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Eye Massage Corrects Farsightedness?

  1. Jan 30, 2005 #1

    Les Sleeth

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    When I saw the thread on eye meds, it encouraged me to ask something I've been wondering about.

    My wife has been nearsighted most of her life, and then at age 49 she started having trouble reading. She wears contacts, so her optometrist gave her a prescription for one contact for her nearsightedness, and a different prescription to help with reading for the other contact. She learned to rely on appropriate eye for what she was doing. That seemed strange to me, but it worked for her. Then she related the following to me (reluctantly . . . she thought it was weird).

    She said that in the morning before she put in her contacts, she'd gotten in the habit of squeezing her eyeballs :surprised , and that helped her read labels etc. while she got ready for work. Over the last year she claims she squeezed her eyeballs every morning like that, and then started having problems seeing out of one of her contact prescriptions.

    She figured her eyes had gotten worse, and so went back to her doctor for a check up. The problem turned out not to be her vision had worsened, but instead her farsightedness had been completely corrected. She now is wearing just one contact!

    Has anybody ever heard of correcting farsightedness by squeezing one's eyeballs?
     
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  3. Jan 30, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    Okay, let me first clarify...she had one eye that was nearsighted and one eye that was farsighted, but correcting the vision in each eye still required she use one eye or the other for different tasks? What did that do to her depth perception?! :eek:

    I'm not sure most people would squeeze their eyeballs, but people do resort to things like squinting and rubbing their eyes to help focus (one of those early signs to get a kid an eye check-up). It just temporarily changes the shape of the eye enough to change the focal points within the eye. I think that may be unrelated to what happened.

    I can only guess, but since she has fairly different visual acuity in her two different eyes, it may be that she came to rely upon focusing through the one eye for things like reading, such that her other eye was weakening (developing a lazy eye, though not to the extent of the muscle being so weak, she wasn't using it at all). The treatment for a lazy eye is to force you to use it. By wearing the contact and learning to use that eye exclusively for some tasks, it was probably the same effect as when you make a kid wear an eye patch on the good eye to force them to use the weaker eye for part of the day. She may want to discuss with her optometrist whether any eye exercises would be appropriate to help maintain her vision in that eye.

    Hmm, just one contact. That would be pretty funky if she went with a colored contact, huh? :biggrin:
     
  4. Jan 30, 2005 #3

    Les Sleeth

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    What she related to me was that she had always been able to easily read, but has never been able to see more than 10 feet away. Last year she started having to hold books further and further away to read them. The optometrist said that was typical for her age and wanted to prescribe bifocals for both eyes. She didn't want to wear glasses, so he suggested a strategy that apparently is common, which is to create two different prescriptions, one for each contact. He told her the brain adjusts naturally to using one eye or the other, which my wife reported to me was an easy adjustment for her.


    Her recent test confirmed both eyes had returned to normal for reading. I don't know yet if both eyes had worsened to begin with, I just assumed it from the optometrist's comments. But if it was just one eye that had weakened, then yours would seem like a pretty good theory except that she had been wearing a correction for reading in the eye where she nows wears nothing :yuck: (now just wearing one has cut her contact costs in half too!).

    Hmmmm, maybe we need Ivan to debunk this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2005
  5. Jan 30, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    I thought they had bifocal contacts now. I've never heard of prescribing two different prescriptions like that. It seems like it would really mess up depth perception if you can only use one eye for any task. Even with traditional bifocal glasses, I've heard of people having trouble on stairs because you end up looking down through the reading part of the lens for something that requires distance vision.

    Okay, now that you've clarified that it wasn't different vision in each eye, but a different way of approaching needing bifocals, I really don't know what happened there. So, now she just uses one contact because she's used to it, or because she doesn't need any correction in the other eye? It's hard to imagine having a contact in just one eye, I'd think it would annoy me to only see clearly from one eye!

    I agree, let's toss this one to Ivan. :rofl: Did her optometrist have any thoughts on it? Maybe she wasn't really developing farsightedness, but had some eye strain or something else that was temporarily affecting her vision and has been resolved? I know my vision gets noticeably worse during heavy computer use, then when I use it less again, my vision improves again.
     
  6. Jan 30, 2005 #5

    Les Sleeth

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    Okay, now after talking to her more she is changing her story again. :tongue2: (You have to know her to understand the way she tells me stories.) She said I should just tell you "never mind," but I'll try anyway. What happened was this.

    Her correction for nearsightedness was interfering with reading. She can read the tiniest details without her contacts, so the optometrist reduced the strength of her nearsighted correction in one eye and taught her how to rely on that eye while reading, and the other while looking far. After massaging her eyeball, it was her nearsightedness that improved (not farsightedness . . . sorry :blushing:). She said she really noticed it, and when she went to her optometrist, he was mystified that her test showed her distance vision had improved by a full point. Since she'd gotten used to using one eye for distance and the other for reading, and since without a contact she can see up close exceptionally well, she figured she would just wear one and cut her contact costs in half. :rofl:

    But the principle remains . . . she seems to have improved her vision by squeezing her eyeballs.
     
  7. Jan 30, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    Well, I can tell one thing from all this...you definitely love her very much. Only someone really in love with his wife could relay a story in this way. :approve:

    Aha! At risk of sounding like a crackpot, if I'm understanding correctly, this fits with something that I've contemplated for some time now. I've wondered if continually increasing the strength of one's prescription for glasses or contacts weakens eyesight further, in essence, because the muscles involved in focusing can continue to weaken. I've never given a lot of weight to this idea, more something I just wonder about when I have nothing better to occupy my mind, but focusing the eyes does involve some muscles in the eye. So, I thought about it like someone who lets any other muscle atrophy. If, as the muscle got weaker, we compensate that loss of strength with some outside support, the muscle can't regain strength or build strength. I don't expect this is the situation with ALL problems people experience with eyesight, but perhaps some can be reversed with eye exercises rather than corrective lenses (I know an optometrist who does prescribe eye exercises for some cases where the vision problems are related to things like eye strain rather than a physical defect, but don't know how common this is or how easy it is to tell the difference between the two). Keep in mind, I have absolutely NO evidence to support or refute this and have no expertise at all in optometry. It's quite possibly a loopy concept I've hatched that has no truth to it at all, but something that pops into mind on occassion, and fits well with this particular observation.
     
  8. Jan 30, 2005 #7

    Les Sleeth

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    :!!) :!!) :!!)


    I don't know about that in general, but my feeling about my own eyes has been exactly like that. I had awesome vision until I was 40, and then computers and florescent lights took their toll. Over the years, everytime I got a stronger prescription, I felt like I was giving in to weakness. I wish I'd had an alternative.
     
  9. Jan 30, 2005 #8
    You had 20/20 vision, and then you became which - nearsighted or farsighted?
     
  10. Jan 31, 2005 #9

    Les Sleeth

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    Better than 20/20 tests (such as for the military, new jobs, etc.) used to indicate, and then my eyes went farsighted.
     
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