/60).


    Otis Brown, Nov 22, 2004
  5. The real difficulty is not these advocacies, but rather to
    I do not understand why you have to use plus.

    By reading your post, it is clear that your clients at least are
    intelligent enough to have their eyes relax on the snellen chart.

    There is no need to fight with the plus.

    Just check the vision many times a day resting the eyes, at each
    letter regarded, and it is just a question of time.
    Rishi Giovanni Gatti, Nov 24, 2004
  6. Otis Brown

    Otis Brown Guest

    Dear Rishi,

    Both of us argue that we must "change the system".

    The issue is "how".

    The easy thing to do is just be impressed by the
    "sharpness" produced by a minus lens. Many,
    perhaps most would object to anything OTHER than
    that -- because that is what the have come to
    expect from an OD. If the OD attempted to
    do anything MORE that what the "patient"
    expected (like use a plus) he would get
    sued -- and the other ODs would join
    in the law-suit AGAINT the OD who used
    the plus FOR PREVENTION.

    So in addition to the arguments they have
    alread "thought up" against the "plus", the
    can also list the fear of a lawsuit againt
    them -- if they attempted any work with
    prevention -- and the person did not
    understand the reasons for it.
    And you are providing a direct example
    of that fact.
    Otis> Rishi -- you come through loud-and-clear
    on that point. This explains why and OD can
    not "correctly" use a plus -- except on his
    own children. The lack of understanding
    is nearly total -- on the subject.

    Otis> Rishi, since I do not deal in "money" I do not have
    "clients". You should call them friends and pilots
    who have a strong desire to clear their distant vision -- under
    their OWN CONTROL. This puts total "ownership" on them
    for both the effort -- and results.
    Otis> That is what the ODs insists is true on this site.
    There is a three-way struggle on this issue. No
    wonder everyone is confused.

    Otis> We both argue for strong individual action. But the
    real question is this -- what will the person do?


    Otis Brown, Nov 25, 2004
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