Research

Here's the research by chapter. Thanks for reading!

Chapter 2

So we've known eyesight was related to genetics since at least the 1920s.[i] (Here's the first of those endnotes if you want to look up the twin study and read it yourself.)

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15989747

The medical news trumpeted, "Identical twins have identical vision, down to the smallest detail."[i]

[i] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317663.php

In the 2017 study, the results showed only 70% of the identical twins' eyesight was due to genetics.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28384718

Another recent study of identical twins found that, as they got older, they had significantly different eyeglass prescriptions.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1937488

But the common eye illnesses are multifactorial, which means that my genes only play a small part in how my eyes function.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779297/

The first study about the pandemic I saw talked about nearsightedness showing up in eighty percent of Asian young people.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27898441

So I questioned that number. But other major medical articles cited similar statistics.[i] The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned enough about the problem to commission a study on how to prevent further nearsightedness (myopia).[ii]

[i] http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60272-4/abstract

[ii] http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf

It's gotten so bad, doctors are using lifelong drug prescriptions to try and prevent further worsening of young people’s nearsightedness.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22161388

The number of nearsighted people in the U.S. has just jumped from 25% to 40% since the 1970s. It's nothing like the jump from 18% of South Koreans in 1955 to 96% of South Korean twenty-year-olds today.[i]

[i] https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/05/asia/myopia-east-asia/index.html

Experts estimate half the planet will be nearsighted by 2050, and extreme nearsightedness will affect one in ten people.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26875007

There's a term for it, called Computer Vision Syndrome, which includes the common symptoms of eye strain, burning eyes, and eye fatigue.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28980750

“The symptoms of too much screen time can include:

(1) eye fatigue;

(2) eye pain;

(3) eye heaviness;

(4) unfocused eye;

(5) blurred vision;

(6) double vision;

(7) burning sensation;

(8) eye dryness;

(9) excess tearing;

(10) foreign body sensation;

(11) itching;

(12) spasm of eyelid;

(13) sensitivity to bright light;

(14) different color sensation, and

(15) headache.[i]

[i] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0420.2005.00352.x/pdf

Nearsightedness only affects one in twenty East Africans, but it affects half of Asians living in high-income economies.[i]

[i] http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(16)00025-7/fulltext

They estimate nearly five billion people will be nearsighted. Of that group, they fear that one in five may be so severely nearsighted they could be blind. That could be one billion nearly blind people by 2050.[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161642016000257

Singaporeans knew even back when I was there that their rapid development had come at the cost of higher levels of nearsightedness.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8153707

But they've since documented that nearsightedness doubled (in the same genetic population) during the transition from developing to developed country.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28733687

Chapter 3

Since the eyes work together, not only will the wrong lens affect the eye looking through it, it will affect the growth of the other eye as well (at least in chickens).[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/004269899400233C

Put the wrong eyeglass lenses on school-aged child, and the back of her eye will get thinner or thicker within two hours. It can also correct itself again rapidly if she is later given the right prescription.[i] In healthy people the back of the eye is constantly changing, affected by blood flow, age, and time of day.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27537606

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22167095

Physicists estimate that our eye lens only does about 20% of the light bending in our eye. The front of the eye and the back of the eye do the rest.[i] (The front does most of it.[ii])

[i] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/eyescal.html

[ii] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts-list

a cup of coffee can increase eye pressure (though the coffee flavonoids also help eye health)[i] while a cup of tea may decrease eye pressure.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12022898

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29242183

Chapter 4

If you distract people by making them count the number of basketball passes in that video, half of them won't see the gorilla at all.[i]

[i] https://youtu.be/vJG698U2Mvo

The average area of the clear part of your vision (the central fovea) should be roughly twice the size of your thumb.[i]

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fovea_centralis

Chapter 5

In 1895, optician Charles Prentice was threatened with jail for charging for an eye exam.[i]

[i] http://fs.aoa.org/optometry-archives/optometry-timeline.html

This association eventually became the current American Optometric Association (AOA) (as proudly related on the professional timeline on the AOA website).[i]

[i] http://fs.aoa.org/optometry-archives/optometry-timeline.html

In 1937 Richard Riis published Optometry on Trial in Reader’s Digest, claiming the profession simply existed to sell eyeglasses.[i]

[i]https://archive.org/stream/optometryontrial00byro/optometryontrial00byro_djvu.txt

Clinical practice guidelines were sent to all members of the AOA in 1994 and New Standards of Professional Conduct were adopted by the AOA in 2011.[i] Even today, lens prescription errors can occur after the lens is placed into different frames.[ii] (But prescribed glasses are still much better than ready-made lenses from a store.[iii])

[i] http://fs.aoa.org/optometry-archives/optometry-timeline.html

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23952133

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22373170

In the laws of Hammurabi an eye surgeon who failed to heal the eye he treated could lose his fingers.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC510603/?page=1

the two specialties did not truly separate until 1979.[i]

[i] https://www.aao.org/about/history

But a recent analysis of one hundred and twenty-four studies on the errors of sight found only eleven of them were reliable.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28870179

Some studies show that, other than helping us see now, eyeglasses do nothing to slow the deterioration of the eye.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22161388

Chapter 6

His obituary openly talks about him as a wandering madman prone to periods of paralyzing anxiety.[i]

[i] https://books.google.com/books?id=MilnrDgQiwgC&pg=PA372-IA64&lpg=PA372-IA64&dq=William+H.+Bates+obituary+NYT&source=bl&ots=uJC2LOsAzb&sig=Len-Jp0boi1KsmS7Ct3v9jcwr3s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS-qPZseTYAhVqja0KHaknBmEQ6AEIVjAJ#v=onepage&q=William%20H.%20Bates%20obituary%20NYT&f=false

To promote his ideas about the eye, Dr. Bates' wrote and self-published an eye care book. His 1920 Perfect Sight Without Glasses is now in the public domain.[i] (Later versions are still under copyright.)

[i] https://www.iblindness.org/ebooks/perfect-sight-without-glasses/

“there is not only no cure... no palliatives save those optic crutches known as eyeglasses.”[i]

[i] https://www.iblindness.org/ebooks/perfect-sight-without-glasses/ch-1-introductory/

“Examining 30,000 pairs of eyes a year at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and other institutions, I observed many cases in which errors of refraction either recovered spontaneously, or changed their form, and I was unable either to ignore them, or to satisfy myself with the orthodox explanations, even where such explanations were available. It seemed to me that if a statement is a truth it must always be a truth. There can be no exceptions. If errors of refraction are incurable, they should not recover, or change their form, spontaneously...” [i]

[i] https://www.iblindness.org/ebooks/perfect-sight-without-glasses/ch-1-introductory/

a viewing device superior to today's Snellen chart (created in 1862)[i]

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Snellen

“Finally, about half a dozen years ago, I undertook a series of observations upon the eyes of human beings and the lower animals the results of which convinced both myself and others that the lens is not a factor in accommodation, and that the adjustment necessary for vision at different distances is affected in the eye, precisely as it is in the camera, by a change in the length of the organ, this alteration being brought about by the action of the muscles on the outside of the globe." [i]

[i] https://www.iblindness.org/ebooks/perfect-sight-without-glasses/ch-1-introductory/

Even in 1999 people watched a solar eclipse without protection, and only half of their eyes were permanently damaged.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19033886

Even today we don't have a clear connection between bright light and permanent eye damage.[i] But we can see that damage can happen when very strong exposures (lasers, welding) occur.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3532811

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28923583

Mr. Schneider went from being stone blind as a child to getting a driver's license without corrective lenses.[i]

[i] http://self-healing.org/meir-schneider/

Today we know that relaxation is necessary for a fully functioning eye.[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/ciliary-muscle

Experts currently estimate that the eye lens provides less than a third of our ability to see, with the front part of the eye providing the rest.[i]

[i] https://www.aao.org/bcscsnippetdetail.aspx?id=f38d473f-c836-4fe6-8555-20d34ce19816

Everything in the front of the eye is involved to some extent.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28951958

after cataract surgery has replaced the lens with a fixed piece of plastic. The eye still tries to accommodate, just not very well.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29386651

If Bates was including young people in his experiments, he may have misjudged the change caused by adolescent growth with daily shifts in the eye.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235051/

Guinea pigs given the wrong lens prescription had their eyes grow longer.[i] It's also possible to use other lenses to make the eyes of other mammals grow shorter.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28549092

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23493295

Even in young adults, there is still a slight shift in the length of the eye, something you can cause to happen in a period as short as an hour using the wrong lens prescription.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20592235

The entire eye shortens as the pressure within the eye normalizes.[i] A similar effect can be seen in young people after drinking lots of water, with a greater change in the length of the eye in nearsighted people.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21423141

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20447396

the long term changes of aging as being representative of normal eye length changes.[i]

[i] http://endmyopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Reduction_in_Axial_Length_with_Age__An.3.pdf

So Dr. Bates might have been right about the eyeball changing length during focusing after all.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5697689/

The effect is a correction of the person's sight without any change in the lens of the eye. Using these lenses at night can slow the progression of nearsightedness among teenagers and aid a little in the current pandemic.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29216865

The greatest proof that the lens alone is not responsible for focusing our sight comes from the surgical practice of LASIK. [i] In this surgery, the surgeon cuts into the surface of the eye (the cornea), leaving the lens untouched (but cutting the corneal nerves, leaving about 20% of patients with dry eyes).[ii] Flattening the surface of the eye is enough to improve the vision significantly (about two lines on the eyechart)[iii] and over a prolonged period (which gradually fades).[iv]

[i] https://www.lasikmd.com/blog/eye-shapes-affect-vision

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28671403

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16360207

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28596969

Chapter 7

They were busy building a profession, passing laws state by state so they wouldn't be jailed for practicing medicine without a license.[i]

[i] http://www.aoafoundation.org/ohs/hindsight/optometrist-jailed-for-charging-an-exam-fee/

The true conclusion of the Baltimore Myopia Control Project is that eye exercises do help nearsighted people.[i]

[i] https://www.oepf.org/sites/default/files/journals/jbo-volume-2-issue-2/2-2%20trachtman.pdf

The Baltimore study mentions "widely publicized methods of visual training" as being the only reason for needing the study without mentioning Dr. Bates by name.[i]

[i] http://www.ajo.com/article/0002-9394(46)91035-5/abstract

"The fact that very few have been able to dispense with their glasses is sufficient evidence of the ineffectiveness of the method." Then he goes on to say that they've improved on Bates’ worthless exercises, but - guess what? - they don't help anyone either.[i]

[i] http://www.ajo.com/article/S0002-9394(47)91862-X/fulltext

"The results are best explained by the formation of an artificial contact lens resulting from tear-film changes...a learned perceptual process may also be involved."[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7130612

Today we know that hypnotism does not change the eye.[i] But it can change how well people think they see.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15115060

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3307440

"Despite these eye exercises, rates of myopia in urban China have soared to nearly 90%, according to recent studies. 'China has among the highest rates of myopia and it's the only country in the world that does eye exercises, so it's probably not working all that well,'"[i]

[i] https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/05/asia/myopia-east-asia/index.html

"many children thought it was boring to do eye exercises and preferred to use the time to study... 97% of school age children did not know the correct pressure to do (the) eye exercises"[i]

[i] https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28531

So pupils simply maintaining their vision with a few exercises without declining could be significant.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24008929

"reducing distress and disability, improving self-efficacy, and preventing depression"[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12427060

The benefits on stress and mood also lasted at least six months after the end of the exercise trial.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15642811

For healthier people, more recent studies show that practicing seeing better results in - seeing better.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24179885

the authors concluded, "non-pharmacological approaches such as eye exercises... are not significant on myopia."

"it was seen that there was a slight reduction in the myopia by performing the eye exercises. Hence, it states that Bates eye exercise has significant effect over the refractive errors over the participants involved in this study."[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769202/

even a ten minute round of aerobic exercise can improve the eye's function.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29191783

Doing eye exercises can give relief to the majority of people practicing them, even if their objective results are only one line of improvement on the eye chart after three weeks.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665208/

twice the benefit a year's worth of our best eye drug is expected to give nearsighted children. And those exercises can be used with a lot fewer side effects than the drug.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28494063

Chapter 8

90% of human genes are needed to make the eye, genetics really are the cause of things like degeneration and increased eye pressure.[i]

[i] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1012354

Over time, almost half of those with nearsightedness will get worse.[i] It doesn't help if they carry extra weight, smoke, and have high blood pressure.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20207005

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469316/#R133

"the rate of progression tended to be the most rapid for subjects who entered the study at an early age with a large amount of myopia, and tended to be the least rapid for subjects who entered the study at a later age with a small amount of myopia"[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3307440

Over a quarter of the six-year-old Singaporean children are nearsighted, compared to just 3% of six-year-old Australian children who share the same genetic background.[i] Researcher Ian Morgan summed it up this way, "If children get outside enough, it doesn't matter how much study they do. They don't become myopic,"[ii]

[i] http://biology.anu.edu.au/epidemic-myopia-east-and-southeast-asia

[ii] https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/05/asia/myopia-east-asia/index.html

Once nearsightedness starts, going outside won’t stop it.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27618415

On the weekends the same teenager is in "cram school" rather than taking a break.[i] Not surprisingly, the rate of nearsightedness has climbed from 4% of Taiwanese six-year-olds in 1986 to 20% in 2000. By the time they reach the age of twelve, 84% of Taiwanese children are nearsighted. One in four of these are very nearsighted, and complications from being very nearsighted have become the leading cause of blindness in Taiwan.[ii]

[i] https://thediplomat.com/2015/03/the-problem-with-taiwanese-eyes/

[ii] http://www.pointsdevue.com/article/prevalence-and-risk-factors-myopia-among-schoolchildren-chimi-taiwan

So being outside helps if you aren't nearsighted, but something else is involved once you start down the nearsighted path.[i]

[i] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aos.13403/full

Let's start with chickens.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28063778

But something about being outside does slow down the progression of the chick’s nearsightedness.[i]

Researchers have explored different options about why that slowing occurs and found the "miracle substance" is violet light.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27618415

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28063778

the new, cool LED lights. How are they when it comes to violet light production? Not so good either.[i]

[i] https://sciencing.com/light-bulbs-not-emit-uv-radiation-15925.html

The worse our eyesight, the thinner the tissue at the back of our long football eyes, but still we’re stable for long periods.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29356366

“For almost everyone, the need for reading glasses is an inevitable part of the second half of life.”[i] One possible idea of why this happens is that the eye becomes less able to change shape as it ages. Instead of flexing (just as Dr. Bates said it did), the eye gets stiff.[ii]

But is this vision loss inevitable? Age, nearsightedness, and gender all affect vision, with adult men typically having eyes thicker at the back than adult women.[iii] While this holds across cultures from China to Europe,[iv] adolescent men may have thinner eyes than adolescent women, leaving them more vulnerable to damage during those early years.[v] Nearsighted adolescent females show visual changes at different times of their menstrual cycle.[vi]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928818

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5697689/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24950905

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21917938

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29338123

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25698200

the American Optometric Association says that these eyesight changes stop and stabilize again around the age of sixty.[i]

[i] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age

We know that many eye diseases are related to hormonal levels,[i] and that women tend to have significantly more macular degeneration.[ii] Women are also more likely to be nearsighted (though being white is by far a greater risk factor in the U.S.).[iii] Nearsighted people, regardless of gender, have a lowered blood flow in the eye.[iv] Nearsighted adolescents tend to have more hormones than their fellow students.[v] Hormonal levels drop as we age, and older patients with the wrong mix of hormones are more prone to arterial stiffness (and eye stiffness).[vi]

Have large-scale studies been done on what lifestyle changes can help this degeneration? Of course not. After all, “Presbyopia is the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs with age.”[vii] You don’t do studies to correct something that is inevitable. It would be like doing a study on reversing grey hair, which clearly never happens (except when it does[viii]).

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29551993

[ii] https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/amd

[iii] https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/myopia

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29607217

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25142847

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17108845

[vii] http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/presbyopia.htm

[viii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22440400

“This creates a "pinhole camera effect," which expands the range of clear vision to bring near objects into sharper focus.”[i]

[i] http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/corneal-inlays-onlays.htm

Chapter 9

But we still don’t even have a gold standard for monitoring blood flow in the eye (as of 2018).[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29577954

There are no studies on floaters and any treatment except a surgery, or vitrectomy.[i] If having someone suck out the floaters with a needle doesn’t sound like much fun, it’s time to name your floaters. Since normal eye fluid also contains enzymes that break down things like floaters,[ii] it would be lovely if someone did a study on floaters and enzyme intake for increased breakdown.

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26679984

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24247317

the underlying nature of the detachment is hard to understand.[i] But it is clear that slowing the flow using a technique called scleral buckling (making a fold in the outer surface of the eye) can be as effective as more intrusive surgical techniques that involve drainage.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809804/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8963161/

twenty percent of them will be at risk of blindness from either wear-and-tear retinal detachment or inflammatory degeneration.[i]

[i] http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60272-4/abstract

Why does the pressure inside the eyes change in the first place? After all our study, no one really knows.[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014483510002976

But recent advances in computer-aided eye scans show that the canal continues to exist in the vast majority of healthy people.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1939820/

The higher the pressure within the eye, the smaller the hole gets.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968930/

The veins on the front of your eye are so individualized, so unique, that they are used for identification purposes like a fingerprint.[i]

[i] http://www.biometricupdate.com/201508/eyeverify-technology-uses-smartphone-cameras-to-easily-verify-id-by-eye-veins

High blood pressure can make it worse, but so can low blood pressure, particularly at night.[i] Being a woman makes your chances of getting glaucoma more likely, so there has to be a hormonal piece to the flow. Being Asian increases your risk (part of the overall epidemic of nearsightedness). By 2020, ten million people worldwide will be blind from glaucoma.[ii]

[i]https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1350946202000083?via%3Dihub

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16488940/

The flow changes throughout the day and is highest in the morning.[i] Since the flow is happening practically outside the body, changes in temperature on the surface of the eye can increase or decrease the flow.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3032230/

[ii]http://eyewiki.aao.org/Computational_Fluid_Dynamics_(CFD)_in_Ophthalmology

a pillow reduces glaucoma (one pillow helps, three don't help more).[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274296/

allowing the eyes to fully relax would increase the flow of fluid through your eye.[i]

[i]http://eyewiki.aao.org/Computational_Fluid_Dynamics_(CFD)_in_Ophthalmology

One type of glaucoma is related to genetics and is highest in Africa (and the U.S. among African-Americans),[i] while a more aggressive type of glaucoma is more common in Asia. The biggest risk factor for glaucoma is not daytime stress, but very low blood pressure in the eye at night.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3669488/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29150215

The loss of oxygen reaching the front of the eye at night kills off eye cells that then gum up the exit of fluid during the next day.[i] In both sick and healthy patients, glaucoma is on the rise. By 2040, over a hundred million people will have glaucoma.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643502/

[ii] http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(14)00433-3/abstract

a little pulse like the end of a wave as it peters out on the sand.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535453/

The rate of dry eyes may be anywhere from seven to thirty-three percent of the population.[i] It's worse if you're a woman, if you're older, if you smoke, and if you live in Asia. The biggest known risk factor for dry eyes is taking female hormones for birth control, which gives women five times the risk of having dry eyes.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5496280/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28957399

complete definition of dry eyes in 2007. It hasn't been treated with respect as an illness.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720680/

resolves the blockage 96% of the time. It can take months of daily gentle massaging to fully resolve the blockage.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5678323/

The result after twelve minutes was nine months of resolution for dry eyes after one session.[i] But the inventors caution that the results are only preliminary.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22324772

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24133024

The current solution is surgery, making cataracts the most common reversible cause of blindness in the world.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643502/

researchers found that the flow at the front of the eye was slow because the patients didn't produced enough fluid.[i]

[i] https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/7/16-1608_article

Chapter 10

even though we think we see with our eyes, we don't. We see with our minds.[i]

[i] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/two-eyes-two-views/

The official name for this situation is "inattentional blindness."[i]

[i] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/but-did-you-see-the-gorilla-the-problem-with-inattentional-blindness-17339778/

Techniques that improve brain reaction times to visual cues are already big business among professional athletes looking for improved game scores.[i]

[i] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/training-your-brain-to-improve-your-vision/283933/

even a few weeks of training can improve our reaction times just like athletes.[i]

[i] https://www.waynesburg.edu/docman/70-the-observance-of-the-visual-reaction-time-of-non-athletes-compared-to-athletes/file

the safe distance is around a half meter, and extended closer exposure can increase the oxidation of your eye cells.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4697066/

If it was any other body part, we'd assume the constant pain wasn't great for that body part.[i]

Keep your phones, just binge on them for a few minutes every hour rather than constantly. Don't believe me? We have our new illness for the eyes, called Computer Vision Syndrome.[ii] Doctors are already at work trying to find a cure (other than telling people to use their devices less than the current average of ten hours a day of screen time).[iii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28914003

[ii][ii] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532554/

So you really want to exercise your eyes? Time to think like a Kathakali dancer.[i]

[i] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63tKLX4Zkgo

spend a little time learning some basic Kathakali dance eye movements.[i]

[i] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGMRmoR7GPk

Chapter 11

People with eye issues from too much blood sugar who sit around all day are at a much greater risk of losing their sight.[i] Exercise can almost double the amount of blood that reaches the eye.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29023169

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27275655

half of their Asian female subjects were unable to relax their eyes fully even after two minutes of computer training helping them. [i]

[i] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0420.2005.00352.x/pdf

What researchers have found is that dopamine release within the eye helps it repair and improve.[i] Dopamine is that same substance that is released by gambling or video gaming. It is addictive to the brain because it makes the brain feel better. We’re not sure how to increase dopamine release inside the eye, and injecting people with dopamine just increases their eye pressures.[ii] In animal studies too little dopamine and too much dopamine can be a problem.[iii]

[i] http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/07/why-up-to-90-of-asian-schoolchildren-are-nearsighted

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11149432

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12147605

it's hard to know if thyroid deficiency plays any part in any lack of dopamine and increased nearsightedness.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28602573

nearsightedness slowed as the chicks were exposed to stronger and stronger light up to ten thousand lux.[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014483512002497

Research participants who did both eye exercises and breathing as part of a yoga routine improved their eye sight significantly.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24179885

Realize that our background reality is progressively worsening vision as we age.[i] So even staying at the same level of eyesight over time can be a bit of a victory.[ii] Recognize that, while objective eyesight may not be improving, you can speed up your reaction times to stimuli in your environment. Doing so can be lifesaving, as patients with eye illness can have delayed responses to dangerous hazards.[iii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20207005

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9283848

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28570621

Oh, except when it comes to making the eyes track together (lazy eye treatments).[i]

[i] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/vision-training-not-proven-to-make-vision-sharper

"the muscles of the eye must provide an accommodation range of 4"[i]

[i] https://www.colorado.edu/physics/phys1230/phys1230_fa01/topic37.html

Add roughly half a light bending power for every ten feet of nearsightedness if a person is close to normal.[i]

[i] https://www.improveeyesighthq.com/20-20-vision.html

Afterward, it's supposed to be permanent.[i] But that assumption is based more on dogma than data. More recent studies on lazy eye have shown substantial vision recovery is possible in both adult animals and adult humans.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26614629

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26578911

All of this while your mind is still thinking, "Oh, oopsies." Thank goodness for our automatic systems.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10991/

a clock technique for stretching based on Feldenkreis' work.[i]

[i] http://www.davidwebberseeingclearly.com/new-page-1/

Chapter 12

The muscles of the eye have the highest density of energy production of anywhere in the body.[i]

[i] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/ciliary-muscle

We don't have the human studies, but fat rats have bad eyes.[i]

Compare eyesight problems today to scurvy hundreds of years ago.[ii] Scurvy was found to be treated by the vitamin C in limes, which got the British navy ridiculed as "Limies." But soldiers were still dying of scurvy in the Civil War because the way they prepared their greens destroyed all the vitamin C.[iii] The extent of the problem wasn't acknowledged or dealt with properly.

Even today, when we know that vitamin C helps prevent eye degeneration, it's not commonly prescribed. We know that it is absorbed and can be found in the front of the eye the day after it is taken.[iv]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29075814

[ii] https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/01/scurvy-disease-discovery-jonathan-lamb/

[iii] http://civilwardaybyday.web.unc.edu/nutrition-and-the-war/

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28693452

An excess of vitamin A may help prevent eye deterioration.[i] Vitamin A from food can prevent cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882531/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28582804

Asian countries rank highest in the world.[i]

[i]http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/9/e008705?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=BMJOp_TrendMD-0

Women who already had night blindness were far more likely to be eating more carrots. They knew they had a problem and were trying to help themselves.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10484191

lowering their risk of certain cancers by as much as half by eating those same carrots.[i])

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29100438

Supplementing relatives of people with that rare form of macular degeneration didn't make any difference in the back of their eyes.[i] Now, these were older people, so they possibly had some deterioration of their eye as well. But the point is that the supplements didn't translate into benefit for them even before they showed any macular degeneration symptoms.

So yes, taking vitamin C, E, zinc, beta-carotene and copper will slow down your progression of macular eye disease by about 25%.[ii] But adding lutein, zeoxanthin, and omega 3 fatty acids as a pill didn't make any difference.[iii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28973076

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469316/#R13

[iii]https://web.emmes.com/study/areds2/resources/areds2_press_release_050513.pdf

Cataracts are basically the oxidation of the lens, which can be mimicked by cooking the lens[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18547562

NAC can reverse the cloudy front of a lens (cataract) in a dog's eye,[i] but it hasn't been through big human trials[ii] (and there's controversy if it really helps all dogs). Lanosterol is a waxy substance like lanolin, and it clears up cataracts in a test tube, but there's some question about how to get it into the eye by taking it orally (it was injected in the animal studies).[iii].

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15139774

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12001824

[iii] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/eye-drops-clear-cataracts

Hyaluronic acid may help with dry eyes. Turmeric may help with retinitis pigmentosa.[i]

[i] http://www.townsendletter.com/April2018/April2018.html

a Mediterranean diet, more fiber, more fish, and fewer calories helps protect their eyes.[i] For people with macular degeneration, stopping smoking, a Mediterranean diet, more fish,[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29324740

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28153441

“The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts

Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil

Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month

Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week

Enjoying meals with family and friends

Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

Getting plenty of exercise”[i]

[i] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

Adding fish oil into a mouse's diet helps with eye degeneration.[i] Adding fish oil into a human diet decreases dry eyes.[ii][iii] Feeding mice a high sugar diet made eye degeneration worse.[iv] A high sugar diet in human adults results in poorer blood flow in the eyes, regardless of age.[v] The negative results of a high sugar diet on our human eye health only increases with age.[vi]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28961167

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28371493

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25193932

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28757158

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27756385

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23531363

So adding them into a sick person's diet does little good.[i] They may still benefit from a full dietary change, and we know that the Mediterranean diet may slow their vision loss by as much as 20%.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28756618

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27825655

being redirected from the eye into the brain first, where they may slow dementia.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27776568

those same carotenoids can help you recover from today’s glare or strain from seeing.[i] Green leafy vegetables, even in capsule form, improve healthy eyes in study after study.[ii] They literally thicken the back of your eye, help you with glare, and speed your reaction times.[iii] A person only needs about 13 milligrams of them for the maximum benefit (more doesn't help as much).[iv]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27857944

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25468896

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532554/

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27426932

you don't get more of them in the one area of the eye you want them. In other words, more doesn't make you better.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28075370

Taking larger food level amounts daily, as broccoli, spinach or eggs (the orange part) can lower the risk of cataracts (20%) and macular degeneration (40%).[i] But no one is doing large scale studies of the population to see if more will be helpful.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11023002

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26042352

If you want to add one more thing to eat with your vegetables, try a good fat. We’ve known since 1963 that switching from animal fat to unsaturated fat may help with diabetic eyes.[i] We’ve known since 1965 that essential fatty acid deficiency can negatively affect the eye.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC505868/?page=5

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14342243

We know that blood flow affects the eyes because high cholesterol levels increase the risk of eye disease.[i] High sugar levels (diabetes) also raised the risk.[ii] Both sugar and fat in the arteries slows their ability to get nutrients to the eye. When the nutrients do get there, they fill up the back of the eye first.[iii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29335418

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29078839

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15656089

adding mandarin orange yogurt into a person's diet can significantly improve the symptoms of allergic eyes.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28593244

Chapter 13

That's as good as it gets within the conventional model of eyecare.[i]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22161388

Behavioral Optometrists and helping patients alter their vision using a combination of exercises and different lenses.[i]

[i] https://my.imatrixbase.com/vision-therapy-pa.com/behavioral-optometry-vision-therapy/introduction-to-dr.-gallop---s-book--looking-differently-at-nearsightedness-and-myopia.html

the whole framework of inevitable eye deterioration is flawed.[i] Still, their experiments can give some guidance for individuals who want to try exercises on their own.[ii]

[i]https://journals.lww.com/optvissci/Fulltext/2009/11000/Accommodative_Training_to_Reduce_Nearwork_Induced.11.aspx

[ii] http://endmyopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Accommodative_Training_to_Reduce_Nearwork_Induced.11.pdf

"Staring at your computer screen, smartphone or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage"[i]

The American Optometric Association has paid a little more attention. They instituted a 20/20/20 rule, which says that for every twenty minutes of screen time you should look twenty feet away for twenty seconds.[ii]

[i] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage

[ii] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

all had vision problems, and that those vision problems improved if they took lots of breaks.[i] But nothing about 20/20/20. Another study in Saudi Arabia found that -surprise- students who used screens all day tended to have eye problems.[ii] Again, no specific 20/20/20 rule. In India researchers found a direct connection between, "increased hours of computer use and the symptoms of redness, burning sensation, blurred vision and dry eyes."[iii] Nothing on 20/20/20. Another study from Japan claims it takes less than one second to shift from near to far sight. In that study students were able to shift back and forth quickly, though some of them didn't show full eye relaxation even after two minutes of moving to distance viewing.[iv]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24172549

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29114189

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24761234

[iv] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0420.2005.00352.x/pdf

When you are reading, even this book, your blink rate drops.[i] But when you're reading on a screen, you have fewer complete blinks as well.[ii]

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26517404

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23538437

Yes, these particular patients were able to get better (one well-known online subject used progressively weaker lenses over time to retrain his eyes)[i]

[i] http://endmyopia.org/


That's a summary of the research I used in the book. Any other references are likely from previous books or other research.

Please email with questions. docmaloneynd@gmail.com

If you can, please review the book online. Thanks so much!