Slight myopia improvement consistent with modern theories

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by A.G.McDowell, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. A.G.McDowell

    A.G.McDowell Guest

    In February I heard of possible links between myopia and exposure to
    sunlight (e.g. search or
    100-generation-specs-stopping-the-shortsight-epidemic.html?page=2 or I have always spent a lot of
    time reading indoors, and have got more shortsighted every year. I
    decided to spend a great deal more time outdoors and see what happened.
    I have just had my yearly eye test. My optician tells me that I am
    slightly less short sighted (from about 20 dioptres + astigmatism to
    about 19 dioptres + astigmatism) and my corrected visual acuity is just
    under one line better.

    There are apparently three possible explanations:
    1) Ageing eyes - I am now 47, so it is about time I stopped getting more
    and more short sighted.
    2) More sunlight as above.
    3) Some theories suggest that correction of peripheral vision may have
    an impact. I have had to start using blended lenticular lenses, which
    don't correct at the edges of the lenses at all (You can pretty much get
    used to it, but I don't recommend it, because it makes it much more
    difficult to look over your shoulder before changing lanes in traffic).

    I thought I'd put this up to point out that there is at least one option
    consistent with current knowledge for those who want to feel they are
    doing something about their myopia - get outdoors more (even if much of
    this is just taking your lunch break outside or reading on the patio
    like me). At least under the moderate UK weather conditions it may not
    do you a lot of good, but it's not going to do you any harm.
    A.G.McDowell, Dec 11, 2009
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  2. A.G.McDowell

    Neil Brooks Guest

    My "protocol:"

    - Practice meticulous visual hygiene, including frequent breaks

    - Get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and vigorous exercise

    - Eat a varied diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables

    - Practice ocular motility exercises (a/k/a yoga for the eyes)

    - Use periocular warming (a WARMED (not hot) corn or rice bag over
    closed eyes, for about 10 minutes, a few times a day)

    This counters any ill effects ever postulated by idiots like Otis
    Brown, and without introducing the risk of unintended consequences
    like diplopia.

    As you implied: can't hurt; might help. But ... almost certainly ONLY
    for accommodative myopia; NOT axial-length myopia.
    Neil Brooks, Dec 11, 2009
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  3. A.G.McDowell

    A.G.McDowell Guest

    I appear to be a rare case. One of the most worrying things was how
    opticians started telling me that my eyesight would stop changing soon
    pretty much as soon as I left university, but until this year (now 47) I
    grew more short-sighted every year. Increasing myopia after University
    is not unknown:

    The paper "A Longitudinal Investigation of Adult-Onset and Adult-
    Progression of Myopia in an Occupational Group" finds onset of myopia at
    ages of 22-44. It finds 45% showing a myopic change over the length of
    the study in a group with a median age of 29.7, and an age range of

    The study "Darkness and near work: myopia and its progression in third-
    year law students." finds increasing myopia in law students of mean age
    27 years, with a myopic increase in 83%.

    (I found these on the internet, so I expect that searching will turn up
    at least the abstract).

    My lifestyle may be an extreme case. I liked reading and studying at
    University, almost self-directed, and this became my ideal lifestyle. A
    co-worker once commented correctly that, during winter, I rarely saw the
    sun, because I was commuting before dawn and after sunset and indoors at
    work all day. I work with computers. Anecdotally this is associated with
    short sight. The health and safety agencies never found a link, but I
    note that computer screens are often placed away from sunlight to
    minimise glare.

    The paper at
    on-specs-stopping-the-shortsight-epidemic.html?full=true reports both
    observational studies on people and experimental studies on chicks
    reaching the same conclusion. I am inclined to believe that I am a rare
    case of late myopia progression because I preserved into middle age the
    lifestyle that typically produces myopia during school and university.

    (Interesting counter-argument from that web page: a submariner reports
    that he is not aware of increased myopia amongst his colleagues. That
    environment would be an interesting test case. I would like to see a
    proper survey from there, but I believe that there may be security
    A.G.McDowell, Dec 12, 2009
  4. A.G.McDowell

    Otis Guest

    Dear A.G.,

    Subject: Being told "fibs" about your eye's not going down.

    When we place our natural eyes in a long-term "near" enviroment, they
    "adjust" in a negative direction.

    It is well known that this is the case for the natural eye (by second-
    opinion ODs and MDs). It is DENIED by majority-opinion ODs as you are
    well aware from their posts on

    WIth each "new" minus, your eyes simply adjust as shown in this
    (second-opinion) graph of the natural eye's response to BOTH a long-
    term near, compounded by a strong miinus lens.

    Otis, Dec 12, 2009
  5. A.G.McDowell

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Monkeys? Form-deprivation? Lid-suturing??

    YOU may be an ape, Otis, but -- Mr. McDowell -- despite sharing his
    surname with one of the stars of "Planet Of The Apes" -- is likely

    Breaks, Otis.

    Breaks, fresh air, exercise, and sunshine are pretty effective at
    relieving pseudomyopia.

    Now .... how is it that you failed to keep your own niece (, for God's
    sake,) from becoming a myope with a restricted driver's license?

    It's because you're a fraud, Otis.
    Neil Brooks, Dec 12, 2009
  6. A.G.McDowell

    Dan Abel Guest

    Whenever I see a conclusion drawn from a simple correlation (near work
    causes myopia), I attempt to turn the conclusion around. In this case,
    I propose that myopia causes near work. This seems true in my life. I
    was not diagnosed with myopia until fourth grade. By this time, I had
    already learned how to be a failure at ball sports, presumably because I
    had failed to learn eye-hand coordination since I couldn't see the ball
    very well. On the other hand, I was very successful at reading, perhaps
    because I could see the book very well.
    Dan Abel, Dec 12, 2009
  7. A.G.McDowell

    A.G.McDowell Guest

    This sort of problem is why I am interested that the paper quoted above
    reported experimental studies on chicks as well as observational studies
    on humans. The experimental studies on chicks appear to specify a unique
    direction for the arrow of cause and effect. Note also that the studies
    do not suggest that near work is the trigger (or environmental component
    of a complex relation). They suggest lack of light of the intensity
    experienced outdoors.
    A.G.McDowell, Dec 12, 2009
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