I came across many websites that demanded money for their project, but being a cheap-ass, I was ignoring them. I came about several websites demonstrating eye stretching exercises, as well as near-far focusing exercises. After doing those for about a week, I realized they were a pain in the ass to do, and they weren't doing much to improve my eyesight or relieve my computer eye strain. I did not continue them for more than several weeks.
Later on I purchased the kit from Martin Sussman, which at the time cost ~$30. He appeared to have a credible background, and the fact that it was an NVI research study helped me feel more comfortable about spending money there. I received access to various audio and PDF files with various exercises and exercise routines. Most of them were ocular stretching exercises, while some were imagination and the "bead string" method. I never finished the routine, which was supposed to last about two months. I got through 60% of it, and gave it up because the exercises were mind-numbingly boring and I didn't feel like I got any benefit from them. At that point i realized that this approach is simply not viable, and that there is no way people are going to do this. However, Dr. Sussman was true to his word and refunded me the money, which was very nice.
I would like to caution you about many NVI websites online that require you to pay. The last major one was the "See clearly method", where the site owners were charging $400 for a kit, most of which was the Bates method + some ocular exercises. They had a money back guarantee, but when customers demanded money back they were put on hold for up to 5 hours, and very fiew were actually refunded. The site owners were taken to court and lost the court battle, bankrupting the company...The stolen funds were tied up in litigation and I don't think the customers ever got their money back. Interestingly enough, it's now avaiable for free on their website.
There is another one that's still alive; it's called the "rebuild your vision". This one has many names all over the internet, and the guy spends a lot of effort marketing it. You pay the money, you get a small booklet, an eye patch or something like that. I heard from several people it's a waste of money. Don't fall for these, I would suggest you read the books instead. They are usually more informative and much cheaper.
The bottom line is that most of it is a waste of money, read on, and I'll tell you why. It CAN work, but not in the way they make it out to be.
The Bates Method
Dr. Bates' literature came up frequently in my searches, so I ordered his book titled "Perfect eyesight without glasses" to understand his ideas and evidence. It was a very convincing work as Dr. Bates outlines all his experiments using techniques such as simultaneous retinoscopy to support his theory of nearsightedness. It definitely felt like a holistic and completely natural approach. He places strong emphasis on the mental and physical strain that arises from seeing. I devoted one month to this method, frequently doing palming, shifting, blinking, swinging, imagination, and other relaxation techniques. I believe I was doing the techniques properly as I read the book many times and have been receiving help from the iblindness.org forum (I thank David for all his help and support). As a result, my eyes felt more relaxed and my computer strain was gone, but there was absolutely no change in vision apart from slight temporary iimprovement following palming. However, temporary improvement after palming is typically due to the pinhole effect arising from pupil constriction and increased sensitivity of the retinal photosensitive cells upon switching to a brighter setting... In other words, the eye is adjusted for darkness, and then experiences an illusion of clarity as it adjusts for a brighter setting. Overall, it seemed to me that as long as I maintain my near visual environment (computer + school work), I will be nearsighted. However, I was glad that my vision stabilized at -1D, but it is very unresonable for me to give up close work for this.
- Clear flashes: Most Bates supporters are very passionate about the flashes of clear vision they experience, and I was too. In the end, I had hundreds, if not thounsands of clear flashes, and my vision remained the same. It seems to me that 98% of clear flashes are due to a fresh tear film that forms over the cornea, creating an artificial lens. This lens corrects for some or all of myopia until you blink again, and the tear film is brushed away. The same effect can be reproduced by forcing your eyes open while facing a strong wind. If you try to keep your eyes open the vision tends to asymentrically blur, as the tear film becomes thicker it starts sloping downward to produce optically severe astigmatism. At the same time, a real non-tear clear flash can also disappear due to the blinking because your eye frequently shifts focus upon blinking, thereby "resetting" your accommodation mechanism. Either way, the effects are temporary and it hasn't gotten me anywhere. I heard of one person who had a permanentl clear flash which completely corrected his myopia. He said he was driving home once and experienced a clear flash that hasn't gone away. I don't know if that's true, he was on the internet so he could have been lying for all I know. Regardless if it's true, it happens very rarely, and we cannot guarantee anything with this method.
Thomas Q presents a slight variant of the Bates Method, where you introduce certain "good" visual habits into your daily lifestyle. It seems like a good idea because these techniques can become subconscious, which would constantly enhance vision. However, the result of this method was very similar to that of the Bates method.
I thied Ortho-C as well. It's a technique where you insert a special rigid gas permenable (RGP) contact lens into your eye for several minutes per day, and your myopia should be permanently reversed. Supposedly most improvement comes instantaenously after first application, and some additional improvement comes later as you apply it once a week to maintain improvement. John Yee has patened the techology, and he used it to improve his eyesight from about -10D (or something high) to -1.75D, and improved the eyesight of other people. The founder of the method, John Yee, claims the lens helps draw on the cornea, thereby releaving the strain from the cillicary lens and the extraocular muscles of the eye. It is very unclear how exactly it does this, but seeing as I was desparate for good vision and John Yee had excellent credentials (police officer, psychology degree, etc..), I gave it a try. I received a pair of custom-made lenses from John Yee based on my K-reading (corneal thickness). When I put on the lenses, my eyesight became perfectly clear (keep in mind, they are PLANO lenses, with slightly altered curvature). After taking out the lens, my eyesight seems to return to normal. It is an interesting experience and I can see it may work for some people. John Yee himself provided me with personal assistance, and has been very good with answering questions and providing personal day-to-day care to ensure my eyesight improves from this procedure. Unfortunately, I didn't get much benefit from the technique. It may be because I used plus lenses in the past. John Yee said the plus lenses lock your eyes in the different direction, which renders the eye unresponsive to OrthoC. I'm not sure how they are supposed to work. I think the lens has a slightly different curvature than the corneal surface of the eye, creating a slit. This slit fills with water, and creates an artificial internal lens, which helps focus light and temporarily remove myopia. I'm not sure if this technique works because I haven't yet met anyone who has tried this technique before the use of plus lenses. It may be groundbreaking, or a dud, it's hard to say...just be careful. John Yee is a very nice guy, and very supportive and understanding, which gave me a bit of confidence to try this method.
This is the one I had some luck with....see below